I loved seeing this on Pinterest today, because I've been living to the tune of Kelly Clarkson's What Doesn't Kill You (Makes You Stronger). Along with that song, I always listen to the lyrics of songs and analyze them. I'm pretty sure a lot of people do this too but it serves as a huge inspiration and motivator for me when I can relate to what someone is saying in a song.
I wanted to write today about many different times when I felt like I was kicked to the ground and just at rock bottom. I didn't think that my life could get any better. I am a bit melodramatic in real life though, so if you had known me back then - I would whine and cry about how crappy life was. Looking back on it, I gained so much knowledge and experience after these experiences, so hopefully this helps someone out there who is going through a tough time. Just know that we all have times in our life when we are down, feeling defeated, and sometimes you think your life is horrible because it doesn't go a certain way.
All of the emotions in the image are so true when you feel like you are faced with challenges. Cranky, pissed off, grumpy... but at the end of the day or at the end of the tunnel, you become a stronger person because you endured so much.
I specifically remember 3 different times when I felt like (and seriously thought) my world was going to end:
1. Getting rejected from UC Irvine. This was my #1 choice for undergrad back when I was in high school. A lot of my friends wound up going there and I probably just wanted to go to be near friends. I ended up going to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where I didn't know anyone. The rejection from UCI made me feel like a failure, but it also pushed me into learning how to be more social and how to network. In my opinion, going to Poly was for the best! For one, my dad went there, and two - I met my boyfriend there. I have lots of great memories from those years and it's a fabulous school. I wouldn't trade my experience there for the world.
2. Getting kicked out of college. Aka academically dismissed. I have talked about this before but at the time, it was the end of the world for me. When I told my dad about it, he started laughing at me. It was almost sad to think that he was enjoying it because he knew that I had never been faced with a challenge like this one before. He has a weird way of showing he cares, so I took his reaction with a grain of salt, and used it to push myself even harder.
3. Getting kicked out of my house. This period was really earth shattering for me. When you think of someone getting "kicked out" of their house, you think belongings being strewn across the driveway, and people yelling and screaming at each other. In my case, it was really different. My mom was tired of having me at the house and not working towards a goal. She didn't think that I was going to law school and she didn't think I was job searching. I spent 6 months helping my family out and also finding myself. I had no idea whether or not to be studying or job hunting. After 6 months, my mom gently told me that I had to move out. She couldn't have me at the house with my bachelor's degree, just helping her with the housework so she told me to either apply to law school or get a job. I decided I wasn't ready for law school so that's how I ended up at my job now in San Diego. If my mom hadn't done this, I wouldn't have started working, budgeting, finding the PF community, blogging, or strengthening my relationship with the BF.
Because of that move, I was able to become independent from my parents, as well as find myself and learn more about what I really wanted to do in life. A huge crucial part too was when my dad told me to just give up on my dreams and to just find a different career path.
He basically told me that he didn't believe me anymore and he was tired of being "led on" as to what I would be doing with my future. It sounds really harsh but my dad is a Captain in the navy and also owns and runs an electrical engineering consulting firm. He's huge on sarcasm, tough love, and reverse psychology. Without his remarks, I don't think I would have found the strength or ambition to follow my goals. I was getting comfortable and he knew what to say to really hurt me. I wouldn't recommend parenting this way, but he obviously knows me well, so what he said worked because I channeled all of those emotions into studying and doing what I wanted to do - not what he wanted me to do.
Figuring out what you want to take out of a bad experience is probably the hardest part of it all. Dealing with it by crying, screaming, yelling, or just drinking a whole bottle of wine is probably the easiest part. Once you allow yourself to think of all the positive outcomes that can come out of a bad situation, I think you will be free to figure out what you want to make out of that situation. It's all up to you.