Light in Dark Places

Embracing the unknown and other fears

There are days when I am afraid. Afraid I’ll never reach this invisible pedestal in my head of how I should be. What job I should have. How much money I should make. Where I should live. Disappointing my parents. Disappointing my friends. More than ever I feel these fears strongly. Entering my mid 20’s and recently coming out of a stressful job situation, relationship, and the city I’ve lived in for 4 years (Montreal), has not been easy. After a short stint in New York City over the summer, I made the difficult decision to return home to Vancouver. I never imagined I would consider this decision, nor act on it. But I did, so I suppose it needed to happen.

Imagine these emotions in an ongoing (seemingly never-ending) cycle in no particular order:

Humiliation. Heartbreak. Anger. Fear. Sadness. Hope.

The past 3 months have been an ongoing struggle for me to understand the past 4 years and where I’m going next. The fog is clearing, however, and I am seeing things for how they were. There are times when I wish things ended differently — better, to say the least. But I think now all I can do is hope for the best and forgive.

Sometimes I try and convince myself, “Mel, be proud. You’re only 24. You’ve accomplished a lot. You did a lot on your own. You finally finished your undergrad. You’ve contributed, at least a small part, to the world through design, music, and the arts. You cared about people. And you meant it. ”

It’s still difficult for me to accept what I have accomplished because I hate admitting that things are finite. I’m too much of an idealist. I imagine that all people are inherently good even though they f*ck me over, I imagine a better solution even though there are (many) constraints, I imagine things will be “easy” when in fact they can be ridiculously, hilariously, difficult. But I guess I always loved a good challenge. I love tackling the seemingly impossible and coming out of it alive, breathing, and stronger than ever. I imagine that there are still problems to solve — it’s never over, and it’s my job to help create the solutions to add to society. I imagine light in dark places.

Maybe it’s an addiction, but I love that feeling. The feeling you get when you come out of a painful, emotionally taxing life chapter. It’s almost like you’ve beaten death in a way. That you came out alive, after all (even though no one believed you could! even though you, yourself, thought you couldn’t). Proving people wrong. Breaking through it all and smiling. Life, for me, seems to be a series of those breakthroughs. But of course, they don’t come without their incredible challenges.

I moved back in with my parents in September to recover from emotional traumas — the “residue” of my accomplishments, perhaps. I’m still not over them and I wonder how long it will take. I still don’t understand. I still don’t have the answers. Maybe I’ll never get them. Maybe it’s better that way.

One day, I hope to achieve complete inner peace.

I know I am closer than I ever was, but there is still a long way to go.