Anywhere you look in my bedroom, you’re bound to find sunflowers. There’s a vase by my television, a bunch next to the mirror on my dresser, and a large metal-crafted flower by my door. Hell, I even have a sunflower tattooed on my shoulder.
Sunflowers have played an important role in my life for as long as I can remember. I’ve always admired how proudly sunflowers stand, boasting themselves toward the sunlight on warm, summer days. But, as all things must come to an end, so does the season for sunflowers. As autumn rolls in, the sunflower fields slowly begin to wither away, and the gorgeous golden fields become bare. And then, I’m left longing for those fields to bloom again.
Too often, I’m left feeling unfulfilled in my life. Sometimes, I fall into my own low seasons. My life’s fields have become bare, and I feel as though how I’m living my life just isn’t good enough. And then I stop and ask myself: Good enough for who? Good enough by what standard? How could I think, even for a second, that how I live isn’t good enough, when I don’t even know where I want to be?
I’m 25 now. I am in the best health I’ve ever been. I have been in the happiest relationship of my life for the past 4 years. I have a steady income, a roof over my head & food on the table. So how could I possibly feel so unfulfilled with my life?
Well, I’ve dropped out of college on multiple occasions, I’m tens of thousands of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it. I’ve had a vehicle repossessed, and a handful of medical & credit card debtors pursuing me. And for a long time, I’ve allowed those things to weigh heavy on my shoulders. I’ve stressed about debt and education so much that I never really allowed myself to enjoy my early years as an adult. And most of all, I’ve spent too much time comparing my situation to those of people around me.
We live in an age of social media frenzy; where we tend to (over)share all the tidbits of our lives. Between Facebook, Instagram & Snapchat, I’ve seen friends & acquaintances alike get married, start families & travel all over the world. And no, that’s not a problem in the slightest. In fact, I enjoy being able to share these moments with old friends, family members, and long lost camp buddies. Watching everyone grow has to be my favorite part of social media. It’s amazing to see where people are now and how far they’ve come.
But maybe, that’s my problem. I indulge in the lives of others so much, I tend to let myself compare my path to those on my social media platforms. I, more than anyone, should know that beauty is more than what’s on the surface. You see, we only share what we want others to see. What we are willing and wanting to share with the world. We very rarely share the darkness, the struggles, or the defeats. We want everyone to think we are okay. Of course, we don’t want anyone worrying about us. So, in my seasons of sadness and defeat, scrolling through the positivity and happiness on my social media probably isn’t my best solace. But then I remember, no one’s life is better than my own. Sure, I’m struggling now, but so are they. I just don’t see it on social media. We can’t always be happy, nor can we always have what we want. Sure, I’d love to be married and starting a family, but right now, it certainly isn’t what I’m focused on. I love watching my friends prosper with their own families, but what I forget is that I too am prospering in my own ways.
You see, focusing on my health and wellness has been quite an adventure. Finding myself all over again after facing bouts of depression and illness has allowed me to feel reborn. I know, it seems silly to some people. How, at 25 years old, could I possibly be this well-versed and passionate about finding my life’s joy? Well, at 15, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to live to see it, and at 18, I was in such a scary place that I was sure I didn’t want to. Now, at 25, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m healthy, both physically and emotionally, I’ve got an amazing support system surrounding me, and I’ve got my writing to keep my accountable when things get rough.
Some days are definitely better than others. Some days, I want to quit. But most days, I suck it up, put on my biggest smile & reddest lipstick and tackle whatever the day’s got in store for me. Because even when the summer fades & the gray of winter begins to settle, nothing will ever bring me down as low as I got before. No, instead this sunflower will continue to find the sun, wherever it may shine, and stand prouder than ever before!
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get a new blog out, y’all! I’ve had some serious writer’s block! But I’m always looking for new sources of inspiration in my life. If you have any suggestions for me, I’d love to hear them!