Dancing in the Rain
June 2018 // By Natalie Jean
Holy cow! I can't believe today is my 25th Birthday! Seriously, its so weird to think of myself as a 25 year old married woman with her own apartment and small business. I don't know why, maybe its because I tend to be overly emotional at times, or maybe its because I fall so easily into nostalgia but I still feel like a kid most days.
Lately I've been really excited about life. I've been working on some projects, falling more and more in love with my husband, trying to figure out being an adult (don't get me started about student loans and bills though... hating those at the moment), creating and growing in new friendships, and just plain excited about life. I used to let disappointment and anger and jealousy and low self esteem dictate my mood for the day. It totally sucked. In the last couple of years however, I've been trying to focus on joy. My word for the year last year was "joy" and this year its "commitment." Both of those have slowly shaped my view on life. Its funny because you might think "Oh well they're only words and little ideas," but isn't it so true how one word over and over again can shape your beliefs about life?
Don't get me wrong, I still struggle with anxiety and seasonal depression, but choosing to look at the good in life and allow it to happen is so freeing.
For example, I got these giant balloons to take photos with. I thought about not doing it because "every blogger does it" or people might think it was lame. Then I told myself WHO CARES and I got them and haven't stopped smiling since because they're so fun. Mark and I were literally getting ready to go out and take the photos when it started pouring. I was bummed for about 5 minutes and then decided I didn't care. I was getting these photos!
So, we went outside and danced in the rain and snapped some photos. Then the thought dawned on me of how lucky we truly are. I've shared this before, so I don't mind sharing it again, but in 2011 I tried to end it all because I was in such a dark place and felt totally alone. Instead of seeking comfort and solace in Jesus and in family I isolated myself and let myself fall further and further. It was the worst. I'm so unbelievably thankful that I was unsuccessful in it and that people surrounded me with love and patience as I worked through it all.
Slowly I began to heal and grow as a person, a strong person. I feel like I can finally say that I'm excited about life. I've changed my perspective over the years and tried my best to start focusing on joy. Mark has been such a strong and supportive part of my life, my best friend. So many other friends and family have been here for me too in all kinds of different ways. That's not to say that they all understand how I feel or they say exactly the right thing, but they care and that means a lot to me.
I just felt like today, my birthday - a day to celebrate life, was the best time to share two things. One- if your family member or friend is going through something or struggling with mental health issues or anything like that be there for them. You might not know what to say and that's ok. Just be there! Have a meal with them. Spend time talking with them, listening, watching a movie, whatever! Let them know that they can count on you, talk to you, and lean on you.
The second thing I wanted to share with readers is this- if you're feeling down, if you're dealing with depression or anxiety, if you're feeling lonely, etc. REACH OUT to someone. Don't allow yourself to be boxed in or isolated, even if you think that will help. Let yourself cry or scream into your pillow. Journal out every thought and feeling. Give yourself time to feel. But don't stay there...Take care of yourself, of your heart and spirit! Allow yourself to dance in the rain.