Hello again, dear friend. Thanks for stopping by.
In today’s post, I want to talk a bit about why I decided to start this blog. Honestly, it wasn’t really a thought in my mind as of a little over a month ago, but sometimes it seems like everything in life is telling you to do something – have you ever experienced that? For me, the most recent things I’ve felt called to pursue are Reiki training (Thank you, Jillian! You’re awesome!) and sharing the story of my journey out of the darkness of depression and anxiety back to letting my little light shine bright. The story of that journey will be coming in a few posts due out later this week, but I want to talk about the interplay of light and dark for a bit.
I freely admit that at this time last year, I was certain the little light that makes me, well, me, was guttering out, drowning under the constant stream of the terrible thoughts in my head. My goodness, if past me knew where I would be today…. I do think making it through the journey of the past year would have been that much easier. In the past few months, I’ve really started thinking about how I now feel like I am filled with light and joy that I need to share, as compared to the flickering flame I felt during the worst part of my struggle with depression last year. As you’ll see in upcoming posts, BTS has played a not-insignificant role in my recovery, so when Jimin released “약속 (Promise)” on SoundCloud, it struck a chord in me.
Okay, jumping in here – I’m not very far along in my Korean studies, so upon first hearing the song, the lines “I want you to be your light, baby. You should be your light…I want you to be your night, baby. You could be your night” really caught my attention. Even before I started seeing translations come out, the song very much struck me with a message of the need to love myself. As I’ll discuss in future posts, 2018 was very much a journey to better mental health for me and I do love myself now. As I was listening to the song the first few times, I started wondering if the lyrics were “be your night” or “be your knight” – because I was very much getting the impression that the message is that I have the power to save myself and be my own light.
Though the lyric turned out to be “night” instead of “knight”, I feel like the homonym plays well here. I keep coming back to the idea of being my own knight, and it makes me think of one of my favorite characters – Keladry of Mindelan, from Tamora Pierce’s Protector of the Small series. In the series, Kel is the first girl to try for knighthood since Alanna the Lioness (from the Song of the Lioness quartet). Now it may be important to note that Alanna disguised herself as a boy to be able to train for knighthood, so Kel is the first girl to be legally allowed to train for knighthood in over 100 years. In the books, as Kel goes through each year of her training, she forces herself to spend a night outside the Chamber of the Ordeal, where squires are tested for knighthood. The Chamber is a mystical place that is known to force squires to face their deepest fears and innermost flaws – and not every squire survives. Each time Kel spends the night outside the Chamber ahead of her official test, she is presented with a dream that forces her to face one of her fears. By the time she goes for her official test, she knows she is going to be forced to face her inner demons, known and unknown, before she will be allowed to leave the Chamber. I think…gosh, how do I want to phrase this…I think 2018 was very much like facing my own Chamber of the Ordeal, but I also think most people have their own moments where they enter their own Chambers. Does that make sense? I guess what I’m trying to say is that I think we all have our own inner battles to face, and as with the Chamber, we are changed when we come out on the other side. Isn’t it interesting how this story I read as a teenager still resonates with me now? Isn’t it interesting how these messages seem to align – to be my own knight, I must face and accept my own light and darkness?
And yet, in looking at the play of “light” and “night”, I am also reminded of Cardcaptor Sakura and what she had to go through to capture The Light and The Dark Clow Cards. It has been a good while since I’ve read the manga or seen the anime, but I remember the anime episode pretty clearly. I’ve always liked that Sakura was able to capture The Dark only once she came up with her personal affirmation – “I will definitely be all right” – which also caused The Light card to show itself. I also really like that the two had to be sealed together – because we can’t have one without the other, right? I’m also reminded of this quote: “Besides, the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We have to accept our shadow selves as much as we accept the selves we choose to present to the world. It is okay to have those dark moments, dark thoughts, of course that’s okay. In my case, it is okay that I’ve struggled with depression, it is okay that I experience anxiety, it is okay that I am still on a grief journey (it never really stops, does it?) – I don’t have to be happy all the time. But I also don’t have to accept the lies my brain tells me, I don’t have to believe that just because things are dark at certain points that they won’t get better – I KNOW they absolutely will get better. Because I survived what I’ve survived, I know that I can do, and handle, anything. I love my past self – battle scars and all – and I love my current self, the one who knows everything is all right and will always be all right, because “I will definitely be all right”.
…I feel like I may have gotten off track here a bit? What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that – “약속 (Promise)” really resonated with me. I know I have “never walked alone” because I have an awesome support system, but there were certainly times where I felt lost in my own head, where I felt like a burden, where I thought everyone I loved would be better off without me, but even in those moments, I couldn’t allow myself to give up because I had made a promise to myself and to my wonderful sister, Susie, that I wouldn’t “throw myself away”. I made a promise to keep holding on. I knew that pain can’t last forever, that things would get better someday, somehow. And here I am! Happier than I can remember being in over a decade (yes literally), comfortable in my own skin, optimistic and grateful and certain that good things are coming my way. There have been many lights in my life and on my path, helping me on my journey out of my own personal Chamber of the Ordeal. Most of you know who you are, and I sincerely thank you for being there for me. As I embark on this new blogging adventure, it is my hope and intention to be a light for someone, anyone, else. If by sharing my journey, I can remind just one person lost in their own darkness that we deserve to love ourselves, that we can be our own knights, and that, even when we feel so lost in our own darkness, we are never alone – well then, I’ll be forever grateful that I have been a light to someone else. ❤ So here I am – letting this little light of mine shine. ❤
With love always,