My 2015 "spirit animal" was a box of Franzia.
I mean, I knew post-collegiate life wouldn’t be a fairy-tale but I thought we would have gotten past, “once-upon-a-time…”
The year started with interviews at Google; but quickly my standards fell simply to “job.” By June, I couldn’t get my local Barnes & Noble to call me back.
There were many days where I watched the sun rise and fall without leaving the house… or even my room.
I listened to a lot of Noah Gundersen. Drank a lot of boxed wine. Spent a lot of time on Tinder. Adopted two cats.
Then autumn came, school was back into session, and I watched voyeuristically through the lens of social media as people I loved moved on with their lives… their stories continuing to be written, only this time, I wasn't in them.
I had my own business, but entrepreneurship can be a lonesome existence, especially at first. My lack of traditional employment and solitude, coupled with a biological predisposition for depression led me to the darkest place I had ever encountered.
By winter I felt utterly alone… A place past lonely. A place off the map- somewhere I had never been before.
I knew cognitively I was smart and gifted and talented. I had been given tremendous opportunities, I had (& still have) incredible parents and supportive mentors… but instead of helping, that knowledge only made me feel more guilty and ashamed about my present circumstances.
Alone. Afraid. Anxious. Depressed.
I felt hidden; as if there were an unconquerable canyon between my capabilities and the reality I now found myself in… an insurmountable valley separating the man in the mirror from the man I wanted so desperately to be.
I’m not sure if panda’s hibernate but that’s what it feels like- a bear during winter, left deep inside a dark cave wondering if- and when- spring will come again.
I've spent most of life looking forward to spring.... forever waiting for whatever it was I thought I was going to become. Faced with my immaculate, futuristic daydreams, my current, lonely reality always paled in comparison.
Spoiler alert- there’s no resolution at the end of this page. My proverbial spring still hasn’t come but my perception of "hidden"- both a place and an adjective has shifted…
I used to think hidden things were unimportant, but now I know that they’re just unseen.
Character is formed in hiding. It is the dark places and empty spaces that ultimately shape us. What we do here matters. Winter seasons, lonely nights and awkward in-betweens should be celebrated not wasted.
Of course, I still dream about the future.
But at the end of the day… my only “dream” now is to start valuing each one of the millions of moments that make up life as more than just a tedious overture leading up to a singular “main event.”
They say that life comes in seasons. There are seasons of sadness. There are seasons of sweetness… but I don’t think this is either one of those.
This season is about becoming.