After college I was forced to do some soul searching to figure out not only what made me tick, but also to find what I needed in my life to be happy. They were dark days. Eventually, I discovered that my path to leading a content and peaceful life was far simpler than I ever could have imagined.
It came down to two things. Family and the mountains. As long as I had family close to me I knew I was going to be okay. They had always been my biggest supporters. They had always continued to stand by me even when I had actively been trying to push them away. It made sense that I wasn’t happy during that time because they were such a key part of what I needed. The other thing I realized was that the mountains represented my recharging station and I needed at least a week camping or backpacking every summer to remain sane. Again, I had stopped venturing into the wild for awhile, intentionally trying to avoid that part of my life and basically sabotaging any chance I had of being happy. Two easy fixes – hang with my family and go camping – and I was suddenly back to my easy going, happy, bring on all challenges because I can take them, self.
Before coming to terms with my unhappiness and figuring out how easy it was to move away from that, how easy it was to return to who I was supposed to be, those around me could clearly see how much I was struggling. They could see how miserable I was even when I could not. My family and true friends did their best to help me along, to help me see that I was missing something, but sometimes we can be too close to these situations, feelings, emotions, to see them clearly. Even though they affect us deeply, we are blind to the full scope of our experiences.
It’s funny to say that though, because while I may not have been aware how depressed I was, I did know that something wasn’t right. I knew that because I was fighting against dark thoughts that hadn’t plagued me since the worst of my bullying in high school years before. My closest friends and my family, whom I was still mostly pushing away at that time, never knew how dark my thoughts had grown. I shared them with no one, safely tucked away within the confines of my mind.
Perhaps it was realizing that I was keeping those thoughts a secret that led me on my path to discovery? Perhaps it was just taking the time I needed to heal? Perhaps it was just getting to the point where I felt I had nothing to lose and so was open to anything and everything? How I finally came to my point of self discovery, came up with my short two item list (family and the mountains), is unknown. I don’t need to know the how and why of it, though. What’s important is that I was able to step out of the darkness and be happy again.
Queen Creative have thrown out a real challenge for their final episode in this season’s Prompts for the Promptless:Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
The Johari Window is a method of representing information (regarding feelings, experiences, motivations, intentions, attitudes, etc) – from 4 specific perspectives. It is a technique to help you understand how you are perceived by others, and how you see yourself. The perspectives are as follows:
Open area: The things that you about yourself, that others also know about you.
Blind area: The things you don’t know about yourself, but others know.
Hidden area: The things you know about yourself that others do not know.
Unknown self: The things no one knows about you.
The four perspectives are not always equal. Someone who regularly self-examines may have little to no content in window 4– “unknown”. Someone who is secretive by nature may have a large window 3 – “hidden”. Creators of the Johari Window use 56 adjectives to guide the completion of these four perspectives. Those can be found here, along with more information about how the window works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johari_window
- Share one, or all, of your areas with us
- Show us a picture that represent perception
- Compare a self-perspective to an outside-world-perspective
- Describe yourself from the perspective of a stranger
- … or make up your own related prompt!