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I can do hard things.

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

A little while ago I wrote about my struggles, about 2020, about being alone during a pandemic with major life shifts that have made things even more difficult. I shared about having anxiety and at times struggling through this year…. or not just this year, but through life in general at times. The post wasn’t made to evoke sympathy or to make people worry about me, it was to show that I am real. We are all really going through a lot, even without a world wide pandemic. The reality is, and we should know this, that people only share their highlight reel. We need to check in with reality and understand that everyone struggles sometimes. Everyone has things happening that we don’t know about. We all need support and understanding, and maybe even more so, we all need to talk about the difficult times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the eternal optimist looking for the positive moments of gratitude, but I’m also real and know that everything isn’t perfect and everything isn’t easy all of the time.

Sometimes I feel like people think I’m this super strong, always happy, nothing phases me kind of person. This is SO not true. I mean. I am strong. I’m strong because I’ve had to be. I’ve been independent for so long that it’s just something that has come second nature. I do also try to look at the upside of things. I also try to believe that people are good and trying their best, but we all have our moments. I have my own insecurities. I struggle with being alone and always having to do things on my own. I get tired of working hard, and that leads to frustration and exhaustion. The difference is that I’ve learned that these feelings are to be valued. I’m not afraid of being sad. I don’t love it, but I’ve done hard things. I’ve been through difficult times. I’ve struggled through the process of life. But, in the end…. I have survived.

When I was 23 I moved overseas on my own having no clue what I was getting myself into. While this was one of the most difficult things that I did, it is also one of the most formative times in my life. If I look back at that time, or other times in my life, the one thing that I know is that I got through it and I came out even stronger after.

This year has been tough for me, but I am Okay! I am healthy. I have a safe home. I have food in my kitchen. My job is continuing online. I have a my cat Cooper to cuddle with and keep me company. I have extra toilette paper because I apparently that’s an important thing. I also have the continued love and support of some pretty amazing people!

A few months ago I thought I had lost everything! I no longer work at a studio I worked at for three years. Working at any studio now is difficult with the new regulations. I have new classes, but they are restricted in size and rely on being online to keep the community connected and supported. I don’t feel like I have my feet beneath me at all times. I am just one teacher with so many struggles and this is my side gig. However, I do need my side gig as it helps me support myself being a single person with a mortgage and many other bills, but many people have this as their primary source of income. I thought I had lost my community that I worked so hard to build. While I did lose some connection and a couple very significant relationships, I did not lose it all. I did not lose my ability to teach, my connection to some very important people who support me beyond words, or my passion for what I do. Sometimes it takes a difficult time to realize what you really have instead of what you’ve lost. Over the last little bit, I’ve thought a lot about the pandemic and my own life experience within in, and I can’t help but be overwhelmed with gratitude for everything that I have.

Big things are coming, and I know that this year hasn’t been easy. I write this in anticipation of another big announcement from the government about potential restrictions to our province and our ability to function within it. My heart goes out to the hospital workers and anyone who has been affected by this situation. In reality, there isn’t anyone who has not been affected by this virus. Whether you have a job, lost a job, got sick or didn’t get sick, we are all living through a very difficult part of history. Whether things are good for you or not, the energy in the world is heavy. I can feel the weight of this year as I try to balance and figure out my on place in it.

I want to leave this by saying, I’m trying my best and I know you are too. If I can spread one piece of advice it is to ask people for patience and understanding. If someone snaps at you, remember that they might have someone in their world struggling, they might not have enough money to buy Christmas gifts, their small business might be on the verge of closing, they might have anxiety about leaving their home, they might be living alone and may not have had any human physical contact since this all began, they might have health issues that are they are hiding because they are afraid of going to the doctor, they may not believe in this situation and believe the government should not control or have any say in what we do each day because they lost their job and blame the government…. We don’t know what is happening …. so be kind… be patient…. offer support and friendship …. in the end you will feel better having helped or supported someone more than you will if you have started a fight. Together, we can do hard things.

Be Kind.


Nicole Leona

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