Strength: Sometimes you have more of it than you realize you do…

airportI was watching Wild last night. I started the movie with the hope of vicariously landing myself a much-desired moment of epiphany. I cannot get up and go on a thousand-mile hike myself but I was hoping that if I watched someone else’s process of self-discovery, I will have one of my own. Well, nothing happened. I am still questioning my whole life, trying to make some sense of what is going on. I was happy once, and it wasn’t too long ago. I used to wake up next to someone who put a smile on my face. I used to go in to work with renewed excitement each day. I loved the people and I loved my job. At the end of the day, I used to come home to someone who was happy to see me. I had home, love and career- everything that is needed for a successful adult life.

One by one, everything has been slipping through my fingers. I wake up alone these days, no one on the other side of the bed to share my night’s dream with. I go into work a bundle of nerves- what is my boss going to do today, how is he going to harass me? I get a blank meeting invite from him, and I pop the first pill of Clonazepam. I am not allowed to have a neutral witness in the room with me, I am not allowed to record the conversation- he rejects my requests. He intimidates me behind closed doors and I have no proof of it, except that I cry each time I step out of his office. Everyone can see it. Everyone feels bad for me but we are all helpless. HR doesn’t care. I pop my second pill of Clonazepam to make it through the remainder of work day. 5 PM and I am relieved to go home. I get home but there is no one to ask me about my day. I look around me and I suddenly realize that this is all temporary. I don’t have the right to decide what is home. I was born in a country I cannot call home. And although I have lived here for several years now, only my employer holds the power to make it my home. My boss single-handed controls my fate and he is determined to destroy it. I struggle to fall asleep, I struggle to stay asleep.

I did nothing wrong, except for a foolish love affair, but who doesn’t make that mistake. I was always sincere and yet I stand to lose everything. People say hard work never goes to waste, but it hasn’t brought me any good, none that I can see. I listen to Linkin Park’s In the End on a repeat loop: “…I don’t know why, it doesn’t even matter how hard you try…“. I want to know why this is happening to me. Did I really deserve this? I want to know what’s on the other side of this misery, and I want to get there quickly. I want to get away from all the chaos, on a quest of my own. I want to find happiness. I want this uncertainty, this daily torture to be over.

If your heart isn’t crying for me right now, then I’m sorry but you need to go see a doctor to make sure you have one 😉 Anyway, the point I am trying to make: yes, it is very difficult to lose a parent, especially if they brought you up all alone, in the most difficult circumstances imaginable, making sacrifices all throughout. But what I am going through is no less. But not once has the idea crossed my mind that abusing drugs, or indulging in reckless sexual behavior is the solution to my problems. Except for the few times when I am crying, you will never find me sulking. I still smile a lot and keep a positive attitude. There are days when it seems like I have hit the bottom, but on such days I am able to tell myself that the good thing with hitting the bottom is that there is only one way to go from there- up! So even in the darkest times, I don’t feel inclined to compromise on my values. I am not saying this to undermine Cheryl Strayed’s struggles and recovery in any way. But I am stronger than that. I don’t need to put myself through an extraordinary feat of courage to emerge as a better person. I am already that person and I show extraordinary strength each day simply by getting out of bed and facing what’s to come. So while I did not find the answers I was looking for, watching Wild made me realize that I am proud to be me. I am sure there is a rainbow around the bend not too far away. Good days will return once more. It will take a lot of patience and perseverance to get there, but I think I’ve got it and I will not give up 🙂

P

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