Peaks and Valleys

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Peaks and valleys

It’s a cliché. But clichés exist for a reason. Mainly because there’s an element of truth.

Lately I’ve had some valleys of my own. I had a panic attack. I was stressed, overwhelmed, anxious. Everything came at once. I had feelings of guilt, failure, disappointment. I’ve had doubts about my ability to write and about my writing career. Overall, during these valleys I’ve felt uncertain, lost and and jaded.

On the other hand, I’ve had really great peaks lately too. I’ve connected with amazing people, spoken at inspiring events, written some of my best pieces to date, and felt myself growing both in terms of my writing ability, and in my life in general.

I’ve had ups and downs, and many of the feelings in each have been contradictory. That might seem strange but it’s actually entirely normal. Our emotions aren’t rational. So one day we might feel a certain way about ourselves, and the next we might feel the complete opposite. I’ve had days in the last month where I felt like a complete failure in my writing, and then a short few days later I’ve felt like I’m doing quite well. There’s an urge to try and put these emotions into boxes that make sense, but often, they don’t need to make sense.

When I was younger, I would have given myself an awful hard time for feeling negative emotions. I would have concluded that is was wrong to feel the way I was feeling, that I was feeling sorry for myself, and that I needed to simply stop feeling that way. Which, in retrospect, is a silly way to look at it. And not the good kind of silly.

The thing about life is that it can never be good or bad in absolute. Some of it will be good, and some of it will be bad. If everything was always good then nothing would ever be good. We need the bad days as a reference to know what good ones feel like.

So although there are peaks and valleys, tough times, and happy times, it’s comforting to know that this is how life is meant to be. In the last few years I’ve framed bad days as down-payments. Every time I experience a tough day or week, I tell myself that good days are around the corner, because hard times can’t last forever.

Bad days are there to make sure you appreciate the better ones. It’s not a perfect science, but it helps.

I also have a Substack

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