In need of a navigator

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Gentle Readers,</p>

Many ill-feeling things can come with a change in the wind. When we enter a new chapter of our lives, like post-grad, changes happen that we weren’t ready for. For myself, the sense of loss that I felt after graduation was one of the most difficult things that I encountered. It still is. When I graduated, I lost my greatest support system: “my space.” In my space were my friends, Waterloo, and my school.

For my friends, I didn’t “lose” them in the traditional sense. I can still communicate with them through text and social media. But they aren’t there for me in quite the same capacity. It’s one thing to be in the same room with them, it’s completely another to be talking with them through a piece of technology. I can’t embrace them, play card games, or go to the mall with them. I can’t sit down and have drinks. The knowledge that I’m separated from them by geography saddens me.

I also miss Waterloo, which is something that I hadn’t expected. There’s something about knowing a place that alters you. You feel safer, more at peace. You know where the fun places are, where to go for an inexpensive meal, what buses to take, etc. And although I’m familiar with the place I live, it doesn’t feel the same. It feels muted somehow, like it doesn’t have the same warmth as the place I’ve claimed as my own.

I’ve already talked about why I miss school, but one of the most significant things I miss about school, besides its structure, is the diversity of subjects it offered me. Every day was different. Every day felt like a new adventure. It was challenging. Normal day-to-day work isn’t like that for me. I do the same tasks over and over again.

I didn’t realize though until I felt its impact how strong the loss of my space would be. My parents told me that I was in a “transition.” There’s something about that term that irks me. It feels cold and robotic. It can’t encapsulate my experience. I’m not just going through a transition. I’m working through an emotional upheaval.

I don’t assume that your emotional reaction will be as strong as mine, but I’m pretty sure that you will feel some level of loss. In my case, my feeling of loss was so powerful that I realized I couldn’t go through it alone. I needed professional help. I needed someone who had both experience with this change and how to help people like me through it. So I hired a therapist. I can’t stress enough to you how much getting a therapist helped me. There’s something about paying someone to tell them anything you want while knowing that he or she is bound to secrecy that’s strangely comforting.

Anything is up for discussion, and I mean anything. My therapist has challenged me to really examine myself in a way that no one ever has. Best of all, she encourages me and praises me. Through her, I came to understand that what I was going through was completely normal, that as my life changes around me, I had to adapt with it. Instead of seeing my life as a turbulent storm, I now see it as an expanse of challenges that I have the ability to overcome.

 As my perspective changes, I feel more and more like I did back when I played Skyrim. I now see myself as the hero of my life story. I always have been, but I hadn’t seen myself that way. I’d simply seen obstacles as things that pushed me haplessly away from the things that I wanted to accomplish. I didn’t see that I could improve myself by facing them head-on.

But now I do. So if you see any obstacles in your way, Gentle Readers, don’t think that you can’t move beyond them because you can. They are just more dragons that need to be defeated. Figure out how and then do it. You’ll be much better after you do. Next time I’ll tell you how I conquered one of my obstacles.

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