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Nothing That’s Worthwhile Is Ever Easy

20 July 2011 24 Comments

People have noticed.

They notice that I seem to have lost my sparkle.

I notice it too.

I am sore and exhausted. I am emotional. I am closed off. Quiet. Jaded. Dark. Unusually snarky.

If I had a nickel for every person who has told me that diamonds are only created under the most intense and pressing limits of stress, then I would be able to buy a frickin’ diamond. Which I would promptly sell off for rent money.

One can only wander around carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders for so long before they collapse.

On Being Lost by ParisianFeline

When ParisianFeline posted the status above to her Twitter, I just about broke down sobbing (did I mention I have been overly emotional?)

Because truthfully, I just don’t know how to be strong enough lately. This will probably lead to my failure. Which is possibly my greatest fear in life, right after cracks in the sidewalk while wearing stilettos and poisonous snakes.

Which adds a whole new continent to the ever expanding globe that rests between my shoulder blades.

In the dark super stressful moments, I wonder if I don’t have what everyone else does. The drive, the work ethic, the talent, the ability. If my life is destined to forever be status quo, though the thought of that breaks my heart more than the reality of the feeling of helplessness I experience.

To be clear, I’m not preparing to jump off the bridge beside my house or anything like that.

But I do feel like I’m in a desperate free-fall, inevitably waiting for the ground to rise up and crush me.

I don’t think it is supposed to feel like this.

When I see a trailer for a new show with a character who is adorably endearing but horribly awkward, I shouldn’t hang my head in a place of shame. (In my defense, when 4 different friends send it to you saying that the girl reminds you of them, it does not aid in the process of trying to believe that you are not her.)

And I shouldn’t watch the movie Bridesmaids with a friend who has to ask multiple times if I would like to leave the theatre because everyone is laughing hysterically at a plot line that freakishly mimics my own, without the crazy wedding part thrown in but with the opening scene (minus straddling a driveway gate).

It isn’t like I want everything the world has to offer. 

I have actually been getting rid of useless excess like Jillian Michaels and chocolate cake.

I don’t know what else to let go of to let in the life I want.

Other than to totally give up the life I have. Which hurts.

It IS totally painful and it DOES feel like a part of you is dying. Because it is.

You are killing it off.

To change your life you have to CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Not really rocket science.

But it comes so much easier for so many people. Those of us that struggle? Those of us who contemplate the fact that we don’t even have the frivolous spending budget for a haircut, and later that morning we get our hair sucked into the back of a box fan?

Well, if you aren’t living an extraordinary life, then you aren’t living a life worth living. Hell, I’ve said that we all deserve to live the life of someone we would read about in our favorite story.

And that so few of us are willing to embrace that opportunity. To be the authors of our own lives.

Maybe I need to become the author of a series about a young woman who just has a series of unfortunate events that are not at all supernatural but instead hilariously laughable to everyone but her (OK, occasionally even she laughs at them)?

Because that is the life I live. It is who I am. Do I really want to lose that?

Is it really impossible to lead a happier life without having to vitally change who you are?

I’m just as guilty as the rest of them, I preach this shit on my site like it’s nothing more than a Sunday jaunt in the grassy park. (And for that, I’m sorry Tatiana)

But feeling sorry for myself and wading in the suffering does nothing in the end.

There are starving children in Africa, right? What right do I have to cry uncontrollably for ten minutes over a chunk of hair from my already layered cut? Seriously. I can’t even find where I had to cut the hair out from!

I know that the title of this post is the truth. That the life we want does not often come easily. I don’t want it to come easily.

I really wish it wasn’t so damned hard either.

I don’t want it all.

I just want my sparkle back.

24 Responses to “Nothing That’s Worthwhile Is Ever Easy”

  1. Sam K says:

    I love this. Not only because it is honest and brave, but because I totally understand. Last night, I lay in my bed fighting back tears, as I tried to figure out why I’m not happy. Life is wonderful right now and I’m incredibly blessed. Sure, some things could be better ahem*job*ahem, but I really can’t complain. The thing is, I too wonder if I don’t have the drive and passion that everyone else has. I guess I’m saying you’re not alone. Changing your life is freaking hard, but I’m pretty sure it’s worth the effort if happiness is the end result. We just have to be willing to put in the effort. Thanks for writing this!

    • Sam – I’m not sure about honest and brave, perhaps completely lost and a little bit desperate. 😉

      In all seriousness, though, you are right. When we really stop to think about it, we know that the helplessness and aimlessness and feelings of unknown sadness are a small concession to the reality that we are incredibly blessed. Changing your life IS freaking hard, but absolutely worth it. Now, to just figure out how to do it.

  2. linda says:

    Dear Elisa,
    Check your email. 🙂
    Virtual hug,

  3. Tatiana says:

    Aw! Thanks Elisa! <3 I really appreciate this.

    I waver back and forth between owning my life and feeling so powerless. And I always feel less than when I read about people who seem to be accomplishing all these really big things and I kinda don't have anything.

    " I wonder if I don’t have what everyone else does. The drive, the work ethic, the talent, the ability."

    I see other people who are super charged, ready to go and I'm… not like that at all. How do I get through life being me? How come I can't just have someone else's life!?! I'LL SWITCH PLACES I DON'T CARE! 😀

    So right now, I'd greatly appreciate someone swooping in and saving. Or giving me specific instructions. I wish I had come with an instruction manual because this "life" thing is hard and I don't like it. But I don't mind ease! I don't why we must struggle, why I must suffer to get to where I want to be.

    I have suffered and continue to suffer, but I don't think it has made me a stronger or better person for it. :/

    • Tatiana – Seriously, why aren’t we given a manual for life at age 16 or something?!

      A friend wrote at almost a simultaneous time a post about the beauty of living a life of ease (http://acircleofstones.blogspot.com/2011/07/add-water-and-mix.html)

      It reminds me a lot of Sam Davidson’s most recent books. That life becomes easier when you have a defined purpose. A goal. A mission. An idea of what the hell you want to attempt to do with your life. I know that this, above all else, is the biggest struggle I have. What do I want?

      I’ve tried the switching places, or more importantly morphing into the person that I “need” to be, and it just puts me back here. Basically, the soul searching I will be engaging in over the next few months is gonna be pretty intense. I am excited for and ok with that. I don’t think we know how strong we are, sometimes ever. The fact that we get out of bed each morning, ready to face another day of jabs and uppercuts and pummeling, and turn in anticipating more of the same but hoping for better, that is strength.

      Like I told you, I’m gonna take cliff notes along the way, and we can share. Sound good? 😉

  4. Financial Samurai says:

    Thanks for sharing this heart-felt post! I feel where you are coming from. Little that is amazingly good comes easy. You can do it.

    One thing that has helped is to actually go to Africa and see the suffering. I went to India and came back a changed man in “a Weight Loss Tip To Die For”.

    You can do it! Keep fighting for what’s great!


    Yakezie Network

    • Sam – Thanks for the reminder. Fighting for what is great and what matters, though exhausting and difficult and sometimes downright sufferingly painful, is always worth it in the end.

      Now I’ll have to go check out that story. Beyond your experiences in India, I’m curious what this “tip” might be. 🙂

  5. Ashlee says:

    Wow. That is honest and real. I love it. It reminds us that we are all human. And we all must remember that change is constant and the only thing certain in life. With that being said, we’re all in temporary spaces in our life. Accepting the reality of what it is can be extremely freeing and allow you the ability to be yourself. Walk tall and be proud.

    There was a small moment in time where I really thought the world would be better off w/out me in it. I was (and still am, but have acquired skills to help me manage and move forward) in extreme debt, divorced and living in a tiny room at my parents with my toddler. I wanted to die. I hated my life, but then it was as though a light bulb went off one day that I will NOT be this poor or this miserable forever, so I can and why should I enjoy it?! At first it was a struggle, but I learned to soak up my mishaps and embrace the life I had for that day and started to change only the things in my life that I could honestly change. If I can (and don’t be fooled, I’ll get to those places again, but I know I won’t stay too long and know how to get out) do it, I know anyone can do it! That’s why we have girlfriends – in person, cyber space and beyond — we have to support one another.

    Cheers and best of luck to you!!
    XX – Ashlee

    • Ashlee – Yes, so very right. We ARE all human. And need reminding of that every now and again.

      They say acceptance is the first step, right? It does feel so much better to say it all “out loud” and not keep up the pretense that everything is ok. Pretenses are hard work!

      I’m so sorry that you had to go through that, and feel that way, if even for a moment. Scary and harsh stuff. But I am glad that you are coming “around the bend” and doing better. Sounds like is a continuing work in progress for the good, and that is always great news to hear.

      Best of luck back ‘atcha my dear!

  6. Maggie says:

    Sorry to hear that you’re giving yourself a hard time……..that IS what you’re doing. Rather than thinking of this time as a down regard it instead as the swing of the pendulum. You know how it works, right. Don’t fight it, find something simple and creative that will make you feel better (see Michael Nobbs) until you get steam up again. It will happen sooner than you think. Even if you do things that feel therapeutic or make feel like you’re marking time it’s ok you know as long as you work with something you’re passionate about. Small achievements are very important (see Michael Nobbs) And stop comparing yourself to people who are flying because they also get stopped in their tracks at times. It’s all in the way you deal with stuff, ALWAYS. Your life is extraordinary because of the considerations you have introduced into it and how you are contemplating following them up. One day far from now when you tell yours or/other people’s grandchildren this story they will marvel at your daring and your adventurousness…………AS WE DO NOW because you even wrote this post. Onya darlin’!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Maggie – Yes, in the most basic of theories what you are saying is right. At the end of every mountain there is a valley, and the rivers flow down into them. Sometimes we splash in the stream at the bottom and sometimes we frolic at the top.

      As the Tweet stated at the beginning of the post, I wanted to write something reminding everyone that (as Ashlee said) we ARE all human. Not everything we put out needs to be how awesome we are and how wonderful the world is.

      Because unless someone has magically discovered the placement of Shangri-la and filled it with unicorns who fart gumdrops, there are still shitty days that we all have. Denying that those exist doesn’t make them go away.


      You are right. Dwelling in it for any long time or living in a place of darkness where you aren’t doing anything to fix things and pull yourself out of the funk…that is simply a useless waste of time and space. And you kind of deserve to wallow in your own sadness until you get over it. And yourself.

      Which I’m pretty sure is what you are saying. 🙂

  7. Sarah says:

    I’ve so been there before, and you’re right, it really sucks. Even though I’m in a much better place now than I as before. I still find myself falling into funks every now and then where it feels like I’ve lost my inspiration, my spunk. I was going to put in a couple of links to my blog when I’ve written about similar experiences and how I pulled myself back up, but I didn’t want to spam. So, feel free to visit my site and look for the posts “Do Something” and “Financial Independence, I’m there.” Hopefully they will motivate a tiny spark in you again that you grow.

    • Sarah – Yes, we all fall into funks every now and again, which is totally what this was. I’m pulling out of the funk, getting back my spunk, soon it will be a slam dunk (oooooh…haven’t written rhymes that bad since I was an angsty teenage girl!) I’ll go check out the site – and feel free to link drop anytime on here.

      Sharing is caring 😉

  8. For what it’s worth, I find you incredibly honest and inspiring and refreshing. Even if you don’t feel like you are. I loved this post so much and can relate to every last detail. It’s going in my link round-up later this week.

    • Aww, thanks Clare! I like to inspire and refresh, think of me like a bar of Irish Spring. The groove and sparkle are coming back, just a bit of a journey to get there!

  9. […] few days ago Elisa (Ophelia’s Webb) wrote a great post called Nothing That’s Worthwhile is Ever Easy. Her post is heartfelt, genuine, but most certainly would not fall into the Sunshine and Roses […]

  10. Erin says:

    I felt so anxious throughout Bridesmaids. I could barely laugh… I felt too bad for Annie.

    • Haha, I have the same problem watching movies sometimes. I just hate watching the main character acting stupid, it is uncomfortable and awkward. This was certainly one of those movies!

  11. […] READ: “Nothing That’s Worthwhile is Ever Easy” […]

  12. I feel your pain gf. Fast-forward 9 months and, dare I say it, it seems you’re getting your sparkle back?! There’s no way someone with your wit won’t make it. I believe in you 🙂 

  13. Jessie Guyon says:

    Wow I can’t believe I just noticed this article. This was me 9 months ago, and to a point, still is me. It’s hard to get your sparkle back! But not impossible 😉 I believe you’ve gotten yours back and I am well on my way to getting mine too 🙂 I miss you, and I hope you’re doing well!

    • No worries on missing it – life happens outside this site. Or so I’m told.  😉

      Glad you are getting your sparkle back as well. It is hard, but as you note, definitely not impossible. Hope all is well with you as well!

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