Girl Talk: Learning to appreciate the struggle brings grace, peace of mind
Growing up, I always imagined my life would reflect those I saw in the movies.
John Hughes (sadly no relation) told a good story about emotionally backwards teens finding their way through love and life. Their parents all had spectacular houses, and a three-course family dinner was served every night while the family discussed their day. I am well past the days of boys in the front yard holding boom boxes or showing up with birthday cakes, so shouldn’t that mean I am in the supporting actor role of responsible, well-adjusted adult? I’m not where I thought I would be, but one thing I have learned is that you can’t rush the process.
When it comes to life struggles, I have had my fair share. Whether you are discussing broken hearts, overdrawn bank accounts or life-incidents that just didn’t chronologically make sens, I could write a book (or in this case, a column). There were days I sobbed uncontrollably, weeks I lived off of SpaghettiOs and Vladimir Vodka and months of decisions I’d rather forget making. What I have learned is that it is all part of the process.
I went through my quarter-life crisis like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball. I lived a life of reckless abandon, making decisions today and not caring about the consequences of tomorrow. What I have learned is that you have to trust the process. While it may seem at this moment in time that everything is spiraling, you will land on your two feet, for better or worse.
The struggles of yesterday help you to appreciate today. I think back to the days of praying the landlord would hold the check just a few more days. I remember doing the late night drive byes of whomever I was dating to see if they were home like they said or out cheating.
It makes me hold my breath a minute and think about how now I am so fortunate. I have a home of my own. While I still have the mortgage due, its mine and that feels amazing. I have a stable relationship with a great guy who’s fidelity is never a question. I have a job I can depend on and a full refrigerator. I have a reliable car, great friends and my health.
Am I driving around a BMW?
It took me a long time to realize that I don’t need to be. I spent so much time, money and effort trying to keep up with the Joneses that I eventually had to take a step back to see they didn’t care what I had to begin with. Instead, they liked me, or didn’t like me, for who I was.
Life is by no means a fairytale these days. There are still many struggles and difficult times, but taking a moment to look to where I am, compared to where I have been, has given me the strength to get through some of the really tough stuff.
I heard a country song once that said “If you’re going through hell, keep on going.” It is so true. Allow me to speak in bumper sticker for a moment and just say that there is always a silver lining to every dark cloud. No matter how bad things are or how hopeless they might seem, you’re going to get through it, and brighter days will be ahead. Appreciate the struggle.
Girl Talk began in 2012 as a telltale horror story of the city’s most epic dating disasters and has evolved into a column about love, life experiences and growing up. Melissa also has a weekly Girl Talk TV segment on PA Live and WBRE.