You read that right. I'm not in a state of panic or even feeling overwhelmed (not yet anyway). In fact I'm very much looking forward to all of these things and...(and this is a big AND)...I actually feel prepared to do all of them.
So what is different? I mean the past year has not been the easiest ever in my life. I've dealt with nearly losing a dear friend, uprooting my life for three months, a pretty tough depressive episode this spring and a whole lot of school stress. There were times I wanted to drop everything, dig a hole and move into it for the next decade or so.
First, a lot of basic stresses are out of my life. I'm housed. I've good food to eat; and time enough to prepare it. I'm in basically good health and, huzzah, I've managed to find affordable health insurance. I've begun to have a regular self-care practice in my life again. And, I've surrounded myself with pretty awesome people who, while they have their struggles too, are basically honest, kind and compassionate. My life doesn't have many assholes in it right now.
Second, school is done; at least for now. Earning my bachelor's degree was a huge accomplishment for me. It was five years of very hard work. I thought about quitting often but I made it through. And right now, seeing all of those Facebook posts from friends who are starting the semester again, I'm so very glad that this fall I am not joining them. I have the time to give the other parts of my life the attention they need and honestly, considering how much of the above listed things I did while enrolled full time in school, I feel like I've a shit ton of open time on my hands!
Finally, I have come to realize that I have more strength than I might have admitted to before. I might have windged, whined, cried and raged but I didn't quit. Some part of me must have seen a pinpoint of light at the end of the tunnel and kept going. Strength is one those things I won't often profess to having because, well, what if I'm wrong? I mean I could easily think that I am strong and then suddenly the proverbial straw appears and I'm the camel laying all broken and defeated in the desert. Had I known ahead of time all that I would face these past 12 months, I'm not so sure I'd have bet on myself to get through it. But I did, and that's something.
None of this means that my life is perfect. No one's life reaches a plateau of goodness and stays there, but I feel that I might, maybe, perhaps, you know there's a kind of good chance that I've become better equipped to handle the rougher times too.
Tomorrow might suck. Another depressive episode could begin, I might suddenly feel neck deep in too much to do or I could feel like I'm failing at even existing. So, I've written this date down on a piece of paper and I'm putting it on my bulletin board to remind myself to come back to this post to remember what I am capable of.