There are many things we’re not forewarned about before we become adults. Like how adulting as a whole is a SCAM (2/10, would not recommend). And how taxes take up a significant amount of our monthly deductions. And how expensive it is to take care of yourself once you start living on your own. And how you can be broke right after you’ve been paid. Adulting is hard, y’all!
Today, I’d like to submit to you one of the things we were not warned about: you have to confront your weaknesses. That generally starts with character flaws and tendencies that need to change. You know, the ones that take a whole lot of soul work and God’s grace (and sometimes therapy) to get rid of. But here’s the other part: confronting your weaknesses also includes those things you can’t change. The decisions you’ve made that you can’t undo. The decisions others made that affected you that you could not/cannot control. The mistakes you’ve made and the damage they’ve caused that can’t be erased. The things about your story that you cannot change, no matter how hard you want to. The things you struggle with that no one knows about, and you just can’t seem to get a hold of.
One of the things 2020 made us do is sit with ourselves long enough to see the hidden parts of ourselves and our lives. When we were forced to be indoors for days and weeks on end and all distractions were removed. After you’ve watched all the Netflix and you’ve read all the books in your library and you’ve played all the board games and done all the puzzles and tried out all the random hobbies you’ve always wanted to but never had the time. At some point, you sat down long enough to face the things you’ve been putting off. You sat down long enough to listen to your inner voice, and you felt the pain you’ve been pushing down for years. You acknowledged that there are hard conversations that you’ve been putting off and you can’t do it anymore. You saw the ugly parts of you that you’ve ignored. And it was hard! You saw things you couldn’t unsee. You acknowledged things you never had the courage to; either to yourself or out loud to trusted people. You had those uncomfortable conversations. You realised who is truly for you and who isn’t and you made the necessary decisions on who gets to stay and who leaves. You did the hard things, and you did them well. And if no one told you this, let me tell you: I’m proud of you.
And now we’re in a new year, and it feels like some things have changed and some things are still the same. Let me tell you one thing I’ve realised in my journey of confronting my own weaknesses… it’s never easy. And once you start, you can’t go back to hiding in the sand, and it never stops.
It. Just. Never. Stops.
But can I encourage you if you’re in this journey? It’s ok that it’s hard. It’s ok that you’re tired. It’s ok when you feel like you can’t do it anymore, and can someone just make the decisions for you because you just can’t adult right now? Yes, you’re getting better. And yes, it’s still hard. You can be grateful and tired at the same time. It’s not either/or, it’s both/and. You can be grateful about how far you’ve come, and be overwhelmed when you think about how far you still have to go. You don’t have to choose one, you can have both. That doesn’t make you a bad person or ungrateful; it just makes you human. Life isn’t made of only black and white spaces, there are many grey areas. So make room for both. Because confronting our weaknesses means we keep getting better, even as we make room for the things we can’t change or control.