Fun fact: I’m human.
I struggle. Regularly.
To me, my struggles are as plain as the nose on my face. Of course, on the surface, I’m sure it could appear as though I’ve rarely struggled before in my life. I’m uncomfortably aware of the opinions others hold about me and have held about me. It’s sort of this gift and curse I have: I’m aware.
In the last 6 months, my life has had some significant and dramatic changes that have brought a lot of my existential struggles to the surface. Like anyone with a brilliant overthinking mind like myself (and I know there are many of us out there! Hey girl hey!!) I’ve always kind of pondered the inner workings of myself, the systems in life that surround me, the meaning of life, who is God and is it really only a male entity, why is there human suffering, what is my place in the vast fabric of human existence. You know, the philosophical classics. Only recently have I been literally unable to allow those thoughts to rest on the backburner as I regularly have before. I have been forced to confront these issues head-on and find answers.
So let’s start at the beginning … I’ve always been a little weird.
The name I was born into fits me perfectly. Almost too perfect. I don’t mean my given name, Jordan. Although it’s a very solid name choice, (thanks for the best gender neutral birthday present ever, parents!) I mean my family name Quirk. I was born into it before it was a cute trendy hipster word. Quirk is the quintessential word to describe not only me but my entire family of peculiar people. So really, it was out of my control whether or not I was going to be normal or weird. I was destined for quirkiness by the universe. I’ve come to realize, however, this quirkiness comes at a cost. I experience the world a little differently. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit I come from a family where depression, addiction, anxiety, and you name it run amuck. I’ve found strength in being able to admit that now.
See, I’ve been a frequent flyer of the Depress Express for a while now and I know that it’s a challenging way to travel through life. (If you can book a trip on Happiness Highway I would recommend it. Much more accommodating than Depress Express.) However, I wouldn’t trade my experiences with the Depress Express for all the tea in China, as my dad would say. Honestly, I’ve realized my experiences with depression and mental illness have been my one-way ticket to realizing I have superpowers. As many people before me have talked about, on other blogs or TedTalks from years ago, depression opens many doors in the mind and allows its passengers to experience such depth and magnitude during their bouts, I can truly only assert that it serves a glorious purpose.
Specifically for me, depression has allowed me to tap into something that I think more and more people are becoming aware of every single day. As humans, I think we all have this capability within us, and the evidence in science and daily life is remarkable. If you are able to see it, of course.
My most recent and most intense episode of depression has pushed me so far out of my comfort zone, I’ve been forced to change my life. I was propelled to finally start this blog and share more of myself in writing. I’ve been forced to change my habits – no more nail biting or 3 Cokes a day for me! A lot has been going on.
Coincidentally, I’ve also been forced to take note of a lot more details in life I otherwise write off as mundane. It’s lead me to a point of becoming very comfortably aware of synchronicities in this world. Synchronicities, if you aren’t familiar, are essentially coincidences that have meaning. The word coincidence itself implies that the experience happened with no ascertainable connection. Synchronicities, by comparison, are coincidental events that have a connection or meaning in a bigger picture. An example -do you ever seem to always notice when the clock strikes 11:11? Or notice certain numbers and letters on car license plates or on building signs at seemingly exactly the right moment? If so, you’re in tune with the synchronicities I’m talking about.
For a well-written article that explains more of what I’m talking about, check out: Synchronicity: What It Is, And How To Experience It.
Without revealing myself as a full-blown weirdo (too late for that at this point anyhow), synchronicities have been exceedingly helpful during my toughest times. Whether it be because of symptoms of mental illness, not getting enough sleep, or just feeling kind of off one day, being able to have little signs and symbols from the universe that my life and my experiences have meaning and purpose beyond my mortal comprehension has given me so much strength and motivation to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep going.
And if you allow it, I think the universe will leave you a sign or two as well. 😉