I have hit rock bottom. Again.
But this time it is different…
I have two distinct rock bottoms previously in my life. Both were the obvious conclusion of my own bad decision making. That is not the case this time.
A few weeks ago, Facebook popped up a “memory” from exactly one year previous to that day. It was a short video I took, just after watching the sunset in Florida, taking a walk on the beach in Daytona Beach Shores. Life was going as planned. The present and future looked bright.
I was happy.
Things started to change a few weeks after that. A few bad breaks here or that seemed to curse the end of my 2019. Little did I know what 2020 would bring.
I started the new year with things starting to look up a bit, or in the least, the downward trend seemed to stop. But it was short lived. My year kept getting worse. Life was not going as planned. Every area of my life, with the exception of my spiritual life, was going bad. It kept getting worse, day after day, week after week. And now, I find myself at, or maybe near, a rock bottom. But, its different than previous.
I am unhappy.
I can’t think back to one big decision I have made over the past year that I regret. I did the right things for the right reasons. But, life has not worked out in my favor. At times, it has been comical; what could go wrong, has. In an odd way, there is a peace that comes with knowing I did the right things. At the same time, the frustration that very little, if anything, has gone my way is certainly there.
In my previous rock bottoms, they were dwellings of my own making. Objectively, they were worse than what I face now. Though, in my younger days, I always felt that there were endless possibilities out there for me, endless bits of optimism to grab. I don’t feel that now. There is still possibilities out there, and there is always reasons to be optimistic, but as I am at a point where more than half my life is now behind me, there are many dreams for my life that I’ve had to leave behind, and many others that once were dreams but arent any longer. I don’t have any big dreams for myself anymore. I can fit my “vision board” on an index card. Though, I do have more I would like to do. More people I’d like to help. And selfishly, I’d like to experience some joy along the way. I’ve got more to accomplish.
I am tired.
Several people who have spoken to me or seen me in the last few months, without me mentioning anything or without me thinking I am showing any sign of struggle, have asked me if I am okay. Apparently the tiredness, the defeat, is in my voice and all sparkle is gone from my eyes. I recognize it in myself. I am tired. I am worn down. I am on the canvas. I am near complete defeat.
Do I have anything left?
I was watching the most recent Rocky film. The one in which he comes back at something like age 60, for one more fight. He said he had fight left in him, deep within the basement of himself. In the fight, he had ups and downs, but by the end he was taking a beating. Round after round, he was being punished. In the last round, he gets hit for nearly a minute straight and goes down to one knee. He finds the strength to get up, one more time. He throws everything he has left at his opponent and finishes strong. It resonated with me for two reasons.
One, the look in his eye. Eye of the tiger?
It is not the eye of the tiger. Those days were gone for him. It was something different. It was a guy whose life did not go as planned. A guy whose fight wasn’t to going well. He was tired, and beaten up. It was not that look of his younger days where you knew he was going to get back up and knock the other guy out. It was the look of a guy who was going to get up, give it his best, take whatever is coming, and try to keep standing and moving forward.
Second, he did not worry about winning or losing. He just kept fighting.
This Rocky movie does not have a glorious ending. He loses. He does not win a title. He does not get a bunch of money. His wife had died years before. He only has a few people in his life. He is no longer really even fighting for anything. He is just a guy who keeps fighting. He gets up, and he keeps throwing punches. Forget dreams of a championship or a million dollar prize, he’s just getting up, fighting, and moving forward as best he can.
That look in his eyes, I see it in myself now. I also see and feel the guy whose taken a beating from a heavyweight champ! I am tired. I am not winning the fight. But I can get up again. I’ve got another round in me. I can keep throwing punches and keep moving forward.
I am at peace.
This is not meant to be a blog post of me complaining. It is not a blog post of me passive aggressively asking for help. Its me being real, and writing with this feeling that several of you may be in a similar place. I don’t think we have to send each other motivational quotes, and tell each other to keep dreaming and that anything is possible. I think we just need to keep getting back up, throw whatever punches we have left in us, and keep moving forward.
One step in front of the other. Repeat. Repeat. It’s kind of my thing.
I have more to give.