It’s Not How Fast That Matters

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Something that I came to realize a little later than I would have liked, is that life is not a race. There is not a perfect timeline that we should all be adhering to. There is not a pass or fail for the accomplishments we attain at different ages and stages of our life. It’s okay if we are not marching to the same drum that everyone else around us seems to be marching too.

My life took some unexpected turns, such as my diagnosis with bipolar, that diagnosis was not something I envisioned as a little girl planning out my family, education and career (I was a wee bit odd and started looking at universities when I was in grade 6). My diagnosis impacted my life drastically, not to mention bipolar in general before my formal diagnosis. At times I felt inferior to those around me, I felt like I was watching everyone pass me by with school, career, relationships, marriage, children and so forth while I struggled just to stay balanced and afloat. At least that was the case until I finally came to the realization that I was on my own path. I was growing, I was becoming better, I was gaining perspective and insight, I was meeting my goals – I was just doing it slower than I imagined I would. And there is NOTHING wrong with that.  So long as you are putting one foot in front of the other you will reach your destination and if you stop harassing yourself, you will probably enjoy the process a whole lot more – smelling the roses instead of rushing past and trampling them.

It’s okay to grow slowly. It’s okay to go at a pace that isn’t the norm. When you aren’t rushing thru life trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing, it will allow you to look at where you are going with more clarity and less time will be wasted tripping and taking wrong turns or ending up at dead ends. Be kind to yourself.

I am 26, turning 27 in a few weeks – I have a diploma, not the degree I envisioned I would have from a young age. I have no children and I am just getting married this October (yes, 27 to some people may seem young to get married however, when your mom and sisters were all married by the age of 20, 27 can start to feel old) Anyways, my point is – this is where I am at and I am proud of myself. I overcame so much to be where I am. I have a diploma – I have succeeded in my education, it took me YEARS, but I never gave up and I achieved something for myself. If you knew my educational struggle with my mental health you would understand why a diploma means so much to me and my family. I have met the most amazing man and I am the happiest I have ever been. I am getting married – and I know that I didn’t just settle with any young bloke, I waited because I knew my worth.  The right things are happening in my life because I didn’t give up. I didn’t let my slow growth defeat the progress I knew I was making.

Don’t wallow in discouragement that your growth may be going slower than you like. Don’t be discouraged about your dreams that have yet to be achieved, because they will be – so long as you are true to yourself and put in the effort. I have no doubt you will accomplish amazing things.

I am so much happier accepting my life at the unique pace that it marches to. Don’t compare your pace to that of your neighbours. Be yourself. Love yourself. Nourish yourself and grow slowly – but never give up and never stop growing.

– Steph

Find A Little Freedom

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Read this quote… alright, read it again… and now read it one more time for good measure.

Now relax, sit back and allow yourself to savor every single word. I really want you to think about what you’ve just read; what this quote actually means. To me it means freedom and it means liberation!

I think and over think to a point where I can literally make myself sick. And more often than not I’m worrying about things I have absolutely no control over (can I get an AMEN! if you know what I’m talking about) So what has been my antidote to fight these turmetulous thoughts? Learning. Learning has seriously been my saving grace in life, and undoubtedly it can be one in yours as well.

Applying ourselves to different scenarios, exposing ourselves to different situations; this is living. This is what life’s about. This is exercise that our minds yearn for, not worrying incessantly.

Yesterday I was determined to be productive; challenging both my mental  and dexterous skill set. So what did I end up doing? I went to a pick n’ pull car yard! I am by no means a mechanic however, I did some research and I knew which parts I wanted to fix up my little beast of a car. (Beast in the sense that it’s a little car that keeps running even though it shouldn’t be.. it’s a 2003 Toyota Echo)

Generally speaking the parts were mostly cosmetic… visors and knobs however there was a side mirror I wanted to change and a hefty piece which involved me taking apart my passage door… the door stopped opening from the inside… due to some hardware mechanical problems involving latches and jazz…. sorry for that poor description.

Anywho, I was up for the challange, and wanted to feel good about passangers being able to escape from my car incase we ever got stuck on a railroad track with a train accelerating towards us… yes a wee bit dramatic BUT you never know!

So I went to the car junk yard, I hunted down old echo and I jumped in getting my hands dirty AND I loved every single minute of it! I honestly felt like I had stepped onto the set of “I ROBOT” or a random “end of the world” type movie where there are scavengers digging around haha… it was so awesome!

After I collected my treasures I went home and got to work. The cosmetic pieces and side mirror were a walk in the park to install (a man at the junk yard helped me get off the mirror, so I knew how to put it on) the side door took some time, patience and detective work.

The self satisfaction I felt from trying something new and learning something new – was priceless. There was no fear, worry or regret as a result of this learning experience. And the focus I had on the task at hand helped keep my useless worrisome thoughts at bay.

I love learning and I never really thought about why. But when I read this quote it really hit home. In a world plagued with worry, fear, and regret… learning remains untouched & untainted. It acts as a refuge that offers our minds rest and growth.

To live a life of learning, is truly living life. Happy adventures everyone. Try something new, remind yourself how truly capable you really are. And embrace the freedom learning truly offers.

** side note: the impressed look on my family’s faces and exclamation “you did this on your own??!” when I showed them my car all fixed up (door locking and opening)… was a pretty sweet bonus!

– Steph

– Steph