A lot of people assume that young people are always happy and carefree. That has not necessarily been my experience, but I wouldn’t trade what I know now for anything. I know that those who have experienced darkness appreciate the light so much more. Adding a little bit of light to a dark room reveals everything within. Light allows us to see the first blooms of spring, the sunsets, and the new fish swimming around in the fish tank. If you focus on all that light shows, you will notice how your favorite person’s eyes glow and shimmer with excitement when you ask them about something they love. When I am having a darker day I think about the contrast of darkness and light. In a dark room you can sometimes make out the shadows and shapes of things, but once you turn the light on there is color and clarity. I have learned to never take for granted the color and clarity that light brings. I initiate little moments of happiness by focusing on the color around me, like my plant growing a new yellow flower or an extra blue sky after a cloudy and rainy week. The beauty that life has to offer comes to us everyday, even when the days grow long and we grow weary and tired. What I know for sure is that the hardest days can be made easier by letting the light in and looking for the positive.
I am a worrier by nature. An overthinker who can weave a blanket of anxiety that could potentially suffocate me. Focusing on the light, the positive, has helped me manage my worries. Being a dramatic teenager there have certainly been days when seeing a light at the end of the tunnel feels next to impossible. Sometimes I am not even sure what direction to go toward to find the light. Seeing a brighter side to situations isn’t something that can be done automatically. Dark corners grow and can be discouraging, but even though something appears completely dark and colorless – we must trust that there is color and light at its core.
The place I most commonly turn to when I am looking for light and color is nature. There will never be a day where every second of 24 hours will be dark because I am surrounded by things, even in our very small town, that can cure the worst days. The colors that I see in the things I love and feel in the places I go can cure sadness. In fact, I have a list of places where I can find peace when anxiety creeps in:
1. The covered bridge in Tawawa with all the names of people carved into the ledges
2. The bird feeders outside my window that attract the bluejays and the chickadees
3. Stargazing on my trampoline and staying up really late just laying outside at night
4. Driving on Childrens Home Road when the sun is setting in the summer and it feels like I’m driving through a fairy forest because the trees make it look so cool
5. The yellow and red tulips that grow in the side yard of my house
6. When the sky starts clearing up after a storm and the sun is setting as well so all the storm clouds are glowing pink and orange
7. The path in the back of Tawawa that leads to those really tall pine trees and makes me question if I am still even in Sidney, Ohio
What I have learned is that we can’t stop the dark days from coming. They are inevitable. However, if we practice finding the light, even when finding the bright side seems like a struggle, we will recognize that darkness is temporary. Light is always on its way.