Saturday, March 26, 2016

System Restore

When we think of a system restore it usually takes place in the form of an electronic device.

When something is wrong with a device we go back to the last settings that worked or we start all over from scratch. As people, if something is wrong we usually just keep going and hope that everything will eventually work out.

I usually tend to immediately internalize negativity, complain about it and then try to let it go. As a result, a lot of the negative feelings or experiences I've had in the past tend to not be completely resolved and they end up affecting my current thoughts and feelings which negatively impacts me further. I bottle everything up. Rarely do I allow myself to feel vulnerable enough to show people how I'm really feeling.

I've been asking myself what went wrong instead of asking when things changed. Since I've discovered the answer recently it's already affecting my mindset.

Everything changed in 2011. I graduated high school and a lot of things changed in my life. I hoped to go off to college, make new friends, get a job.. the kind of things just about any teenager would dream about.

2011 didn't go how I expected it to. I barely graduated and when I hoped to go to college it quickly became clear that I didn't have the financial resources to get there and my health wasn't stable enough. Instead of making new friends, all of my friends moved away and started their own lives.

I went through a lot of personal stuff feeling alone and I realize now how much it's affecting me. By 2014 I found it harder to stay positive because I was doing the same things day to day and stuck in a routine that I cared nothing about - I wasn't doing anything I truly enjoyed anymore, I was just sort of drifting along until one day I hoped it would be worth it. My health further declined and I felt like my dreams were being taken from me.

The other day I was thinking about what I love and the last time I was truly happy. I realized that music is a huge source of my happiness and there's nothing I enjoy more than connecting with people and appreciating music. I miss the days I used to learn from livestreams and create my own songs, recording hours at a time for fun on the bathroom floor of my old house. I wasn't focused on progress, I was just stuck in the moment of feeling whatever it is I needed to feel at the time.

I consider music to be extremely personal to me so I don't like to write or perform around anyone I'm related to, and in fact I won't. I lost my safe space when we moved and haven't found a place where I feel safe enough to write when anyone is around, so I quit writing and I quit recording. An online community of friends started living offline and my creative outlet and essentially everything that saved me from giving up before was lost again. I didn't know how to be happy by myself without feeling validation from the attention of certain people.

When I thought about the past, I realized that a part of me died in those years. I lost a huge part of what made me, me. I didn't know who I was anymore or who I even wanted to be. I just skated by and did what I had to do to keep going.

Now I'm at the point in my life where I need growth. I can no longer sit still and do nothing, I need to
be accomplishing something. I'm discovering new things about myself everyday and what I like and don't like. I have my own opinions and share them willingly when appropriate (and sometimes when not.) I still depend on other people for my happiness but I'm learning how to be happy on my own again. I'm slowly learning how to allow myself to feel again and how to express myself in positive ways. I'm doing what I enjoy doing and finding my way home in a place that doesn't feel much like home.

I think sometimes everyone could use a system restore. We're so often focused on the future or the past that we forget that our present happiness matters too. There's a sort of peak settling point and instead of doing what we want to do we do what we need to do to get by. I guess the best lesson I've learned lately is to take little pieces from the past to enhance the present and hopefully improve the future. It's okay to stop and find that restore point once in a while so we can get back in touch with what works and keep moving forward.