Clean Slate… Right?

Once you make a conscious decision to change, you often get a powerful gust of wind in your sails. The excitement of what is to come bubbles inside you, and you are more motivated than you have been in months, maybe even years. It’s a new dawn, you are starting over. But as those winds of change settle down to a gentle breeze, it’s easy to feel like you are losing yourself – the person people see you as, maybe even the person you see yourself as.

Photo by Sensei Minimal
Photo by Sensei Minimal

Change is never easy – if it was, the human race wouldn’t struggle so much with the concept. We often see our life choices as the things that define us, that make us who we are. Making changes to these things can often be short lived as after the honeymoon period we lose momentum and motivation.

This is where I have found myself the past couple of days. I know I want to make the changes and I know its the right thing to do, but as I sit in front of this blank page I am feeling a little lost. A world full of colour and excitement feels pretty grey and drab today. In this moment, it feels far easier to go back than to sit and stare in to the abyss.

So it got me thinking, when we strip back large parts of our lives and make changes, what are we left with?

The answer for me, is essence.

…the essence of anything is the thing that stays true about them in any situation. And the essence of a penguin is similar to the essence of me… penguins need each other. They look out for the good of the colony. And once a penguin decides to do something there’s no changing her mind. Because the essence of a penguin comes down to this: penguins live in abnormally harsh conditions and they never leave. They’re one of the few species that stays, struggles and perseveres.

Sam Gardner, Atypical

Essence is another slightly clichéd term, like purpose. But then, its clichéd because we don’t understand it, or embrace it. It’s easier to laugh at than it is to consider and appreciate it.

So here goes… My Name is Sam, and I am a penguin.

Ok, so I don’t identify as a penguin. I haven’t lost the plot just yet… but in all seriousness I do feel an affinity with the above quote from my namesake, Sam in the Netflix show Atypical (which, if you haven’t already, is well worth a watch). I need to be around other people, I look out for the good of my people, and once I decide to do something – like this – there is no changing my mind.

Yes, I am starting to struggle, so it’s time to dig in and persevere.

It’s ok to struggle.

Just as life in general, the process of change can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride at times. The highs are great and things seem easy, and the lows are shit and things seem altogether pointless.

So you’re not feeling it today? That’s ok.

You feel like giving up might be easier? That’s ok too.

Take a day off. Watch your favourite TV programme, or put on your favourite film. Order some food & eat your favourite meal. Play on your favourite game. Write an entry in your journal – or start one. Talk to someone if you need to – and if you don’t have anyone to talk to, talk to me!

Having off days is perfectly normal. Don’t lose hope. You got this!