Imperium: Every Day Is a Different Day.
People say every day is a new day. Well, I say every day is a different day. An endless surprise of emotions. I wake up hopeful. “Today will be an amazing day,” I say to myself.
I have the power to control how I feel. Except for when I don’t. I never know what will set me off. Maybe it will be my morning commute, my motorized prison. The authoritative red lights, the pickup truck in front of me with the obnoxious bumper stickers. The line of traffic that makes absolutely no sense at this time of day.
The thought of being late strikes me, and before I know it, my anxiety bubbles up and my chest begins to pound. “You can’t control everything,” I tell myself.
At times I feel like I’m riding a roller coaster and I can’t get off. The handlebar is pushed against my throat and I’m gasping for air. The wind pushes me around as the tracks continue to loop around. I can’t take it, the back and forth. One minute I’m laughing at the funny TV commercial, and then suddenly I’m fighting back tears. It’s exhausting being me.
I can sleep for days and still be tired. I can cry for hours and still be filled with sadness. The toughest part is the anger. Anger at those who don’t deserve it, anger at those who do. The worst, though, is the anger I have for myself.
It’s been nearly 12 years since I first felt like this. Maybe longer, I honestly can’t recall the last time I didn’t feel weighed down by life. I refuse to go to a psychologist because I can’t commit to being that person. Don’t get me wrong, I respect people who are willing to face their demons and fight them head-on. I suppose I’m just not ready for that yet.
I have good days, great days even. I travel often and it’s the joy of my life. The promise of adventure is something I can’t resist. This spring I visited Disneyland Paris while on a European vacation with my mother. Disneyland is a place that has brought me immense joy since the first time I visited when I was eight years old.
As I walked through the gates and got my first view of Chip and Dale, my heart swelled to the point that tears welled in my eyes. Tears are something I am highly accustomed too as they dampen my face almost daily for one reason or another. But these tears were different. These wet droplets escaping from my eyes represented happiness. I think that’s why I’ve always loved Disneyland so much.
It’s so much more than an amusement park. It represents light and hope and pure intoxicating joy.
Unfortunately, I can’t go to Disneyland every day. During the other 364 days of the year, I am forced to find happiness in the mundane tasks of my day-to-day life. Joy exists where I least expect it. It’s in the warm sun as it shines through the window onto my skin. It exists in the soft cuddles I receive from my cats. It exists in the smiles and laughter I share with friends. If only I could control these things.
The good days make me grateful, but they also make me resentful. Why must I have bad days at all? I look around me and see others who seem to have no struggles. A perfect Instagram account, a huge group of friends, a loving boyfriend, a supportive family. Can it be possible that some people have it all? And if so, why can’t I? Have I done something to prevent myself from living a full and happy life?
These questions led me to explore the inner thoughts of others. It’s clear that I am not alone in my pain. 1 in 5 people deal with mental health issues in Canada alone. As I read the statistics, I feel a sense of comfort, I’m not alone. But I still feel alone. At times it makes me feel even worse. I’m not special, everyone is sad, everyone has tough times. I’m not special, I’m a loser, but not even a unique loser.
And then just like that I have another good day. My hair cooperates and people I don’t know compliment my outfit. I smile more than I frown.
There will always be dark days. I have come to accept the fact that my mind is in a battle with itself. A battle I don’t see ending anytime soon. But there are small victories. There are those trips to Disneyland, sunny days, and time spent with my favorite people. My tears may come every day, but I make the decision to live with it.
Just like all living things, I need water to grow and that’s what my tears represent. For every ounce of laughter that springs from my mouth, to every angry fist I slam into my pillow, I am alive. I am choosing to live and that is something I can control.
Madasyn Kost is a Journalism student with a passion for writing and traveling the world. Her thirst for adventure is what inspires her creativity. She has published articles through the Calgary Journal and focuses on issues close to her heart such as traveling, animals, and education.