Your life is a revolving door when it comes to the people in your life. Many walk into your life, stay around and grab a cup of coffee, enjoy the presentation that is the world around you, then walk out. At some point, you will have to make due with who’s there and who isn’t. This is your show. No matter the size of the audience or their demographic, give them a good show.
As I approach my 26th birthday, I can’t help but reflect on the wild shitshow that was my 2019. A wild storm of a romance(and all of the damage of a hurricane), the loss of my brother, an insanely rigorous work schedule that taught me the definition of burnout, and coming to terms with many hard truths.
Moving into the future, I’m shifting away the focus of my writing from these past topics that I have written extensively about. Some of this may reappear in the future, but the main goal of this article to write
Relationships — Let it breathe
For the past couple of years, I engaged in an extremely tumultuous long distance relationship with a woman I wet while living in this area. Initially, it started off wonderful with a wild ride of passion and intimacy in the first few months of us getting to know each other. Suffice to say, once our relationship became long distance, all of that died off over time.
About a month later after ending our communication with each other, I then encountered one of the most wonderful women I have ever met. Though if I’m being honest, I wasn’t in a position to fully appreciate her until much later in life.
A major source of conflict between us was my lack of consistency in my approach to her. Outside of our relationship, I was balancing a heavy work life and dealing with many unresolved personal issues that I allowed to take control of my life. The constant rush factor between us meant that things were great when it was good, and constant pressure cooker waiting to explode when it wasn’t. I couldn’t fully appreciate her with so much going on so she was unable to receive the best parts of me. I missed out on understanding her
At the time of this writing, we have slowed down and simply decided to maintain our friendship and come to understand each other more naturally. I’ve come to realize I also made this mistake in my previous relationship prior to her and perhaps we didn’t understand each other as well as we thought. If it was meant to be, it’ll be. However, you can’t rush romance. It has to happen when its ready.
Every relationship needs that space to breathe or else it will simply suffocate.
Mind over Work — Burnout and finding Peace of Mind.
Workplace burnout has been a haunting presence of my year. A constant feeling of exhaustion and sheer mental drain that has burdened me for much of the year.
I have already extensively written much about this one so if you want check out my journey through Burnout, check out this prior article:
As a member of the US Navy, I’m often placed in situations where I’m told to handle extraordinary workloads at the cost of my own mental health. After watching how that’s personally affected myself, and the relationships of those around me, I’m aiming to give myself permission to take a step back going into those future.
Take care of your mental health. Your loved ones will appreciate it.
Identity Crisis — Acceptance of who you are
“Who am I?”
A deceptively simple question that has formed my greatest personal struggle for the past 25 years in my life. This year I finally took some time to answer that question.
For the past seven years, I have been living with a complicated duality. On one side of the coin, there’s my original black parents that gave me life. While I never had to live without and they always provided, I was constantly lacking in emotional love. What they gave me in intelligence and extreme self-determination, I lacked in love. A gaping hole in my heart that I always wanted them to fill yet somehow, despite their best efforts, it just never worked out. Unfortunately, I never realized how bad it truly was until my aforementioned previous relationship made it brazenly obvious.
Then on the other side, there’s my Brazilian professor that took me during my first year attending a university in my hometown(Yeah typing that felt weird to me too). His family took me in during an emotionally distressing time in my young adult life. That emotional support I was lacking I found in them and they have fueled the best aspects of my personality ever since.
My solution to this 25 year conflict: make peace with both sides of myself. In a way, I have simply decided to combine the good heart of my professor’s family with the talent and skill of my parents. I’m still working out the kinks but it’s the most I’ve been at peace with my inner mind in years.
Dayon Cotton is a writer, fitness enthusiast, somewhat eccentric and active duty member of the US Navy. For more of my personal writing, check out page here on Medium. For personal inquiries or freelance writing, contact me at email@example.com