Here's a quote from a poem I love, If... by Rudyard Kipling.
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
You can read the full poem here.
You might have guessed from my absence I've been going through some personal shit. I'm not ready to fully talk about it yet, but I will at some point. November was the hardest month of my life, and I sunk into such a fugue - I have never been so low. At one point I just gave up, completely gave up.
I was on an emotional rollercoaster, some days so elated I wouldn't be surprised if people thought I was on something, other days so low I just wanted to curl into a ball and never move again. I went off food, went off life, some days just sat and stared into space for hours.
It was actually the beginning of December I gave up. I went on a 12 mile hike through 12 inches of snow. It took four hours, and I was drenched, frozen and tired by the end of it. I got a text message to go see a spiritualist, and got the bus back. I had to buy new socks incase my toes fell off.
The spiritualist's name was Pauline. She spoke to me for an hour, told me things I needed to hear but didn't want to, things I wanted to hear, things I already knew but hadn't verbalised. She brought me to a place I've never been before. The fight came back, I've no longer given up; and yet, at the same time, I am completely at peace. It is almost zen-like.
I've learned a lot about myself the past few weeks, found a lot in me I don't like, and yet I have more confidence than I have had in a long time. Because I can see the person I want to be, and I can see inside me the potential to become that person. At 28 years old, I feel like I'm growing up, feel like I am finally becoming a man.
November was a hard month. There was a lot of pain. I realised a lot about myself, discovered through introspection that I have a high level of immaturity and emotional dependency that have been hindering me. But I believe it is the most painful times of our lives that allow us the most chance to grow.
December will be a hard month. I will face my greatest fear, again and again and again. I'm standing at the edge of it, watching, waiting, about to throw myself in. And yet, I am still at peace. I made a very hard decision yesterday, carried it out today. A life-changing decision that will have an impact on far more than just me. But I can't help but feel like this is the right decision, I'm on the right path.
I haven't felt this sure about something in a long time.
A week ago, I could never have made this decision. Sometimes in life the thing you think you want is not the thing you need, and you'll never realise what the thing you need is unless you get what you thought you wanted. I know what I need now.
I need to grow, I need to change, I need to fulfill the potential I see inside of me. I need to become someone I can be proud of being. This is the most painful and frightening thing I have ever done, but in some ways it reminds me of the old rites of passage.
I will face my fear until I have no fear of it. I will embrace all the pain the world can bestow upon me, confident that no matter how much it hurts it will not destroy me. And at the end of this, no matter the consequences, I will not be the same person I was at the beginning. I will be a better person, closer to the person I want to be. As Rudyard Kipling said: You will be a man, my son.
As Peter Pan said: To die would be an awfully big adventure. I'm not dead yet, and whilst I live I can fight. I will never give up. I'm finally ready for my adventure...