It has been a while now since the clouds have been lifting out of my life. That’s my little metaphor for my depression and anxiety issues at hand. Since I turned 30 I have been on a slow but steady incline toward a more sound mind. I’m not sure what exactly triggered it, but I’m thankful that my mind is more peaceful than it has been in a decade or two.
One of the things I love now is that no matter how dark a cloud comes rolling in or how much panic enters my heart and mind, I am easily able to chase it away within a few hours and if that doesn’t work, the next day my mind is in the right place to process the shit. I’m not quite sure when we stop having clouds in our lives, I think there is always a little cloud coverage. Though I’m glad it isn’t a stormy haze like it was in the past.
I think that being home has helped me realize a few things that I couldn’t have done in another environment. I’m separated from everything for the most part. One of the weirdest opportunities for someone like me is that at 31, almost everyone I know is settled someway in their own lives and our paths have diverged to a point where we have less time for each other. In a way it has given me the time to realize that I am on such a divergent path to everyone else that it makes sense in many ways that I am alone. That I don’t go the extra mile to keep friendships afloat anymore. I’m able to live in my space and quietly plug along towards whatever goal or direction I dream up without having anyone infringe upon me or my feelings. I’m enjoying that kind of freedom.
At times I feel selfish for keeping so many people at a distance since I left Korea and came back to the States. I’ve been lazy in almost all of my friendships and I have no real motivation to be told to keep them going other than to check in and ask how you are doing. The world of social media doesn’t really leave much open to ask about when it is all clearly documented for the world to see nowadays. Sometimes I wonder if I should be expending more energy into my friendships or if what I’m doing now is the right path for me. I honestly think the me where I am now is okay with this idea of friendship. A lazy friendship, I think I’ve realized I no longer have the capacity for friendships I have maintained over the years. They are not true to me and my personality in the least. I’m highly independent and I always have been. If I want to talk to a friend, I will. If I don’t, you won’t hear from me for days, weeks, or months and I’m okay with that. I guess that is a different kind of cloud in our life, but for now not catering to everyone’s whims and needs makes me mentally happier. I have decided that my mental health and happiness is far more important that bending to the whims of friendships that spiral me into the cloudy nights.
So where did all the clouds go? They’ve all slowly dissipated in their own ways. The clouds of life still loom in the background with a constant storm brewing. However, I’ve slowly come to realize that as I creep further into my thirties I am beginning to embrace who I am a bit more. I suppose embracing myself is what is really chasing those clouds away. It isn’t a perfect process and I still give myself a lot of shit, but it is my shit. I think that is the defining moment in my mind now, I made that decision. This is my life and my decisions, I don’t need to share them with anyone unless I choose to, I don’t need the approval of others to validate my life and how I choose to live it. I think slowly embracing this side of myself is chasing the clouds away.
I’ve always known deep down that I’m a cloudy person. Clouds gather around me a lot and I always seem to have something thrown in the way to make life difficult for me. For a long time I just stuck my head in the mud and tried to ignore it, or let it implode on myself. I’ve now realized that even though there are clouds in my life, they are my clouds. Some I have no control over and others I do. I’ve been chasing a lot of clouds out of my life lately and I’ve realized that sometimes there are clouds that we are chasing to bring into our lives. Life is a little cloudy and it storms at times. But the end result is where we are supposed to be, it might not seem right to others, or make sense, but it is my own cloudy storm filled world and I wouldn’t change it for anyone else’s.