In a month, I lost my job, my cat (to cancer), and a relationship.
Sometimes, we stop ourselves from talking about the pain we’re feeling because there is always someone else who has gone through more. It certainly kept me from writing this post several times.
Many of my friends and family don’t know about my struggle for the past month. I tend to not rant about issues in my personal life.
But quickly, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned from my experiences so far. For anyone who may have also experienced many challenges at once.
1. Don’t negate your feelings
Your feelings are real. It doesn’t matter how they compare to anyone else’s. You may feel they pale in comparison to the stories on Humans of New York about a woman who fled to America to escape genocide in Rwanda, but it doesn’t take away your right to feel how you feel. It is important to allow yourself to feel hurt. You will be more in touch with yourself if you do.
2. Feeling is not a sign of weakness
Many people avoid allowing themselves to go through mourning or don’t talk to others about what they’re going through because they feel it is a sign of weakness. You don’t have to be strong all the time. Often, being real with others earns you more respect than trying to cover it up and be okay. There is no shame in being human.
3. Look for the positives
This isn’t possible with everything, like the death of a loved one or a pet. But with life changes, sometimes change is necessary to make room for the future. It’s only when we stay stuck that we don’t fill our lives with new things and spend more time looking backward than forward.
4. Life is short
One thing I have learned in going through many losses of loved ones is that life is short. So often, we spend our time thinking that we will eventually do something. The fictitious tomorrow or next week or next month where everything we’ve always wanted to do gets done. But there is no better time than now. Life is short. Fear is usually the reason for this procrastination. But what is there to be afraid of? To me, my biggest fear is looking back at all the things I didn’t do and the chances I didn’t take.
5. Prioritize yourself and what makes you happy
This goes in line with the last point. Life is short. Do what makes YOU happy. The only one who will be filled with regret if you don’t do this is you. You have to defend what you want out of life. Living it for other people will leave you feeling empty. When I lost my job, I started my own business. This was me being true to myself. Despite everything that has happened in my life recently, I feel I am doing what I love again. I’m no longer chasing other people’s dreams. I am chasing my own. And that is the best feeling in the world.
I’m still going through life and learning, as we all are. But this is what I’ve learned from my short experiences in the last month. I made this quickly while it was still fresh in my mind. But I hope you can find it useful too, in some way, shape, or form. ∎
(This article is jointly published on Medium.)