Winter Blues

Time slips through my hands and suddenly I can say it’s February 2015. Time feels slightly empty lately. I study what I find most interesting and I have nice people around me, yet my self doesn’t seem to notice the blessings. I try but smiles have a hard time appearing on me, in me. Once more I realize that better periods don’t mean it will be better forever. There are high hills and low dales inside of me. Irony is that it is not standing still and holding tight that keeps you high on this metaphor of the mountain, but going on steadily – I just haven’t figured out yet what to do with the valleys. Do I let myself run into them, resolute, not afraid to fall?Kröller-Müller & MMK Arnhem 071

At new beginnings I feel good and I wondered if a new chapter might have begun when I started university. Now I realize that all the newness is just distraction and not a cure nor a solution, just like traveling in order to find yourself is actually running away from certain parts of yourself or your life. Eventually these will turn up again, wherever you are and whatever you do, and if it’s not on the road it is upon return. In valleys certain questions that are always and always have been by my side, come to the surface while they become heavier and of utmost importance. Normally I succeed to ignore them, but in these times I need to know the answers, the answers that I don’t have, because without them everything feels so damn incomprehensible and pointless. I know that there will come a moment in which I suddenly feel myself slip from underneath the dark veil again, but it is the not knowing when that makes me feel first desperate and then hopeless. When I look at others I feel childish and irresponsible for not sharing the same lightness and ease.

The valleys always appear with the days getting shorter and the sunshine getting scarce, but I’ll be honest and tell you that I doubt whether it is Winter Blues. Yet we all know that it is comfortable to give the thing a name to hide behind. To tell myself that I have to wait for summer, ignoring the fact that after summer the brothers of fall and winter show up again.

I assume that people think, and I do too, that this is who I am, that this is me. Is it me? Is it circumstances? Is it twisted relationships?

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.”        ~ Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life

That is something that I need to remember, together with a lot of other things. I define myself, and if I want to be undefined, then let me be undefined. Don’t hold tight on the images that you make of the whole you, but based on only parts of you. Don’t let those parts become so important, so defining, that they keep you from being the person you really and wholly are – the person you are in your day dreams? And above all, don’t give a damn about the images you think other people have formed of you. Because it is not you. Not at all.

Yet it is me. In a way. Partly. Eventually. The mountains and the valleys. The valleys.


One thought on “Winter Blues

  1. Oh, my dear Janna! You are reminding me exactly of myself in my first years at college. Still now, in the years afterward, I face many of the same recurring questions, disguised as new dark valleys to explore. Winter can be hard on us when we are growing up, but truly, it is growing up that is hard. You are recognizing so many beautiful, complex truths about life here in this post, and I want to tell you that the very fact that you are acknowledging these thoughts — and journeying through their sometimes scary, sometimes painful, sometimes sad centers — tells me that you are on the right path to the lightness you desire.

    You are right on point when you say that the better periods will not last forever and that no new beginning is a cure for struggle, and the more you remind yourself of that, the more gratefulness and honor you will feel for life and for yourself and for your journey, and sometimes, as it happens, you will feel joy, and that is beautiful. If one good beginning was the end of all darkness or the solution to nights with questions gone unanswered, life would not be what it is; love would not be what it is; lightness would not be what it is.

    If it makes you feel less alone, or less lost than the rest, remember: all people, from all times, for ages and ages, have faced the struggle of identity and the search for a pure destination, and no one carries the pure ease of life that you think they might. Still, we are not utterly without answers, without hope, without faith, but we are left feeling that way if we indulge our all-or-nothing mindset and the belief that the valleys of life hold nothing for us but emptiness.

    You are already so strong and intelligent to look these thoughts and feelings in the eye and even speak of them eloquently through language which can be a difficult thing on its own to do. And at your young age! You are wise beyond your years.

    Now, or in time, gather your courage to be present in both the high spaces and the times spent in the valleys, in the dark, in the fog, and everything in between, for this is what it is to be alive: willing to face the hills and the valleys with the same patient acknowledgment. You will learn in the years to come that patience is quiet strength, and patience will bring you understanding. It is not a way of waiting, but a way of experiencing each day, each moment, as it comes, a way of being present, a way of finding and being yourself.

    I know you will be okay, my friend. You’ve proved that in this post, in your invariable warmth and light that remains, almost hidden, amongst your winter blues. xxxx

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