Do you remember times in your life based on you were reading/watching/listening to at the time?
I always remember times in my life based on what books, music, movies or tv shows I was obsessed with during that time.
For tv shows… The O.C reminds of when I was at high school. Game of Thrones reminds me of my final 6 months of living in Bendigo with my boyfriend while I was at university. The Walking Dead reminds me of when I first moved home to live back with my family.
But the one show that causes the biggest connection with a particular time in my life is The Vampire Diaries.
I started watching the show when it was already 4 seasons in. I was 19 and I had just moved 230km away from home to go to university in Regional Victoria. This was one of the most challenging times in my life for SO many reasons.
Partly because it took us 3 months to get accepted to live in a rental property and because of that we were staying in different accomodation every week and driving between my family’s home and where I went to university (like 460km a week).
Partly because I’d started studying full-time at university in Semester 2, when everyone else had already been there for 6 months and felt like I was drowning for nearly the entire semester.
But mostly, because finally after 3 months we finally got accepted to live in a house (right near my university campus) — but I was overwhelmed with stress, anxiety and something I’d never really felt before: loneliness.
My boyfriend had started working double shifts as a chef, which meant he was out of the house for most of the day (and night). I didn’t know anyone in my new town. I hadn’t made and friends yet. And for the first time in my life — I was really lonely.
For as long as I could remember I’d been surrounded by people, but then all of a sudden I was spending more time alone than I had ever done before. This on top of everything else that was going on at the time made for quite a challenging time — and honestly I was finding it quite hard.
But there was one moment during this time that I knew that things we’re going to be okay — and that they would get better.
I had been at the local library stocking up on books to read when I saw Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries on DVD. I had recently watched a couple of old episodes on Foxtel and had quite enjoyed it, so I decided to start watching it from the beginning of the series.
Each night when my boyfriend would head back to work for his dinner shift, I would make some peppermint tea, get some dark chocolate and put on an episode (or three!) of the show.
It gave me a distraction from feeling lonely and overwhelmed. It became a part of my day that I really looked forward to. But it’s more than that… It gave me hope that things were going to get better.
I was watching the very first episode of the series and Elena shares with Stefan how she had recently lost her parents in a car accident and he tells her:
“You won’t be sad forever”
It was like something clicked inside of me: It’s impossible to feel the same way forever.
It was in that moment I realised that no matter bad I felt right now — I wasn’t going to feel that way forever.
This idea that I wouldn’t feel the way I was currently feeling forever gave me hope that one day soon I would feel better than I did.
I remember realised that even though things sucked right now — it wasn’t permanent.
It gave me hope that I wouldn’t feel the way I was feeling forever. And during this time this is what gave me more comfort than anything else.
I would hold onto the idea that things were going to change, soon. That how I felt was temporary. And that things could — and would — get better.
I later learnt that this concept is called ‘impermanence’ but at the time I would remind myself over and over again: I won’t feel this way forever.
The Vampire Diaries has officially come to the end of it’s final season, with the series finale airing in America over the weekend. In the lead up to the final season I decided to re-watch it from the beginning (which I’ve done many times), and when I watched the first episode again I was reminded how much that phrase at the time gave me hope during this time.
I was reminded what this show gave me many years ago — comfort and hope that things were going to get better. Knowing that I wasn’t going to feel the way I was feeling forever made me feel a little better than I did.
I will always associate The Vampire Diaries with those first few months of moving away from home. I will always remember how much it hope the idea of ‘not feeling this way forever’ gave me — and I will always be grateful for that.
I’m sharing this with you today because maybe the next time you feel like things really suck, reminding yourself that you won’t feel this way forever might make you feel a little better than you did before.
I hope that no matter how you’re feeling that you can find comfort — and hope — in the idea that it isn’t going to last forever. That things will change. That you will be okay.
Remember: You won’t feel this way forever.
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