The first week of November was difficult for me. One of my best friends described it perfectly; it was my crisis week. During a crisis week, everything just becomes overwhelming and subject to overthinking: projects, papers, studying, relationships, and planning for the future. As a result, you withdraw from the world, keeping to yourself and keeping your emotions tucked silently inside yourself that it feels you will never be able to let them go.
I’ve always had a problem adequately and openly expressing my emotions. So, this week I was easily stressed, pouring out my worries of which I could do nothing about, not accepting that I had no control at the time, and spiraling quickly into a depressing state. Here I stayed for most of the week.
Normally, I am awed by various aspects of nature: the expansive sky, the rolling or wispy clouds, the rays of sun on my face, the breeze through the trees, and the nature that surrounds me. It makes me appreciate my breath, my life, and instills in me this sense of gratitude for everything about my life: the good, bad, past, present, and prospect of the future. However, in the state of depression and anxiety, I lost this admiration and lost myself.
“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho
My sense of gratitude and appreciation drives my mind, body, and soul to become better and experience something new and exciting every day. So when I found myself falling into contentment and routine, I was left unmotivated and uninspired to continue that mindset. Because, even though you can wake up with determination some days, striving to constantly better yourself and be the best version of yourself can get tiring.
But, I got out of it by finding inspiration again. Realizing most of my stressed stemmed from caring about things that I couldn’t control, I had to remind myself to go with the flow, to be nice to myself, and to let time take its course. I had forgotten how beautiful and wonderful life truly is, and that to really live life, I had to reject the expectations and negative feelings that were weighing me down. And, I had to find the drive to be constantly inspired again. Wow…that’s cliché. I apologize.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.” – Jim Jarmusch via Vagabond Youth (Amy Lee)
But, sometimes clichés are needed to relate to others exactly what you’re feeling. Sometimes it’s even clichés (trends, mottos, popular lyrics, slogans, life philosophies, etc.) that can inspire you to find your own motivation in life and get out of your dark days.
Not only did I break out of my crisis week, but I had some great days as a result. I woke up with the sunrise, watching it rise over the trees outside my window, reveling in my morning cup of hot coffee, and trying to participate in every part of my day. It was refreshing to smile, to feel the autumn wind blowing through my hair, and to take in everything positive about my life again.
I found my inspiration to be and do better again. And, I know that this is a constant struggle, an uphill battle. But my crisis week has allowed me to better appreciate the following days, both their positives and negatives and has restored my motivation to be excited about life.
So, if you need inspiration, look around you. It could be in nature or objects or people: a smile, a breeze, a sign. If you fall in love with life and gratitude in this way, I promise you that the world will look brighter and better, even if it’s only for a moment. The thing is though, if you continue to have many of those moments, they accumulate into hours, days, and weeks, until they’re your entire life.