The Journey to a Happier Me

As the proverb says, “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” This has been the mantra that kept me going the past months. Despite all the challenges, there was always a reason to stand up and fight another day. Thus, I stood up.

The past year has been challenging, to say it simply. It has taught me a lot of life lessons that I didn’t even fathom before. It’s showed me the harsh reality of life but at the same time it’s showed me that life is still bearable and eventually, beautiful despite these obstacles. Honestly, although I’ve known these all along, it’s different when you’re the one that’s actually there. When life kicks someone we know in the butt, it’s easy for us to offer our advices but if you’re the one in that situation, it’s very difficult to follow a sound advice. Now I know why my friends seem to never listen. Because it’s hard to.

I’ve been kicked, pushed and strangled by life and sadly the bubble I was living in was burst in an instant. I was in a deep, deep hole. And when I thought I couldn’t go up, I remembered the proverb. Slowly, I stood up. Slowly, I regained the “old me”. Slowly, I started the journey to a happier me. It wasn’t easy, but with help, I eventually found it. I know life is a roller coaster so this moment I am in will soon fade and I would find myself at the bottom again but with what I learned the past year, I know I can stand up.

Like I said, the journey wasn’t easy. Some would say it looked like I was taking it easy, some people told me they never felt something was wrong, but during those days I was fighting an internal battle. Every single day was a war inside. How I was able to overcome that battle, I didn’t know at first but looking back now, I think I understand better. Given that I love lists, I’ll list down the things that helped me in my journey. These are what pushed me to become an updated version of me.

1. Have a support group.

This one is tops on my list. I don’t know how I would ever have gotten here without a support group. These are the guys that kept me busy, giggly, sad, happy and scared at the same time. They held my hand and led me to happiness but they also kept me honest with myself and supported my decisions every step of the way. If there’s one thing I’m grateful for from this journey is that I knew who my true friends are. And I’ve built a stronger relationship with them.

2. Follow your passions. Build new ones.
I kept myself busy almost all the time. I went back to do things I missed doing and started doing new ones.

I cooked, ran, touched base with long-lost friends, travelled and spent more time with family. I was always on the go which helped me keep awful things from my mind. I surrounded myself with good moments and great company.

3. Have some “me” time.
Even if my life moved in a blur of activities, I spent some time alone. To recuperate and think things through. One thing I learned at work is to do a Post Mortem regularly. And so I did. What went wrong? What did I/we do right? How can I avoid it in the future? So my action items were identified. One by one, I had to act on it. Geeky but helpful.

I don’t think the list can be as exhaustive as how the process went but these 3 things are what kept me sane. I’ll be forever grateful to my support group because with them, life can be grand. They taught me that standing up for myself was not a selfish act but rather a necessary step to move on in life. And luckily, I did.

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