Just like any other typical weekday morning, I was lifting weights in the garage last Wednesday. I’d been in somewhat of a low mood, although I was doing my best to keep it together. Thinking I was just doing business as usual, I threw a barbell onto the rack and let out a big yell. That’s not unusual for some people in a gym, but definitely unusual for myself in the garage.

I didn’t really mean to – it just came out that way.

In either case, I couldn’t take it back. Soon enough my family came in through the door to check in on me.

“Is something wrong, what’s the matter with you?”
“Are you mad at us?”

“No… I just want to be alone right now, thanks.”

Although I’m not sure exactly what led up to this, it might have been a combination of the uncertainty of my future, relationships and living situation. Slight problems when I look at the bigger picture, that seem much more significant when you let your mind stew over them for a long period of time.

My older brother then walked into the garage and found me sitting down on the floor, just casually looking at my phone. We then got into a conversation about my strange behavior, and how our parents were concerned about me. We spoke about some of the issues that I’ve had in the past, including the recurrence of suicidal thoughts.

“When’s the last time you’ve had thoughts about that? How far into those thoughts do you go?” 

“Recently… Not very far, they go away pretty quickly.”

As heavy as that conversation was, things started to get better from there on out. I noticed how quickly the pendulum can swing the other way and get you out of a funk. I think the fastest way to pull myself out of a mood like that is with good company and humor. I pushed myself to get out to my improv classes and meetup groups. While at that improv class, I think the combination of sadness and anger really opened me up to the attitude of not caring how I was perceived. I was a lot more crass, rude, and ultimately funnier as a result of all that.

My interactions with people got better and better, and soon enough I couldn’t identify with who I was on Wednesday morning.

That Saturday, I took my younger brother out for a walk to the park. For those of you who don’t know, he does have a developmental disorder (autistm) and really lives in his own world most of the time. We came upon a clearing with some wooden logs and I thought I’d just give him some space to be by himself for a little bit.

Every now and then he’d have smile across his face, but for the most part his expression was neutral. He was just taking things in, listening and looking around without forcing any particular emotion.

Although he doesn’t try to be a teacher by any means, I thought of that as a way I could be looking at my own life. Circumstances and events are pretty much neutral as bad or as great as they might seem.

Thanks for reading,

Rolando