Life happens pretty much whether you like it or not. It’s the worst feeling having to adjust to the same situation over and over again whether it be heartbreaks, disappointments, failures, and the list goes on and on. The hardest part of these events in life is what happens next. How we choose to pick ourselves up is what sort of defines us. Between you and me, my hearts been broken one too many times but I always seem to find my way back. It’s harder each time but I never imagined it would be any easier. It may be a New Year but for some people they are still facing pains and aches of the past and putting these pains behind might be the only way to see 2017. If this is you here are 5 steps that I have taken when it comes to adjusting any to painful situation.
Step 1: Begin Accepting What Has Happened
You can never move on from any painful event in your life if you cannot accepted what has happened. The first step in moving forward is coming to grips with what has happened. Begin to pick up the pieces and accept the fact that what has happened is not something you can change any longer. Each day tell yourself that although it is hard it will not feel this way forever.
Step 2 : Build a Support System
Nothing in life is ever easy to get through alone. In finding yourself back to a better space and a better you it is important to build a system of people who support you and encourage growth within you. For those who are hesitant to opening up to friends or family now may be the perfect time to let them in and allow them to help you fix what is broken.
Step 3 : Avoid Reliving the Memories
Now is not the best time to be walking down memory lane. It is best to put the past where it belong and keep looking forward. Invest your time in making new memories and building a better you. Looking back will only keep you from seeing the great things that are possible for the future.
Step 4 : Invest in Yourself
After any traumatic event in life we are at our lowest point but we can only go up from there. When the grayness of the days have passed and you begin to see yourself for the strong person you are take the time to pour more of your time into yourself. Put yourself first and never look back!
Step 5 : Learn From it All
Everything happens for a reason or so I’d like to tell myself. Whenever something disappointing happens it is important for us not to bury it away but take the time to learn from it. Realize why it went wrong and take the lessons learned and move forward with it. Remember don’t take the event with you but what you gained from it.
The holiday season no matter what race or religion means one thing: family coming together and for those of you who may be alone for the first time this year, I completely understand your feelings of frustration, confusion and even depression. I remember the first time I spent the holidays by myself and it was the loneliest time for me. Eventually I found comfort in the city and the people around me. Adjusting to a new place and culture this time of year only makes you miss your own even more but luckily you have come to New York City– a place where you don’t have to forsake who you are but can be that person freely.
This holiday season, if you are adjusting to this new place here are 5 tips of mine that will help you see New York more as home and help you through what can seem as a grooling time.
- Explore. New York City has so much to offer. Around every corner is a new adventure and has something exciting just waiting to be discovered. The holiday season is filled with great festivals, shows and treats. Take this time of year to learn about your new home, the people and the holiday culture. The holiday season in New York City is like no other. People seem to come together in ways that all year round is forgotten. Whether it is ice skating in Bryant Park or visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center, New Yorkers come together to celebrate the season and each other. Click the link below to check out various ways you can venture out this holiday season in the city. https://www.timeout.com/newyork/christmas
- Volunteer. As the holiday season is a season of giving thanks and being thankful for, we should remember that many of those who live here in the city might not have as much as we do. New York City alone has a population of over 60 thousand homeless people. In the city there are various shelters and soup kitchens that are always looking for people to volunteer their time to help with activities. Although, we should try to give back throughout the year, giving a little extra during the holiday season goes a long way and means so much those we help. For those adjusting to a new life here in the city, it is a great opportunity to open your eyes to all that you have even though it might not be clear to see. Click the link to learn more about organizations that need your help this season: https://www.newyorkcares.org/holiday-volunteering-referrals
- Travel. With classes coming to an end and a break coming up, it is a great time to take a few days off and see what else is out there. Being alone comes with its perks and this is one of them. Traveling out or around the country during the winter season has its rewards, for one flights and hotel stays are cheaper. Adjusting to a new place can be hard on the mind and body so if you need to take a little time and go home, or go see a new part of the world. Click the link to see the best places to see during the season. http://www.priceoftravel.com/5324/cheap-warm-places-go-christmas-new-years-season/
- Find what you love. The winter season may seem like a dreadful and boring time in New York City but in fact what may seem to be dull and dreary is a great time for you to get back to doing what you love. In the winter we are offered solitude and with an extra hour we can take up a hobby we forgot about. So this winter take the time to remember who you were and find ways within you to adjust to your new life.
- Connect with people. Being alone in a new place only becomes easier by opening yourself up to new possibilities. By connecting with people you will feel less like an outsider, and will become less consumed with the feeling of being alone. You will become more confident in yourself and your place where you are if you build a support system. I know that meeting new people is not an easy task but each day try to put yourself out there. The holiday season is a great time to begin this because everyone is more open to connecting and if I do say so myself in a far better mood.
Coming back from the last few weeks have been tough. Each day I wake up wondering how people see me more than ever. I wonder if they base their judgement of me solely on my race, the curls in my hair, or my accent. As I sit on the train feeling alienated and quite frankly like an outsider, I recall a time where I felt just like I do today. When I was about 5 years old, I moved to Barbados and it was the hardest transition of my life to this day. Although the culture was similar to my Guyanese heritage, nothing felt similar. I don’t even think people saw me the same. I was different and people treated me as such. I was bullied and outcasted for being different; no one wanted to be friends with the girl who spoke or looked very different.
If I had known history would repeat itself, I would have paid more attention to how I dealt with it all then. I would have told myself to pay attention to the ways I kept my morale high, and the ways I found hope. As I look to my past for advice and answers to share about how we can all adjust to this part of our history, I find myself at a loss. Many of us have faced discrimination, bullying, and plain hate, but we thought things would different by now. Here at City Tech, we have such a diverse community. The hallways echo with many different languages and origins. The cafeteria offers various types of foods, students are mixed, and it is all working ecosystem. We all intertwine and coexist peacefully but in a time where that harmony is being disrupted, how do we adjust to this?
I think we have to take steps forward to accept the fate we have been given no matter how hard it is to swallow. Do not get me wrong, this does not mean to just let things be the way they have planned but to organize how we will move forward. When I was being bullied for being different, I tried to better myself not for others to like me but for myself. I looked to myself for comfort and compassion. In a world where not much is promised we can always seem to count on ourselves and our inner strength. We must count on ourselves to do better. What I mean by this is adjusting to this period in history will not be an easy road, but we must look deep within ourselves and figure out what we really want and deserve. As I remember the frightened little girl I used to be, I recall that I would tell myself that it would get better because I would make it better. We educated one another on smarter ways to advocate for our rights and we collaborate on efforts to spread positivity. Together, we can change this! Let’s adjust to the idea that we can change this and we have to make smarter choices moving forward.