I’ll be honest, yesterday, I had a meltdown.

I was just chugging along doing my OMIS (Operations Management of Information Systems) homework, and then this song came on by City and Colour – Sleeping Sickness and I just started crying.

I just sat there and soaked up my homework.

My paper never had a chance.

The hardest part of this was that I had work that day. I showed up early and I remember what my manager told me a while ago.

If you need help, ask for it. This was one of those moments when I really needed help. We went outside, and I tried as hard as I could not to start crying, but that failed.

I started tearing up pretty bad trying to explain what was wrong.

What was wrong?

It wasn’t that for the first time the other day I missed a meeting at work because of a personal situation, it was all of these things that I hadn’t talked about for a long time.

I had unfinished conversations, unfinished situations, unfinished parts of my life.

I was letting these things really build up on my shoulders and I didn’t even know it…or maybe worse didn’t want to face them and finish them.

As much as I was trying, I wasn’t living in the present. I was thinking of things that happened a year ago, 4 months ago, 6 months ago.

These things were hindering me pretty bad. In fact, it was getting in the way of the other relationships I was trying to  build with other people.

To be frank, I am a little bit shell shocked because of the things that have happened over the past few years.

How can I pull the shrapnel out of my chest and let the scars heal? How can the scars fade?

I have to live in the present. 

I will never be able to change the past. I know this. But why did I breakdown over it?

There are a couple of reasons.

I have written about this before, but I am really scared of people leaving me. There are plenty of instances over the past year or so of people leaving me and it hurt really bad. I just have to accept that this is a part of life and will happen no matter what.

Well, its because I have things to say or things to hear from people that I haven’t heard yet. Will I get those chances? Probably not.

My manager looked me in the eyes and told me this, and it kinda hit pretty hard. However, she said, just because you won’t get that chance doesn’t mean you can’t finish that conversation yourself.

“Evan, what did you wan’t to hear? What do you want them to say to you that you haven’t heard which is stopping you from living in the present, right now?”

I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said, “I want to hear I love you. That everything will be okay and that I love you.”

I need to hear that from a few people, but I wont have that chance again. So she looked at me again and said, “Then say it.” I was struck at first and was like “What? Say it?” She goes, “Yeah, say it, say it to yourself Evan.” ……..I love you.

It was pretty awkward at first.

“Say it again.” I love you Evan.

The more I said it, the more things came off my shoulders. I felt like chains were coming off. She told me to say anything else I wanted to say, and it just started coming out.

Pouring out. Some was angry, some was sad, some was happy, but it all came out. It sounds really weird, but talking to yourself actually can really help.

I wouldn’t suggest making it a habit because you might end up in a hospital somewhere, but when you need to hear things to get you back into this moment, the most important moment of your life, I suggest you use it. 

I don’t need anyone to come save me. I don’t need anyone to fix me. I have it all in me.

I have been very unfocused and scattered lately because of all these feelings I haven’t addressed. I realize now that I need to be writing every day. I know I have finals coming up and the year is ending, but this is important.

This is my life. When life gets hard, you are pushed to your limits.

Yeah, school may be hard, but if you get overwhelmed with school and fall apart, what happens when life gets hard? You have to look yourself in the mirror. 

Enough. Enough of all these old things. Here was the last piece of advice that I got. 

“I cannot give you the formula to success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everyone “- Herbert Bayard

“It’s simple: when you haven’t forgiven those who’ve hurt you, you turn your back against the future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward”

“The next time you find yourself surrounded by darkness in the middle of a storm and everything is at it’s absolute worst, take a moment to give thanks- because you know that no matter what, the sun is going to rise. It will get better. That sunrise is faith. – Oprah

If there is ever a way to relate to me, its by sending me quotes.

I opened up that email and read those quotes and I melted. So at my absolute worst, and no matter how hard this was, I laid there and said thank you to God.

For giving me a second chance all those months ago. I am in permanent thanks. Every night before I fall asleep I say thank you.

I am thankful for this life. For breathing every day. But I am still shell shocked.

How do I change it?

It starts by taking those first steps, by finishing those conversations, and by mentally giving myself a big hug. I have to tell you, over the past few weeks I have gained a great friend in Dana.

She really just makes me laugh so hard and we relate on so many different levels its not even funny. Most of all though, we can sit down and be completely 100% open and honest with each other.

There’s no judgement. Just the truth and it is what it is. That is so refreshing. The way I move forward to is by making friends with people. Really putting myself out there and getting to know some amazing people.

I am going to start going to classes at work with my coworkers and really getting to know them. I think this is a good start.

I already have some great people around me, but I think the potential for doing some great things and meeting some great people is definitely there. I am really excited. 

So I guess if I was going to say one thing to myself right now, it would be, “It’s going to be okay.”

Start living in the present, and forget about everything else.

Oh, and, I love you.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project