Self Portrait in Three Colours

Finding the Positives

Posted on: November 26, 2009

It is so easy to be over-consumed with grief. It is easy to hide away and think about nothing but the troubles that life so frequently presents. And it is certainly easy to feel sorry for yourself.

What’s not easy is to get on with life after the worst happens. To find positives in the events that have changed everything. To understand that life is short, unpredictable, unfair and to make the most of it anyway. I struggle with this sometimes.

This year has changed everything for me. No, it was not my uncle, my cousin, my property or my dogs that were lost in the Black Saturday fires. It was not my father who suffered depression, committed suicide. But I loved them like they were my own. Save for a wedding ring on my finger, they were family to me and I miss them every single day, so much that my heart aches. And while I like to think I have a pretty firm grip on life considering the circumstances, sometimes I’d like just to curl up in a ball and cry for days.

Crying is something I’ve found surprisingly difficult actually. Aaron, too. We just don’t do it. Well, we do, but not nearly as much as I would have expected. In fact, most days we seem to really just get on with life, and for the most part I think we’re as happy as we can be at this time. It’s when it’s night and we’re lying in bed and it’s silent and my mind starts to tick over, that’s when it’s the hardest; and really all I’m left with is a gut-wrenching sickness that is completely consuming. An iPod loaded up with podcasts is basically my sleeping pill these days, because it preoccupies my mind so much that it lets me rest.

I do struggle some days to keep the feelings of grief at bay but I know that there are positives in my life. Aaron, for one. I know it can be argued that if he wasn’t around then I wouldn’t be going through any of this, but I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. I could write a novel about our relationship, but quite simply he is my everything and I would not function without him in my life. My teaching is another string of happiness for me to cling to. I have lost a lot of the motivation I had for it earlier this year, but being around those kids and watching them grow into mature musicians through the knowledge I can share with them is absolutely spirit-lifting. Simple things like seeing an 11-year old play through all 12 major scales, or hearing the concert band play music that students 4 years older than them would struggle with, or noticing that half my students have been copying the way I write, that gives me the inspiration to keep on going. I feel very lucky to be teaching such great kids.

So yes, things are tough, and I have my down times – now more than ever, actually – but I also have more faith in myself than I thought I did. I can look towards the future and I can realize that there are thousands of people, millions, who are in a much worse position than I am. I have a wonderful, supportive boyfriend, a great family, a terrific job, and there’s a property out in Strathewen that, despite having been ravaged by fire less than a year ago, is looking more beautiful than ever. It’s things like these that keep me going.


1 Response to "Finding the Positives"

[…] stuck out to me, as an example of how much my life has changed recently. At the end of 2009 I was trying so hard to just to make it through every day after the events of that year. Beginning of 2010 I was feeling so cramped in my parents’ […]

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I'm Monica - a 21 year old Aussie girl trying to understand life. Teaching music and studying to be a primary school teacher. Blogging about everything and nothing!


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