As I sit here in my living room gazing out the large bay window with a warm cup of coffee in hand, I can’t help but relish in the unhurried and dreamy snowflakes falling from the sky. I look around me and see remnants of Christmas celebration scattered all across the floor, the Christmas tree still up but candy canes gone, the flicker of the angels wings atop my tree.
I took a break from work and browsing social media to enjoy some much-needed silence. It’s the day before the last day of twenty-sixteen and amidst all the fun holiday social media shares of kids with their new presents and beautiful sunsets over powdery white snow hills, there have also been reams of melancholic posts.
Posts about calamitous worldly events like what’s happening in Aleppo, death after death of legendary public figures, friends and family that are grieving and/or dispirited with the loss of a loved one that they cannot share the beauty of the season with.
This time of year is so very hard.
Especially for those that cannot be near someone they love.
It’s also burdensome for those that cannot make ends meet and having a very challenging time in their life.
Between my joyous social shares this holiday creates for me and my family, I am also sensitive to the emotions of those I see on social media that are desolate. Sometimes even the inaudible affliction shown through quotes or subtle statuses or images. I see you, my friend, and I commiserate and ache with you.
The Hard Times
You see, this time two years ago, my family and I were going through our own dark times.
My husband had to leave the security of a job at a workplace he poured many years into because of a deleterious boss in a toxic environment which caused him to get sick, sparking a condition in his body that made him physically weak.
This all happened within the same year my husband lost his father.
As a sole provider for our family, you can imagine how much this affected us all, especially my husband. We relied on the support and love from family and friends but deep inside, we were numb.
However, during the cheerfulness and euphoria of the holidays, we tried our best to smile, to laugh and to roll with the punches, for the sake of our children. We knew that despite our troubles and sadness, we still had our health overall, a roof over our head, food on the table and most importantly we had each other.
As I reflect on the past year, I can’t help but be extremely appreciative and contented with the many blessings it has brought us.
There was a point a couple years ago that I was so very angry at everything and everyone (sometimes for no reason) because I felt it was so cruel and unfair what my husband and our family had to go through being good, honourable, hard-working people. I questioned the world and people around us and why so many immoral and undeserving people were succeeding.
I was wounded. I was bruised and incoherent.
But nobody saw that part of me. Working in social media, you need to put your best face (or best photos) forward. Not just for pretentious reasons, but merely because you wouldn’t want to inflict your troubles on anyone else. Well, at least that’s how I feel.
I’m not the type of person that shares much of my personal issues publicly too often (if at all). Which is also the same reasons why I try not to overshare too much either. I remember how that felt seeing all the good fortune of others and despite my sincere content towards them, I couldn’t help but also be slightly jaundiced.
For those of you that have been following my blog over the years, you’ll notice there was that time, maybe two times actually, when I wanted to quit blogging all together.
I wanted to just give it all up. I wasn’t inspired; I didn’t feel creative.
Word even got around to me that other bloggers were discussing my indecisiveness to keep blogging and that my clients/brands shouldn’t trust working with me for that reason. That my blog was merely just a misused online space, bruised and tattered, quite like how I felt during that very difficult time.
Little did they know what was really going on in my life.
Nobody knows what you’re going through unless you share it. That’s the problem with society.
It wasn’t only till after I elevated past that tough time in my life, that I understood why seeing more happiness around me actually was beneficial for me overall. I couldn’t imagine being in such a dark place in my life and not having positive people around me or seeing constructive posts that would prompt me to swing past this tempestuous barricade.
Thank you to those that understood my silence, even through my smiles.
The Good Times
This time of year I am reaching out to those that are troubled or are heavy-laden. I’m so sorry that you have to go through what you’re going through. I understand.
But I also want to tell you that the cliché is true. The light at the end of the tunnel… yes, that’s the one. It’s accurate and real.
You may not see it now, but it’s there.
I’m a strong believer that you do reap what you sow and that bad things sometimes happen to good people because it’s preparation for greater things. Greater things that only those that have suffered can handle.
Tomorrow is not promised.
Which is why we need to make the most of today.
So instead of jotting down new year resolutions this year, I am going to just focus on cherishing the things and people in my life and working towards ways that will make life more pleasurable for them. Whatever way that is or for whatever reason, I wish you the same modest perseverance and all the optimism and prosperity for the year ahead.