Don't you hate it when your internet mysteriously stops working? That has been my day.
Hence posting this less than 2 hours before the day ends.
The upside is that I used my frustrating time offline productively. My apartment hasn't been this clean in a really long time.
While I'm normally not a fan of cleaning, there is something cathartic about spending a day clearing the trashing out of your apartment and scrubbing away all the stains.
The other nice part about cleaning is that it really doesn't take much thought, so you can spend your time thinking about other things. And boy do I have a lot to think about. I recently had my 25th birthday and one thing that has become clear to me is that I need to start making real decisions about my future. I've spent the last three years saying that I want to pursue a job in law enforcement and then doing nothing about it. If that's something I really want for my life, I need to start working on it now. I also need to decide if it's really the right thing for me. It's all well and good to have the abstract idea that law enforcement is the right path for me; its a whole other thing to evaluate if the realities of the job mesh with what I need from life.
When I first decided I wanted to be a police officer, I was deep into a cycle of depression that had me feeling shut down most of the time. It was nice to dream about a career that I could give my whole life to because I didn't really have much in my life. Over time, I've gotten a lot better at dealing with my depression and building a life in spite of it. I'm feeling more connected with my friends again and (as evidenced by this website) I'm getting into some really interesting and time consuming hobbies. On top of that, some of my friends and I are planning to get into producing podcasts soon. I'm sure I could still do all those things as a police officer, but it would be a lot easier with a career that doesn't take over my whole life. Plus, seeing as much of the world as I can is definitely going to be part of my future.
There is also the fact that, as a police officer, there is a 100% chance that I will be exposed to things that make my depression worse. Recent experiences with one of my friends has really illustrated that, while I am better at managing my depression, there are things that make me feel a lot worse. It's been a lot harder lately, and that is in no small part because I'm dealing with this thing happening to my friend. I keep telling myself that it would be easier as a police officer because the people I would be helping wouldn't be my friends, so I could just leave it all behind when I get home for the day. But, if I'm being honest, I'm not really the type to let things go just because I've clocked out. I'm not saying people with depression can't be police officers. I'm not even saying I can't be a police officer. I'm just starting to think that there are healthier options for me.
I'm also about to get a long awaited promotion at work. Its a bit shallow to say, but the paycheck that's gonna come with it definitely makes it more tempting to stay. Plus, my job is getting less boring lately. I'm spending less time doing data entry, and that's pretty nice. Our new senior director is all about automation and making sure people get to do more valuable work, so I may eventually get to stop doing data entry entirely. Maybe if I spend some time where I'm at, learning how to be a really good analyst, I can eventually move into being an analyst for law enforcement.
I've also been thinking about going back to school for the first time since I left university. I didn't want to go back until I had a real reason to. It seemed pretty pointless to go back to complete any random degree I could, just to say I had. Something I've been thinking about lately is finding an online psychology program. The more I learn about it, the more interesting psychology is to me. Plus, I feel like that degree would make me a better analyst. I could also use it to be a victim's advocate, or maybe get into counseling.
For now, I'm thinking of sticking with the job I have at least until I've finished a degree. Then, I'll figure it out from there.
The only thing I know absolutely, for certain, is that I am here to help people. It's my purpose on this Earth. I've spent my whole life trying to find the best way for me to do that. I know I've changed my mind a lot, but also I know I'll eventually figure it out.
These are the things I think about when I have an unexpected day devoid of internet-related distractions...guess it's probably a good thing I couldn't figure out how to fix it.
I'm not gonna go into too much detail here because, frankly, it's nobody's business but mine and the other people involved. But there is something important that I want to say.
For the last few months I've been in a really bad situation with one of my friends. There are decisions they've been making that I haven't agreed with, and I didn't know how to talk to them. Rather than dealing with it, I shut down. Because that is what I always do when I'm feeling uncomfortable in a situation or I don't know what to do. I watched while things escalated and spun out of control, and I never said anything to my friend. I let them cut me out because I couldn't make myself just have a conversation with them.
But I did plan a lot of conversations. Every time I was feeling hurt or angry or sad, I planned out conversations I could have with them where I told them exactly what I was thinking and made them feel just as bad as I was. I will never be able to say how grateful I am that I never actually said those things, but there are other things I should have said.
I should have told them that I cared what happened and that I wanted to help. I should have told them that it hurt every time it felt like they were ignoring my existence, and that I wanted to repair our friendship. Because the truth is that there was a time I counted this person as one of my closest friends, and I miss them. But I never said a word.
I told everyone else that I was angry and just done with them, but I think I was trying to convince myself of that more than my friends. It's a lot easier to be angry than it is to admit that you're hurt or sad.
Tonight, I actually did talk to my friend. I won't say how we started the conversation because it's a bit complicated and not entirely my story to tell. I will say that it was the first time I've told them any of the things that I've been thinking lately. I told them how worried I've been and some of the reason why. I explained that I knew it was a mistake to shut down on them and that I shouldn't have let them cut me out. I made sure they knew that I am here for them. Whatever they need, I want to help them.
This didn't magically fix everything between us. We've got a long way to go before we're really okay again, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to trust them the same way I used to. It's not in my nature to just forgive and forget. Forgiveness I can handle, but forgetting is something I've never been able to manage.
But I feel like this conversation did get us to a point where we can at least start to move towards a better place. I might be wrong. They could be thinking right now that I've stuck my nose in where it doesn't belong and I should just mind my own business, but I don't think so. I think this is the first healthy conversation we've had in a long time.
I didn't mention how hurt I've been feeling. Mostly because this really wasn't the night for it. Maybe someday we will have that conversation. But, for now, I think we're in a much better place, and it gives me hope for the future.
Sorry if this has been long and rambley. I'm pretty tired, and I'll probably fall asleep immediately after posting this. But I wanted to get this thought out before I went to sleep because it's important.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you're avoiding someone you care about because you don't know how to talk to them. If there is a conversation you keep having in your head, and it's haunting you. The best thing you can do is make yourself sit down with them and have the conversation. Nothing you say is gonna come out perfectly and sometimes you won't know the right words to explain what you're feeling. But nothing you say during and honest and respectful conversation can be worse than just letting it all fester.