I believe hard times are for growing.
Such a positive sentiment usually comes from someone at a good place in life. Au contraire, my friend. Had you asked two months - heck, two weeks - ago, I'd have said you were full of it. Hard times were for feeling bad, leaning on others, and trying unsuccessfully to find the hope that things would get better. I'm generally an optimist, but man...this felt like rock bottom. I thought it was. But then, you know what? I realized it wasn't. No matter how bad it gets, it could always be worse. Even when bad turns to worse, as it did for me, it can still get even worse. Granted, I don't want to be the one to test that theory...so let's just go with the assumption, alright? Okay.
Anyway, the point is that things were bad. The problem, though, was that I knew they were bad. I focused on the fact that things were not as I wanted them to be. With that perspective, they wouldn't ever get better. I'd always see the bad and probably never realize the potential for good. That said, the solution was simple (albeit not obvious, at least to me): get an attitude adjustment.
I know that sounds easier said than done, but you know what? I realized through doing that it's really not. For me, it was the birth of a new year. As I said before, I'm not big on New Year's Resolutions, but it seemed as good a time as any. "It's a new year: I'm going to have a better outlook." Okay, great.
So what happened, you ask? It was so. Zero of the things I had been unhappy about changed, and yet the burden felt easier to manage. That was a great start, but the really cool part was yet to come: within 10 days, circumstances did change. It probably wasn't because of the attitude adjustment...but you never know. (Not sayin'...just sayin.')
My point in all this?
I used to have a blog called "Life is what you make it," and I still believe that. If a situation isn't to your liking, you should, as a rule, change it. There's nothing stopping you. If someone in your life is holding you back, have a talk or make some space so you can fix it. (But do try to avoid hurting people.) If your job sucks, find a new one. (Don't up and quit without a new one: fair warning.) If a place, a circumstance, a fact about yourself isn't to your liking...do something about it. Heed the opportunity for growth.
And now I'm reminded of a song by the one group that has a song for every situation, The Eagles. (Listen now. You're welcome.)
They say every day is a gift. If your present isn't a present, do something to make it so.
*stepping off my soapbox, even though this is it*