I spent the evening with a group of close friends at our local outdoor music center for the Journey concert. One of their greatest hits, and naturally one of my favorite Journey songs, is “Don’t Stop Believing”. During this song, everyone surrounding me in the crowd was belting out lyrics at the top of their lungs, throwing their arms in the air, and dancing around with an aura of pure bliss. I absolutely loved it. The pulsating momentum of the song is enough to have anyone up and moving, with a smile on their face. But I wonder if anyone is ever truly considering what the lyrics of the song actually are saying.
Don’t stop believing.
Often today in the world, people struggle. People struggle financially. People struggle with their health. People struggle in academics. People struggle in their relationships. People struggle to find motivation. People struggle to have faith. People struggle to trust. People are constantly struggling, I am constantly struggling. Because of this constant struggle I often find myself lacking belief. Belief in what you might ask. In humans. In God. In fate. In myself. In happiness.
I often find myself pondering why I struggle to believe. Part of the time I think it is because I have been disappointed so many times in my life, that believing in the good, believing that things will turn out okay, is just so damn difficult. Part of the time I think it is because I am such a logical person, a ‘realist’ so to speak, and I am always looking for facts, proof, examples, some of which are unobtainable. Whatever the reason may be, I have doubts.
When my father passed away in March, my family’s life was turned upside down. No, not turned upside down, literally uprooted and shaken around and THEN flipped (not just turned) upside down. So many things have been altered beacuse of his unexpected death, many of which have been most difficult to process and proceed through. The family home that I grew up in, that my mother had intentions of living in until she was an old, wrinkled grandma, had to be put up for sale. Our boxes had to be packed. Our family had to uproot after 18 years in our house and plant new roots somewhere else. This was painfully difficult, not only for myself, but for my mother and sister as well. When you are going through the process, you never believe that anywhere else could ever feel like “home” again.
We have been moved out of our home since June 2nd, roughly four months. Four months in comparison to 18 years. 18 years of memories, holidays, snow days, sleepovers, movie nights, dinners, routines… 18 years of time spent with our family, family we will never get to see again. Life is different now. My mother lives at home with her mother now (for whom she provides care). I live in an apartment house with my fiance. My sister lives near her college. No longer are we under one roof. Likely we never will be again. And yet, here I am, in my new home. I am comfortable and cozy on my couch (which used to belong to my parents), under a familiar blanket, listening to my fiance snore from our bedroom. I am at home. It’s a different home, but it is home. I didn’t believe I would feel at home again, at least not for quite some time. And here I am feeling at home.
Sometimes, no matter how difficult the situation is, you have to believe that there is still hope. You have to believe that things can get better, and not only that they can, but believe that they will. When you stop believing, you often stop dreaming, stop making efforts, stop moving forward. I truly trust that believing in something – whether it is in yourself, in finding happiness, in fate, in God – gives you a motivation to keep moving forward. Without moving forward, nothing can change. That means that whatever it is that might be down in your life will also not change. The option you have is to move forward and believe in what lies ahead, or stay at a stand still and never know what is around the corner. It’s like the old cliche says… “Anything is possible, if you just believe.”
So as one of my favorite classic rock bands says, “Don’t stop believing.”