When the nightmare happens all you can do is suck it up and deal with it. Begrudgingly if you have to, but you deal with it as best you can. I am a dreamer and even at my worst, I’m still doing all that I can to make my vision for my life happened. It gets hard – depressingly so even – but what else can you do when you have nothing else to fall back on? - Michael Arceneaux (also known as @youngsinick)
Check out the rest of that introspective post here.
Usually I try to keep it generic on here with cool pictures and funny videos, but it’s time for a bit of overshare. Lately I’ve been thinking about nightmares in pretty much the same way that Michael has. In fact, I had an epiphany grocery shopping the other day: most of my personal nightmares have already occurred.
Let me back up and give a you little history regarding the relationship that I have with change. Change usually only occurs in my life in two ways: super awesome or absolutely devastating. That’s not me being dramatic, that’s just the reality of the situation. Last year was the ultimate example. The first part of the year was amazing. I found myself in my dream grad school program honing my skills as a journalist. I was scared out of my mind because I was in a new city and trying new things, but I was ridiculously happy because I was doing what I wanted to do for the first time in a while.
Things changed for the worse towards the end of the year. My grandmother, who I’d been living with pretty much since I was four, had to have emergency surgery in August. By the last day of September, she was dead. She had always played an integral part in my life, but she really stepped up after my mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As my mother’s illness progressed, Granny filled her place as the mother figure in my life. Needless to say, that loss was and still is devastating. I’ve lost a lot of people close to me but never someone that close.
Here I was in my last quarter of grad school and my whole life was falling apart. I didn’t even know if I could go back to school because I found myself suddenly the sole caretaker of a very sick person. Not only that, I was hurt. So hurt. In a span of a couple of months, my world had stopped. Everything was black and I found myself in a hole that I’m still trying to dig myself out of. Fortunately for me, a few relatives and existing caretakers stepped in to help so I could go back to school and finish out my program. I just pushed everything down and tried my best to function. I did an okay job. I mean, I finished. But I still spent every weekend in bed. I didn’t really want to do anything. Basically, I wasted my few months in the nation’s capitol doing my work during the week and rolling around in misery on the weekend. Not the best coping strategy.
Either way, I found myself back at home after school with nothing but time. That’s when everything became real. I don’t remember much from my first few months at home. The holidays were terrible, that’s about all I can tell you. I went on and tried to find work. That hasn’t gone so well seeing as how I’m still very unemployed. I take care of my mom with the help of an amazing woman that comes during the week. Eventually things started to feel kind of normal. Which brings me back to my epiphany, I was always terrified that something would happen to my mom and Granny. Well, Granny’s gone and my mom’s sick. My second biggest fear as of late was that I’d made a mistake going back to school and that I wouldn’t be able to find a job. Hello, unemployment. I could go on, but hopefully you get the point.
My point is, terrible things happen all of the time. Life is a mixture of all kinds of moments. But when terrible things happen you have to keep moving. Whether consciously or not, I’ve never let the bad things that have happened to me swallow me up. I’ve always had a vision for myself and have fought like hell to make it come true. Things might be bad right now, but I know eventually they’ll turn around. You just gotta roll with it and keep living regardless.