Reflections

Ups and Downs

Even during this sabbatical, when I’ve generally felt happier, more energized and less anxious, I still have my ups and my downs. And this was a rough week.

I felt tired and low energy. I questioned my path and if I’ll ever find the career I’m passionate about. I worried about money and the baby and if I’m taking too long to go back to work. And on top of it, I had a falling out with one of my best friends.

I’ve had a hard time sleeping. I haven’t been able to eat much. I’ve cried until I was too exhausted to cry. And I’ve been utterly crippled by this sense of emptiness.

I naïvely thought, perhaps, that by the end of this week, I’d be blogging about that self-help book or method that helped snap me out of this funk. But every time I picked something up and started reading, the words quickly blurred and my focus was a million miles away.

Then I reminded myself that depression, anxiety, and heartache are not things that can be solved in a week. So I gave myself permission to grieve, to fret, to lie awake and overthink.

Today, I simply give you something that provided me a little comfort this week (which funny enough, I did come across in a self-help book):

If—
by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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