When to pull yourself together

I’m exhausted today. Two long shifts at work with a rather late finish at nearly 1 am yesterday (or today, if you prefer). Not enough sleep, obviously. With the days getting longer again and the sun out all day, any attempt to even try and sleep some more is doomed to fail. Also, tomorrow I have an early shift, so there was no point in trying to sleep in today.

My brain feels muddled and hay fever has struck me down as well. It’s a beautiful spring day outside and I can barely get up from the sofa.

What a lovely day off…

Oddly, I still managed to get some stuff done. Such as laundry, making lunch for the next three days, dusting, and even ordering new glasses, which I’ve been putting off for weeks.

I keep thinking that I need to get up and go check on my motorbike because I really wanted to take it to work tomorrow. I really really do. It’s been such a long time since I rode my bike and I miss it. The weather is perfect right now. But I can’t move.

It seems a miracle that I managed to do as much as I did. This includes writing anything at all.

There is still time. I can still jump on my bicycle and visit the parking garage to check on my bike. I can still enjoy some sunshine and the warmth they bring. I can still buy some grapefruits.

That’s what I keep telling myself, even though I just want to take a nap.

The question is, do I need to pull myself together and go out to do what I feel I should (perhaps even must)? Or do I allow myself the rest my body clearly needs?

Will I regret not checking on my bike and therefore definitely not taking it to work tomorrow, instead of cycling as usual, which also provides a lot of enjoyment in weather like this?

Will I regret not getting up to get myself fresh grapefruit?

I could do one and not the other. If I decided to check on the bike, I have no excuse not to also go to the grocery store as it would be on the way home anyway. But since the garage is further away than the grocery store, I might still go to the latter and only have half the regrets when skipping on one but not both errands.

We all have arguments with ourselves very much like this all the time. We are tired or even exhausted and still have a bunch of things we want to do or could do or even need to do. We feel bad for being tired. We feel that we need to pull ourselves together and simply do what we must, and things will perhaps sort themselves out. We can always sleep later.

Or we want to avoid feeling guilty over the things we leave in favor of resting. We want to avoid regrets down the line.

Often it is really just about small things, a bunch of errands or chores. But bigger things can be involved as well, commitments, decisions, or people. I’m not going to get into the big questions of life, mind you. Not right now anyway.

The fact of the matter is my body tells me no. It needs rest. It doesn’t want to jump on a bicycle and ride anywhere. And I will survive not riding my motorbike to work tomorrow. I will also be able to do without a grapefruit tonight.

And perhaps, in an hour, I feel up for it after all.

We generally know when we are still capable of pulling ourselves together for one reason or another. We have enough energy left to do just that. But there are times, when it shouldn’t be necessary, and it shouldn’t leave us with feelings of guilt or regret either.

We shouldn’t ignore when we need a break or proper rest.

We’re always told to have healthy boundaries with the people in our lives. We must also have boundaries with ourselves, which includes recognizing our needs instead of pushing them away.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

“Plans are totally pointless. But planning is indispensable.”

I’ve heard this somewhere not long ago and it rang true. Whatever plans you make, life is almost certainly going to get in the way. And when our plans don’t work out the way we envisioned it, we feel disappointed, sometimes even angry and question why we bothered in the first place.

But planning is still an important part of the process. You can’t go in blind whatever your endeavor. As is often the case, it is more about the journey than the destination.

So, where am I going with this?

Well, I set out on the quest to change my ways, to get out of this rut and use my time more wisely, get off social media more, write more, and gain more financial stability.

That’s a lot to deal with, but ultimately, these things actually all tie in together. I may not be setting out to build a complete city, but I am building something that is supposed to have a solid foundation and many different layers.

That needs planning. It needs a strategy, a sensible approach. I can’t go in blind. That would just mean I’d be traipsing around clueless, putting down a brick here, and maybe adding a door where I don’t need it or a window that has no frame.

Does this make sense?

With everything I want to achieve, things can feel overwhelming. By planning my journey out to some degree, things feel more manageable.

For instance, I would like to write a blog once a day. I have set time aside for that, which is part of the daily planning. But my daily schedule is not set in stone. It is an ideal version of a fairly productive day, but I can’t plan for everything, and things sometimes just crop up that need to be dealt with regardless of what my plan might have been.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, I won’t achieve my goals in a day either. There will be setbacks. I will have days when I won’t write another blog, simply because I might be tired, have no ideas, don’t feel like it, or whatever.

Right now, the idea is to build a habit of writing a blog every day. If it turns out to be unsustainable, I can always cut back to writing one every other day.

Considering the different goals that I have, I also don’t expect to get going on everything at once. I have to start somewhere, and this is what I choose to start with. I can take action on this one item and continue planning for everything else I want to achieve, taking action whenever the opportunity arises.

And making room for failure as well. Setbacks are unavoidable, perhaps even necessary. They are part of the process. They are opportunities to learn. And they can’t stop me from continuing.

I feel as if I’ve been rambling somewhat, but when you just sort through your thoughts and ideas this is what happens. I’m still in the stage of figuring things out. I’m only taking the first steps. But they are important, so here we are.

Out of excuses

It is quite obvious just how much I have been neglecting this blog. And I find myself out of excuses as to why I have not been writing. Putting procrastination aside (which is clearly the main reason), my job has also taken up much of my time and afterward, simply resting from work.

And since I have my freelance work, I can still claim that I write every day. Or most days anyway.

But it is not the writing I want to do. In fact, it is quite tedious at times as I am not engaged in the topics I write about.

The discovery that I feel most inspired to write when I am traveling is somewhat helpful. But it would kind of mean that I should take trains more often to places I’ve not been before. As lovely as that sounds, it is currently not feasible. I have a commitment to my job, which I actually enjoy doing as well.

But I do know that once I’m done with it, I will move on – quite literally.

If I have no reason to stay, it will be time again to leave.

Until then, I can’t wait for the next trip to happen and to feel in the mood for writing. It’s not as if I feel that I have nothing to say when I’m sitting at home. Quite the contrary. I always have something to say.

I watched this video on YouTube yesterday, where this guy talked about his Dopamine detox experience for the past year. He didn’t just do it for a day or a week. He went for an entire year on this journey, and it was very interesting. He was incredibly blunt, and I am not exactly his target audience (young guys are), but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get something out of it.

I know I’ve fallen into the same trap as so many others when it comes to instant gratification. Scrolling through Instagram to read yet another uplifting post, cliché, or watching the umpteenth video of a cute parrot or parakeet.

Or deep-diving into YouTube, watching videos about minimalism, financial stability, traveling, backpack reviews, and whatnot.

But all I do is watch. Or read. I kill time. I’m not doing anything. And I tell myself I deserve a break.

Sometimes that is even true. But who needs to spend hours on social media? Sure, I take some valuable lessons away and some things do stick. But beyond that, I am not moving at all. In any direction. Or with purpose.

Another video I watched talked about how fatal inaction can be. Letting everything happen to you and not taking action. Whether that is writing a journal, going for a walk, doing that work-out, paying off that debt, approaching someone new, or even just saying no to more work on your plate.

There are so many ways in which we can and should take action but never do. We feel powerless and let things happen. We let our lives happen to us instead of taking charge of it. How is that acceptable?

Sure, there is a time and place for social media. It can serve a purpose. But surely not for hours at a time.

And feeling like a slouch on your sofa and complaining about that flabby belly is not going to improve by eating more junk food and putting off yet another walk or work-out.

I’m officially out of excuses.

Let’s get going.

The travelling writer

I’m currently on a train to The Hague, though I am on my way to Rotterdam, which means I will change before the train arrives at its destination. This is not important, of course.

What is important is that I have not taken the time to write for this site in too long. I’m not short of things to write about. I am short of the drive to do so. There is always a reason to put it off. Work is chief amongst them.

But it is not an excuse I want to allow any longer. Whether it is my secondary job (which is actually my main job in terms of time invested) or whether it is my freelance writing. Neither should keep me from doing the writing I really want to do. This has never changed. But I let that work and the general lethargy that has held me in its grip stop me from pursuing my writing.

My mom said to me last year that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I always have been able to do just that. And it never cost me undue effort either, which is strange. That doesn’t mean it has always been easy. Far from it. But it was never a case of having to overcome an internal obstacle.

I just go and do the things I want to do. I go travelling. I get the jobs that I want. I start freelance writing. I get the apartment that I want.

It makes me wonder why I can’t sit down and write the book that I want. What’s the difference? Is there a difference? Is it not simply a question of my mindset, the attitude with which I approach this particular project?

Or is it a matter of timing?

Perhaps not. But it does seem to be a matter of circumstances.

For instance, as I am travelling today, I have already written a lot more than my usual daily quota of paid work. Actually, twice as many words than I would ordinarily write. I have little else to do on my trip, though I could simply read a book. In fact, I have done some reading in between as well. So, this feels like a very productive day already in every aspect.

Sitting at home with all the creature comforts that I can afford, writing seems to have less urgency. I manage to get the writing done that I assigned to myself, but no more.

If I were travelling every day, I would write every day like I have done today. Isn’t that strange?

Can I really just blame the comfort of my home? And the many distractions I so easily succumb to? Why is it so much easier to write sitting on some rumbling train?

I’m not sure I know the answer. Though I do know that I feel never more my true self than when I am travelling. I can get lost in a book, in the landscape, in thought. Or I can just write, glance outside occasionally and feel free from everything else.

Perhaps it is the absence of every-day chores as well as comforts that free me up to concentrate on what I truly want and enjoy. It’s not that I feel overly bogged down by daily life and obligations, but they are somewhat of a burden, whether we are always aware of it or not.

I’ve always known that I could travel for the rest of my life.

I love my home. I love Hamburg. I love my job as well. And everything that is connected to these three things. But the truth is that I have been a traveller since I first left home almost 16 years ago. Nothing has changed that. And if I am most myself when I am travelling, it seems less of a surprise that writing, which is also essential to me, is so much easier when I am on the road.

It’s hardly a coincidence that my last blog was also written as I was travelling on a train.

It takes a trip

At home, I am wrapped up in my life. There is work – freelance and part-time jobs -, there are chores at home, grocery shopping, the occasional outing with friends. All that and more. The daily stuff that we do unthinking.

Today I sit on a train. My brother gifted me a weekend in Prague for my birthday six months ago. What with the pandemic and all we only now managed to make a booking. Hence my being on a train. I could have taken a flight. Or perhaps not. Remember the pandemic. The train is, in any case, infinitely more comfortable.

And aside from the physical comfort, I get to enjoy the added benefit of time. After all, when do we ever get the luxury of sitting and spending our time not wrapped up in mindlessness whilst still going someplace?

Instead of browsing through social media, which I do too much of at home, I am reading a book. Yes, on my tablet, which is also where I’m writing this, but it still counts.

Especially since it not only reminded me why I want to write but because it also got me writing.

Later, I will take out my notebook and I’ll see what might emerge from the tip of my pen. For now, I shall return to my book and enjoy this luxury of taking a trip, away from everything else, and having time to spend on thinking thoughts.

Still lost somehow

Not a day goes by when I don’t think that I must write. This blog is lurking at the back of my mind and I know I really should get back to it. I’ve let this happen in the past. I start something and then I let it slide until it seems no longer relevant. Or too late. It’s been so long now, I might as well give up. Right?

I have had a busy two months with job changes, more responsibility, less time, and waiting for things to settle into a new rhythm. I’m getting there.

So, what brought me here today of all days?


And writing is the only thing that helps. It always has been.

Sometimes it seems people can only be relied upon to hurt you. Cheerful thought, huh? I’d like to say it’s not all that bad, but lately, it seems I am more vulnerable. I get hurt more easily. By friends, by circumstances. Whatever.

Why is that? Is my skin getting thinner? I’m a spread more thinly? Spread out too much and less resilient than I usually am? Too tired? Not enough time to recover?

Let’s just think about this year, how very long it has been. The first half of it spent in lockdown, hardly seeing anyone, mostly at home, stressed about money, lonely.

And then life kicks back into gear, the job picks up, overtime comes back, no real summer, no real holiday, everybody busy, a promotion, still not out of the woods where money is concerned, friends who make themselves scarce, too many people too soon, and still remaining lonely.

All in all, I’d say I’m coping remarkably well. But coping isn’t exactly healing and I feel lost some days. Unless I’m busy, which is just another coping mechanism.

Today I decided to go for more mindfulness. Not watching something mindless and distracting, but finishing a book I started a while back. Not scrolling through social media so much. What am I even looking for? Just something lighthearted, I suppose. Something to make me smile, take the edge away.

But I keep scrolling and eventually, it just doesn’t do it anymore. I put the phone away, not knowing what to do with myself. I even thought I should get a hobby that doesn’t involve screens or anything electronic. I think that’s actually a good idea.

The hurt has dissipated somewhat. I think others are just as thin-skinned as I am. I triggered someone and she lashed out at me. I don’t exactly know what I triggered, but her response hurt. I had no ill-intention. Not that that helps. It’s not a particularly good excuse, is it?

When you feel lost, you just want someone to find you, I suppose. It makes us feel less alone. But I guess it’s up to me to find myself.

Writing helps because it allows me to simply ramble and sort through my thoughts. It is probably not even worth publishing but getting this out is better than keeping it inside.

Draft, delete, repeat

I feel like I should be writing. I have enough thoughts and ideas I want to write about or discuss, but nothing I come up with seems right.

For instance, I’ve been feeling quite happy lately – this deep-seated contentment that permeates my being most of the time. I’m not always aware of it, especially when I feel down for some reason. So, it feels precious when I do realise that it is just there and that things are good.

But how do you write about happiness without sounding contrived or preachy? I can only speak from my perspective, which may be helpful to some and appear idiotic to others. Does it even matter? This blog is called ‘The Story of my life’. I can only share my perspective.

Apart from sounding contrived, I could very well be in over my head as well. After all, so much has already been said and written about the subject, what could I possibly add?

Which takes us back to this being my story and nobody else’s. We may be nearing 8 billion people on this planet in the next year and a half, but no two people will ever live the exact same life. Each story is unique.

Still, I can’t quite decide on how to pursue one subject over another and end up deleting what I’ve written and start on something else.

I’ve done this several times already and here we are. The latest draft discarded and on a new subject that somehow combines everything I’ve attempted to write about before. Will this be the piece that gets published?

Sometimes I feel like writing and nothing much will come of it. I will end up jotting down thoughts, discarding them and end up frustrated at having achieved nothing. Eventually, I simply shut down the laptop and turn to something else. Maybe next time.

Perhaps I shouldn’t just delete my ideas, though. Keeping a draft won’t hurt. It gives me the option to come back to it later when I may have something more coherent to say or discover what my point is.

And I know I shouldn’t let this frustrate me. Every word I write is an achievement, even when it ends up being deleted again. Sitting here and trying to get something done is better than avoiding it altogether. I find that frustrates me more than trying to write about three different topics and being overly critical with what I’ve written.

Right now, I just have to get over myself. I probably won’t be writing anything of any significance. But I have tried, and I have written about something that occupies my mind. If nothing else, it is good exercise.

This is true for everything we try to do. Whether that’s playing an instrument, learning a language, or any other challenge we face. As long as we keep working at it a little at a time, we can get where we want to be.

So, what if I go through several drafts that I end up deleting? I keep going and won’t let my frustrations stop me.

Doing our best on any given day may not always approach anything we would even consider ‘good’, but it may just be enough.

Where do I begin?

Does it begin with an idea or with the mere desire to write something? I keep collecting ideas. I take a note on my phone. Or I use one of my many notebooks and jot it down.

To never return to it. Or to eventually return and wonder what I was on about. Or to discover that the idea had merit and might just be worth pursuing.

Then I do something else yet again.

Procrastination is the worst. One might argue that it serves its purpose. My all-time favourite writer, Neil Gaiman, is known to have taken ten or twenty years before finally turning one idea or another into a book. Coraline and The Graveyard Book spring to mind.

It’s not that I always just avoid writing. I mean, I love writing. I write every day. But working on an idea sometimes seems to require an incredible amount of effort. Deep down, I know it will be worth it to put in the effort. If only for my own sake.

Somehow, though, it seems impossible to even get started. An idea is not enough. I can keep collecting them until I have a whole book full of ideas. But that doesn’t make a story. It will never be more than a collection of ‘what ifs’. Starting points that never amount to anything.

That’s not what I want.

I had an incredibly lazy weekend. I don’t know whether I felt down or if it was the weather, which was too humid and occasionally too warm.

Perhaps I simply suffered too much sun on Friday, which is definitely a possibility as I was on assignment out in the morning and exposed to cloudless skies and a burning sun for more than three hours. I was pretty exhausted once I got home. Chances are, I needed the weekend to recover.

But I also promised myself on Sunday evening to be productive come Monday. I even made a to-do list for Monday and Tuesday. Thus far, I’ve ticked off all the items.

I also did plenty of writing, which was the main point. I kept the to-do list realistic and every time I ticked off an item, I felt satisfied. I’m planning on continuing that for the next few days and see how I go.

In any case, another item I will need to add is creative writing. Ages ago I had an idea for a story that has not left me, and I want to work on it. I’ve made a bunch of notes in a bunch of places and actually starting work on that might just be a good beginning.

When I started this blog, I had the idea of publishing the story in several parts here. It’ll be a while before I get there, but I certainly hope to have something publishable at some point.

I guess, when you don’t know where to begin, writing about it and sorting your thoughts is as good a start as any.

Dramatic afternoon skies over the North Atlantic.

Commit to yourself

If there’s one truth we can all agree on it is that there is only one person we each spend every day for the rest of our lives with: our very own selves.

Our first commitment should therefore be to ourselves. And I am not promoting self-centredness, egotism or even narcissism.

Any commitment should be a healthy one, this includes the one we must make to ourselves. I say ‘must’ with good reason because so many of us have a tendency to not just neglect ourselves but to also give ourselves an overly hard time.

We tend to be gentler and more forgiving with those around us than we are with our own selves. Why is that?

Of course, I have higher expectations in myself than I have in anyone else. But I also know that I can expect certain things from myself, which I can’t expect from anyone else. It wouldn’t be fair to them. That is true for many of us.

But how do we treat ourselves when we fail those expectations? Is it truly okay for me to beat myself up for failing in an endeavour of whatever kind?

No, it isn’t. It’s not okay to beat myself up over anything. I can be disappointed in myself, sure. I can be disgruntled. I can chastise myself. That’s all okay. But then I move on. I smack myself and let it go.

I have a bad day and waste it with doing nothing? Happens. Is it going to be any better if I also feel bad about taking some time out when I clearly need it? No.

We achieve nothing by being mad at ourselves. Except feeling worse than before.

So, how do we make a commitment to ourselves then?

Many things that apply to a relationship between two people and how they wish to commit to each other also apply to the relationship we have with our own selves.

Indeed, a strong case can be made that the better our relationship to ourselves, the better our relationships will be with our friends, family and partners in life.

First, we need to understand who we truly are. That means we need to commit to getting to know ourselves as fully as possible. Understand where we come from, what our damages are, how we cope with just about anything, why we have certain coping mechanisms.

That is the biggest task we have on this journey. You may think yourself emotionally stable and mentally healthy, but the truth is that we are all damaged goods. Some have it much worse than others, mind you, which means some need outside help whilst others get along with much introspection and reading various books or listening to Alain de Botton on The School of Life.

I do consider myself emotionally stable and mentally healthy and I am fully aware that I am damaged goods. I’ve been through a world of pain, felt worthless, doubted myself before doubting anyone else, asked myself what could possibly be wrong with me or why I am not good enough.

Which brings us to the second aspect of committing to ourselves: acceptance.

Once you truly understand yourself, your flaws, strengths, weaknesses, triggers and everything beyond, you need to accept each aspect of your being. This is who you are in this moment, for better or worse. These are your hopes, your fears, your past mistakes, your goals.

You must accept your brokenness and that it doesn’t define you. You must accept that you can behave erratically, irrationally, idiotically and like the most altruistic person on the planet. Every weird thought, stray desire, off-putting sexual fantasy is part of who you are, and all of it is okay.

It is important to accept that our thoughts are not the only thing that matter. You can have taboo sexual fantasies and never ever consider living them because those stray thoughts are just our brain going through its motions. Confronted with doing something about those weird thoughts or ideas you may have about murdering your neighbour for once again turning up the volume of their TV, you will likely find that you are not in fact a sociopath and don’t want to go to jail for murdering someone over something that can be handeled in a more mature way. And if you simply send a petty little note, you are still a far better person than the one who decides to take a knife upstairs and get to it.

Having weird thoughts or elaborate murder fantasies does not seem to overrule our core values of not actually murdering people.

So, yes, you may wonder what’s wrong with you for having these thoughts but ask any psychiatrist or psychologist and they will tell you that everyone has these same thoughts.

Accept that they are also a part of you and move on.

The third commitment we must make to ourselves is this: growth.

When you’ve understood who you are at this point in time and have accepted that this is you, you can begin to truly grow. Understanding and acceptance are already part of that journey. How you continue is entirely up you.

There is no direction we must take, there is also no final destination. We all remain a work in progress for as long as we live.

And the goal is not to attain perfection. That is impossible. It’s also really not a desirable goal to have. Flaws are what make most things interesting and unique, including us.

The things you may wish to work on are likely the things that annoy you about yourself. But remember to be gentle and that it takes a while to break old habits and develop new ones.

If your social media consumption annoys you, begin by reducing it in small steps. Make an effort to not check your phone every five minutes but perhaps only once every twenty minutes.

Whichever goal you have, it will require mindfulness and it is certainly an effort.

Develop strategies to reach your goal. Our brains are inherently lazy, going for the least amount of effort. Given how much they have to do every minute of every day, it’s understandable that additional effort is not desired.

But if we make achieving our goals fun, the reward mechanisms in our brains will kick in and make it easier.

Also, I once heard about this interesting approach of not just envisioning our goal and taking steps to get there but instead assuming we have already achieved that goal and start immediately behaving as we would if that were the case.

For instance, if you want to stop smoking, don’t think of the steps you want to take to become a non-smoker. Instead think of yourself as a non-smoker who really doesn’t like the taste of cigarettes and therefore won’t touch them.

That doesn’t mean you’ll stop smoking instantly, but you may actually find that even the thought of another smoke may be quite disgusting, and you won’t enjoy having a smoke at all.

Of course, it doesn’t quite work if your goal is to become rich because you hate being broke. You can’t simply think of yourself as rich (in terms of money), but perhaps it helps to stop thinking of yourself as broke. Something worth trying.

As for me, I’ve gone through the understanding and accepting of myself. I am working on growing, every single day. And I don’t beat myself up for my shortcomings. I also accept them and vow to do better.

The most important commitment I am currently making, the promise to myself I wish to uphold, is to write more. It’s one of my biggest struggles right now, which is also why you’re getting these roughly 1,300 words from me.

Thanks for checking in 🙂

What do you do when you feel stuck?

Given that we’re still in a pandemic, feeling stuck has pretty much become part of almost everyone’s lives. Stuck at home. Stuck alone. Stuck with family. Stuck without perspective. Stuck without a job. Stuck on furlough. Stuck in your worst fears and anxieties. You name it.

I’ve been stuck in several ways during the past seven months, which is how long Germany was in lockdown. Now that we’re opening up again, things are seemingly returning to normal. We can go shopping, visit the museum or a concert, go out for dinner (at least with outside seating). We are allowed to see several people at the same time again and travel restrictions are also easing.

But having been stuck at home for such a long time, stuck in a funk perhaps, or simply living in our own tiny world, it feels strange to simply return to whatever currently passes for normal.

Things have changed. Our mindsets and behaviours have changed.

I have a friend who has retreated from almost everyone during the last seven months. Only her family, housemate and dearest friends are allowed in, and not even all the time. We’ve communicated regularly, though I’m not part of her inner circle, which is fine. We’ve only met a year ago but do get along quite well.

We’ve both been on furlough for most of these seven months, though she returned to do some work again in March and intermittently throughout. But it was only last week that she returned to her usual work. Perhaps contrary to what she believed, she is still stuck in the funk that has had a grip on her since last November.

Her first shift overwhelmed her emotionally. That’s quite understandable after hardly socialising for almost seven months.

My first shift back at work made me feel right at home. I also barely socialised this entire time and I am an introvert.

Clearly, we cope differently with the situation, and it may take her a while longer to find her groove again.

Whilst I handled the return to work well, I feel stuck in other ways. Motivating myself to get writing is difficult. I sit on my sofa and think about what I could be writing about. Nothing comes to mind. Or I start writing something, go off on a tangent, nothing feels right, and I delete everything.

I am frustrated.

So, here I am trying to figure out how to become unstuck.

Another example is the mood I was in yesterday after having woken from a dream about someone who is no longer part of my life. I was emotionally stuck for much of the day, did not work at all and went on a ride with my motorbike instead. Distraction was the only thing that helped. It got my mind off of this awful feeling, though it took until mid-afternoon to turn the tide.

Of course, one might argue that I should have dealt with the emotional upheaval caused by my dream. Well, I did. I have dealt with my feelings for this person for the past three years. I’ve actually made my peace. But my subconscious apparently likes to screw with me occasionally and I become stuck again.

I have no longer any unresolved issues regarding the situation or my feelings. But I do get triggered and then I have to deal with that. So, to become unstuck I have to do something I enjoy, something that takes me out of my head.

Other times, such as when I’m stuck with my motivation or writing, I have to sit still and let my thoughts roam or challenge the blinking cursor on an empty page, let my fingers dance across the keyboard and allow them to do the talking.

When I’ve felt stuck at home for too long during the past few months, it usually helped to go on a walk or even a ride with my bicycle. Physical movement helped. Fresh air.

I guess, my point is that when we feel stuck, regardless of what it is that makes us feel this way, we have to find coping mechanisms and they are going to look different for everyone.

My friend, who is still stuck in her funk, may benefit from a proper hug or someone simply sitting with her for a while, letting her be still or listening to her rant. I don’t know. Ultimately, she will have to figure that out for herself.

Yesterday, I didn’t realise when my mood shifted. I just noticed that it had and appreciated feeling better. My strategy had worked out eventually. Sometimes we simply become unstuck all of a sudden and can move on with our lives. Other times it takes a lot of work.

It does help knowing why and how we feel stuck. From there, we can begin to figure out how to move forward. And whilst we have to do most of the work, we don’t have to do all of it alone.