When Shutting Down isn’t the Answer

To be completely honest with you writing something this month has been a struggle for me. I’ve sat down or pulled out notes my phone on multiple occasions and just couldn’t find the words to write. To be even more honest with you when life gets hard for me I shut down. However, when life happens and shutting down isn’t an option, what do you do?

To give you some insight, in this last month my grandmother passed away and while I loved her dearly the close relationship some have with their grandparents I did not have with her and had no idea how to feel upon receiving this news. At my other grandparent’s funerals I broke down barely remembered what happened that day, at hers I was able to get up in front of people and share some words with no problem. Does that make me a horrible human? While some assured me that was not the case I still can’t help but feel horrible and ultimately shut down.

While I know shutting down isn’t the answer, shaking the feeling also hasn’t worked for me. I want to feel happiness and be carefree among my peers but for someone that wears their heart on their sleeve that’s not as simple as some may see it. One day I came across this quote, “Life is complicated mixed with small moments of simplicity.” I couldn’t help but laugh because if this doesn’t sum up how all the emotions I’m feeling right now I don’t know what does. Life is definitely messy, unorganized and unpredictable. Being someone who likes to be as organized as possible as well as tries to control as much as possible this is frightening. My solution, shut down. This was my aha moment. This horrible news and not knowing how to feel or where to compartmentalize it has helped me take the first step in understanding that everything can’t be black and white no matter how hard I want it to be.

Having this realization of my own has been my first step in trying to understand how I can be better at not shutting down. I don’t know my next steps or know for certain that in the next horrible situation that comes my way I won’t shut down again but it’s my first step to be better. While I can’t control everything what I can control is believing in myself and every moment leading up to the next has prepared me for what is ahead.

Stephanie Bartz

Stephanie is a spirited millennial tackling the advertising world. A Pennsylvania native trying to fit into the concrete jungle, she believes with hard work and dedication anything is possible. When she's not obsessing over every passing dog you can find her strolling through Central Park with her Nikon or cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.

One Comment

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    10/05/2017 at 2:13 pm

    Sometimes, it happens, and you are not the only one going through this alone! Even I feel so, many a times. But yes, life is all about forgetting the past and moving on! 🙂


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