I’m going to be real for a minute: this week has been BAD. My depression has been raging which means mornings are agonizing, showers are a long and frequent escape, and sleep is hard to come by. On top of it all, my anxiety is at a barely functioning level because figuring out what to do with your life is HARD. (Being an adult sucks. Don’t grow up, it’s a trap.)
Today was no different, and I’m going to be honest; I was not a good soldier. I did not get out of bed to “fight the good fight.” I didn’t drag myself out of the shower and get dressed like a nicely put together human being. No, sir. I laid in bed after a nearly sleepless night and thought “I cannot do this today.” Then, when I couldn’t stand the sight of my ceiling anymore, I laid on the floor of my shower and thought “I cannot do this” some more. When the water started to run cold, I returned to my bed where I considered medicating myself into a mind numbing stupor for the rest of the day while dozing in and out of sleep for the next several hours.
When I woke up sometime around noon, I found myself staring out my window. The trees, though their leaves are long gone, reminded me of something: even when everything going on inside you rears its ugly head, you can still find something beautiful- you just have to look. So I got out of bed (after several attempts), threw on some shoes, and set off to find a place to make me feel small.
I know it sounds strange to want to feel small, but when nothing seems greater than your problems or the weight the world has put on your shoulders, the best thing you can do, in my opinion, is find something that makes it all feel small. Nothing distracts me from it all better than something vast and beautiful. Personally, I find that in nature, so into the woods I went.
As I walked, my anxiety eased, and I quickly forgot about my supposed inability to function that day. I looked out and was surrounded by trees and hills for as far as I could see. In that moment, I was comforted to feel like just a blip in the universe. I was surrounded by trees that had been there for countless years, and who was I? I’m just a twenty year old girl with some crap on her mind. I needed the vast surroundings to remind me that no matter how hopeless it all seems, no matter how lost I may be, the world keeps turning. Those trees will still stand, and the sun will still rise each day; and even though they seem impossibly hard to find right now, tomorrow is always full of chances. The world hardly ever ends overnight (or so I’ve been told).
No, this didn’t solve my problems. I still have absolutely no clue what I’m doing with my life, and I’m fairly certain that I will wake up tomorrow morning and hate every second it takes to get out of bed. But I came home refreshed; I came home with some much needed perspective; I came home with the energy to find more chances tomorrow.
I challenge you to find someplace that makes you feel small too. Mine is nature, but yours may be different. It may be a library with more books than you can count or a museum with art as old as my trees. Find your place. Visit often, and visit as long as you can. Visit when your mind is full of hope, and visit when everything seems to be crashing down. Find someplace that makes you feel small, and if you can, never leave.