This week two years ago was the happiest and scariest week of my life.
Life has a way of being bittersweet and when you feel like you’re reaching the ultimate high, you generally can anticipate a low point being just around the corner. Exactly two years ago, we had the first performance of The Addams Family: A New Musical Comedy – what I still consider to be the most amazing stage experience and best (but also the scariest) performance of my life. Yet on that same day, my father was released from hospital after a week of tests, only to now be weighted with the news that he has ‘a ticking time bomb in his head’, as a doctor put it. Malta also received news of its first COVID-19 case. I dare say this was the day that permanently shifted our lives… and what a journey these next two years have been.
I don’t want to be a negative Nancy, but I do feel that the low points of the past two years outweighed the highs. There were several times when I felt that I might have reached rock bottom or that I didn’t believe I could handle anymore pain and that I’m about to reach my breaking point. Looking back, I think it was the fact that I slowly started trying to put myself first, that helped me come out of each situation just that little bit stronger. I dare say that after months of feeling absolutely broken and although I feel like I’m still on the road to recovery, mentally and emotionally I am currently the strongest I’ve ever been in life.
Over the last two years, I lost most of the life I had been building for myself, and although I don’t feel ready to speak about certain topics just yet (keep in mind that this is the first time I’m blogging in about five months), I feel like I’ve almost been reborn. I feel like I’m starting my life over and to be quite honest, I have no clue where to begin. With every experience that I passed through, I seem to have shredded a layer of myself, only to now be revealing a ‘rejuvenated Rachel’, who is stronger, more resilient and perseverant, looking at situations from new perspectives, or at least that is what I hope to have achieved… it’s definitely what it feels like at the moment at least. Apart from the points that I’ve just mentioned, I’m also working on having more positive energy, trying to feel more self-assured, being more confident, and trusting myself and my judgement – issues that I believe I’ve always struggled with.
As I suffered loss after loss over the last year and a half, I never stopped looking at new possibilities that were potentially awaiting me, and I think that is the mindset that kept me going and kept me pushing to be resilient. I’m curious to learn which path my life will now take and am looking forward to every potential adventure, as big or small as it might be. I do hope to get back to performing soon because that’s one thing I’m terribly missing. But I also hope to keep up new ‘good habits’ that I’ve started, like physical training, and trying to eat healthier. I can’t thank my bestie/trainer/personal motivator enough, for all the help, support, love and making me feel safe by knowing that she doesn’t judge me. (Lydia, I’ve told you before, but I’ll tell you again, I don’t think I could have gotten through this period without your love and support. Your friendship means the world to me!) Certain friendships and connections have really made all the difference when facing these incredibly difficult times. I don’t have enough words of appreciation to the individuals that have been (and are still) there for me, helping me through, supporting me and encouraging me to hang in there.
It is evident that we aren’t out of the woods just yet, with news of war flooding our media. But darkness will always be around us. It is up to us to try and bring a little positivity and light into this world. If each individual shines a little brighter, the world would soon be flooded in light and hopefully, we’d be more at peace with ourselves and with those around us. Naturally, this is easier said and done, but it’s all about mindset.
In light of this, I am going to list a few ‘positives’ in my life right now, that I’m incredibly grateful for:
- My physical health and the effort I’m putting into improving it further… even my chronic back pain has reduced thanks to regular physical training
- Mental and emotional health – that has been challenged to its limits recently but that I’m also working on
- My singing voice – constantly working on improving and strengthening my voice, and trying to be more ‘stage-ready’
- Family – I cannot begin to explain how important they are to me
- Friends who are there during your toughest moments without judgement
- Living in a country that with all its good and bad, is meant to be ‘neutral’, and therefore should not be using military force in warfare
- Feeling satisfied with little achievements in my day to day job (it’s amazing how for granted we take this)
- Hugs!!! (and not being scared to physically touch someone in fear of getting a virus)
Can you help me spread the light? What are you grateful for at the moment?