How to Approach the Struggles of a New Cycle or Chapter of Life

Author: Valery B.

DSC_0650As humans, we live our lives in a compilation of cycles, a parcel of beginnings and endings that close and open chapters. Everyone bases their compilation of cycles on different things: some like to view them in terms of age, such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood and so forth, while others associate them with the ins-and-outs of job opportunities and activity-based endeavors. I, personally, like to view my compilation along the lines of the latter, specifically in terms of school. Elementary school was one of my first cycles, middle school followed, high school came next, and now I am in college, embarking on a cycle unlike any of the others before.

Before coming to college, I vowed to myself to make this cycle far greater than the others by prioritizing myself, learning to find balance and simply being open and honest with people, alleviating fear of reaching out when I need help; however, although I made these vows, the chaotic and busy nature of a new life threw me off-corse. I took far more classes than I initially anticipated, let myself fall in a, for lack of better terminology, trap of a major I do not love, and found the little, mentally-ill voices of eating disorders, depression and anxiety creeping back into my head.

College started just a couple of weeks ago, and already I feel as if I have failed to do exactly what I set out to do in this new cycle. I am watching myself fall back into isolation, self-doubt and rituals of mental illnesses that I have tenaciously been fighting for years.

Although I can indeed poison my mind with thoughts of failure and incompetence, I will not be helping myself by doing so. Many people who begin a new cycle of their life, especially if that cycle is accompanied by drastic and often unexpected changes, experience all the same feelings and thoughts as I am today. Stressing, moping and criticizing myself for not necessarily doing the “right thing” is pigeonholing me into a mentality of failure. And, although failure has already shown its face, it is not something I, or anyone else in my position, ought to think twice about.

Failure is exactly what makes people grow into the unique, distinct and beautiful human beings that they eventually become. More importantly, failure shapes experiences which in turn shape dreams. 

For anyone who is going through or has gone through a radical change in his or her life, remember that the beginning of a new cycle is always the hardest hurdle to jump. There will be anxiety and stress and struggle and failure, but that does not mean that that is the way it is going to be perpetually. In fact, I guarantee that that is not the way it is going to be perpetually.

Approach your new cycle as a day-to-day endeavor. Celebrate every accomplishment, regardless if it is as small as smiling at your neighbor across the hall or as big as passing an exam. Be kind to and gentle with yourself, knowing that in the moment, you are truly doing the best that you can. Give yourself credit for just being.

Even if hardship comes before success, always remember that your being is enough to accomplish any goal or dream and overcome any struggle or obstacle in a new cycle of your life. 

-Valery B.






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