There’s no boat that can take you far enough, no plane that can take you high enough, no car that can take you fast enough, to escape yourself. You need somewhere to go when reality starts to burden and you’re suffocated by your mind. Life’s a game with no time outs, no free passes. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t change it, you don’t hate it that much. How do you expect to run from your problems if you can’t even put them down?
Little did we know growing up, that our school yard games were preparing us for the honest truth about life. Ignorance is bliss and the games that once made us smile and laugh, are now the rules we love to break and the games we dread playing.
1. Telephone. Telephone reveals the truth about the corruption in our communication system. There’s more entertainment in making assumptions and twisting the truth to the point where it tells a different story. We know the truth is somewhere out there, but we accept whatever we’re given in it’s place. There’s only so many times you can say ‘operator’ before you’re forced to shrug, laugh, and believe what you think you heard.
2. Simon Says. We’ve grown up, taught to obey authority. Promised that once we’re adults, we’ll be introduced to freedom. Simon Says tells us the importance in listening to a ‘higher power’. If someone says jump, you say how high, and you fall victim to the punishment if you chose to disobey. Don’t step out of line, don’t dance to your own beat and don’t think these rules ever stop applying.
3. Three-Legged Race. We think the finish line is within our reach, that the strength of our legs is enough to carry us to success. We don’t understand that we’re not in this game alone. Life’s a three-legged race. We can’t win without help. We can’t win without teamwork. It’s a lot harder to work against life then with it.
4. Red Rover. Red Rover taught us the instant betrayal that comes when picking sides. We had seconds to decide if we would break the rules and run lightly, in hopes to return to our team or we’d aim for the weak in hopes to carry out our plan. There’s irony in being called over by a group working to keep you out.
5. Duck, Duck, Goose. We were once told we’re all equals, we’re cut from the same cloth. However, when someone is pointed out as different, we’re taught to run in the opposite direction. We put our effort into returning to normality and avoiding the dreaded sentence of being considered different.
Maybe a Facebook post can’t convince you beauty’s skin deep, and maybe a stream of hashtags can’t save the world. Maybe a single fundraiser can’t cure cancer and maybe a peaceful voice can’t really stop a war. But maybe the solution is the noise that it makes, the eyebrows it raises, the questions it asks. You don’t have to have the loudest voice or the deepest pockets to make a difference. You have to be willing to be apart of a greater plan. You have to understand that even if your voice goes unheard, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
They don’t cheat because you’re not enough, they cheat because they aren’t. They don’t have the ability to love you day to night. They don’t have the confidence to see what they want in your eyes. They come and go like a game of catch between water and sand.
You see their lips moving as they patch it with a lie. They blindfold you with love, fault you for the betrayal. We have to stop blaming ourselves for someone elses wrongs. We have to realize we don’t deserve the hurt we’ve been assigned but we deserve the life we get cheated out of when we get cheated on.
Your family may fight but it shows that they’re there. Your job may be boring but it means you still have one. Your skin may be flawed but it means that you’ve grown. Your mistakes may be bad but it means that you’re human. Your smile may be temporary but it means there’s still hope. Your life may be hard but it means that you’re living. The fact that you’re living; means you’ve done something right.
Bravery is jumping off the mountain you built, crossing the line you drew, fixing the bridges you burned. It’s saying yes when a million voices scream no. Bravery is accepting that there are things beyond your control. It’s chasing dreams. It’s picking up the pieces. How simple things could be if they never happened, but bravery is understanding why they did.
Sometimes it’s easier to miss someone then to love them. To close the door instead of let them in. The idea of how things could be substitutes the effort of actually making it happen. In the end, some people cross paths to teach lessons, to change one another, to simply take up time.
If we refuse to give our time to someone so willing to accept it, they have taught us all we need and we have to be fair in releasing their hand, and watching them go. There’s convenience to limbo, to the back burner, to I might miss you if you leave but there’s no reason to accept love, with no intention to love back.
Mental health isn’t a trend. It isn’t a group on Facebook or a card to play for pity. Mental health is a backpack you can’t take off, carrying the weight of your past and the burden of your thoughts. It’s a loss of control, the truth behind your mask. It’s your head in your hands and ringing in your ears. So, don’t say you’re sorry; say you understand. Don’t say statistics; say you cry too. Don’t say this world is hard; say it’s possible to survive.
1. Depression. Depression isn’t suicidal. It doesn’t paint purple bags beneath your eyes or leave your wrists scared with self-loath. There’s no rain cloud over your head or an all black dress code. You don’t spend your days choking on tears with makeup stained cheeks. Depression isn’t an Instagram caption, proclaiming sadness about a broken heel and it isn’t an opportunity to incorporate self-pity into casual conversation. Depression isn’t robotic. You can still express a genuine smile; you just may cherish it more.
2. Bi Polar. Bi Polar is not crazy. It’s not a mental slide, ascending from bliss to insanity in a matter of minutes. It isn’t an anticipated breakdown from a cartoon fire burning in your eyes or bellows of smoke rising from your head. Your conversations don’t play out like mad libs and your tainted thoughts don’t stray from common sense. Bi Polar isn’t the light switch of someone fiddling after a sudden outage. It doesn’t symbolize weakness and it doesn’t symbolize loss of control. Bi Polar is a mental spectrum; it’s a hypothetical thermometer, an unexplainable curse. The good days are good, the bad days are bad and the ‘normal’ days are few and far between.
3. Insomnia. Insomnia isn’t a late night movie marathon. It isn’t a missed curfew or a restless sleep, welcoming Monday morning. It’s a racing mind, a stream of thoughts, a distorted reality. It’s a desperation for sleeping pills, therapy, or a bedtime companion. Insomnia is a battle between your mind. A battle to close your eyes, rest your thoughts, and end the day with peace behind you.
4. Anorexia. Anorexia is not a missed meal, a number on the scale, a mentality you choose to obey. It isn’t a distorted mirror, it’s a distorted perspective, a lying society. Anorexia is never good, never pretty, never the best. It’s words that work against you, opinions that make you weak. It’s the thought of thin and fat, clinging to your mind, to the food in front of you, to the person you want to be.
5. OCD. OCD is the dissection of your life, the aroma of hand sanitizer, the relationship with perfection. It’s the fear of wrong. Wrong placement, wrong timing, wrong outcome. It’s a tidy chaos, a disguised flaw. It’s the compulsion that things could be cleaner, better, different. It’s said to be admirable. People compliment your matching decor, your spotless tabletops, your alphabetical DVD collection. Rarely do they look beyond it. Rarely do they see external cleanliness compensating for an internal disaster. True OCD is using physical items, the things you have most control over, as an anchor for when things in your mind and things in your life, go so awry.
Life hands you moments, disguised as a lesson. It shows you the dark to remind you there’s light. It knocks you down so you can learn how to stand. It opens your mind so you can survive the closed world and it makes you strong so you forget you were once weak. Life gives us no choice in the battles we face, but in the end, you decide if we want to live in it, or live through it.
1. Peter Pan taught us to let go of our pasts and the familiar we’ve lived to know. It taught us the gain in growing up and growing vulnerable. There’s beauty in the future as long as we keep the beauty of our past.
2. Lion King reminded us of the disappointment that comes from the battle against fate. You can’t change who you are, so be the best you can be. Be brave, be prepared, be strong enough to face the life you’ve been given.
3. Bambi told us that life is love, loss, and a world that keeps turning, even in our darkest times. We’re not exceptions; we’re together in life, standing on a thin piece of ice, but like Bambi’s wobbly legs can stand, so can you. Just as the seasons promise, a new spring will come.
4. Toy Story confessed, there’s a power in numbers we hate to accept. We’re stubborn and close-minded and proud to be alone. But, one day someone will enter your life and when they help you carry your baggage, you’ll never realize how heavy it was until they put it down. Find the strength you’ve always needed in someone else and you’ll never again feel weak.
5. Alice in Wonderland says, we are who we believe we are and we are what we think we’re capable of. Embrace your flaws, your madness, your confusion. Hold an opinion and hold your own for we live in a world aching to change us. Embrace who you are, not who you will one day be. Life is a single step. Get lost, fall down, be late. Stop running.
You have to live and the happily ever after will follow.