New Beginnings

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we are not really living.” – Gail Sheehy

Since graduating university the changes in my life have slowed and slowed until in the past year they’ve come to a grinding halt. I’ve become stuck in a rut, and kept treading over the same ground because it was comfortable.

I don’t feel so comfortable any more though, the stagnation in my life has reached a critical point where I feel like I must make changes, or simply lie down and die.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle

I need to trade in my bad habits for good, and embark on a project of self-improvement. This isn’t the first time I’ve decided this; over the past few years I’ve made a number of attempts at becoming a better person, but none of them have lasted more than a few days.

Why don’t I stick with it?

I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. – Augusten Burroughs

I think in the past I’ve set myself up for failure because I’ve tried to do too much all at once, and become discouraged when it’s actually turned out to be hard work, and nothing like the rose-tinted picture I’ve painted for myself in my mind.

I get depressed when I find that I’m putting in all this hard work, and yet don’t see any reward for it. I lose sight of why I began the work in the first place, and can only focus on how hard it all is when I’m not reaping any benefits from it.

I read too much, and fancy that I’d cope with the terrible trials and tribulations of my favourite characters far better than I can cope with the humdrum monotony of everyday life. It’s a ridiculous lie that I tell myself; that compared to those fantasy worlds, real life is so plain and boring that I don’t have to work at it. The monsters in Buffy always seem easier to slay than my own inner demons.

The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it. – ‘The Gift’, BtVS

What’s going to make this time any different?

This time I’m going to do it.

I’m going to keep the big picture in view at all times, so even when I get disheartened and don’t feel like I’m making any progress, I’ll remind myself why I started and why it’s worth continuing.

I’m going to admit that I’m human and fallible, and ask for help when I need it. I’m going to have the courage to be imperfect, and I’m going to embrace my vulnerability.

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The healthy and strong individual is the one who asks for help when he needs it. Whether he’s got an abscess on his knee or in his soul. – Rona Barrett

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