• Joseph Spaulding

1 . If not now, when?

Updated: May 8, 2019

It's Febuary 9th, 2017, you are 24 years old, you just quit your minimum wage job in the mall. You only have a high school education that you barely earned yourself. You drive a tiny Mazda Miata that is on its last leg, and you live with your parents in your home state of South Carolina, you are getting in that tiny little car to drive across the country and hit the restart button on life. This was me a couple of years ago. This may not sound that bad, and to be honest, it really wasn't. I love my family, I loved that car, I even liked my minimum wage job. So why was I about to make a huge journey like this? Why would I want to miss out on seeing my nieces and nephews grow up? Why would I want to move 2,000 miles away from my Mom and Dad and the rest of my family and friends? The answer is complicated but to put it simple. Depression.

I was horribly depressed, I barely wanted to leave my room. I wasn't eating right, and I was losing my ability to keep calm in hard situations and developing anxiety. Every time I would go anywhere, I would act like everything was alright, I wasn't clear with my family, I hide from my feelings and suppressed it all, except at night. I couldn't sleep, ever. I would be up all night everything I had pushed down and away from during the day flooding into my mind, every emotion spilling out all at once. On and on this went, getting worse every day. So, a week or so before that morning of February 9th, I made a choice. I told myself that no matter what I was going to change, change of venue, change of perspective, change of heart. I told everyone "in one week I'm moving out west." I had friends in Utah and had visited there before, I fell in love with the state and felt it was the place to go.

I only had around $300 and didn't want to ask anyone for money, so I figured out how much it would cost, took care of any loose ends with my job, commitments, gym memberships, etc. I took off, the whole way praying I would make it, physically, and emotionally.

It's almost two years to the day that I made that journey. I have since met with doctors, tried a verity of medication, read many books, watched tons of motivational videos, spent countless hours talking to family and friends about every detail of how I feel and coming clean on what I was going through. I’ve meditated, prayed, medicated, and pushed through it.

All because I made a choice. Not only did I make a choice, but I stuck to it. I followed through. This journey has not been easy, moving to Utah was not the answer to every problem I have, however, it was a start. That’s it, just start, go down that road and keep going no matter how scared you get, no matter how many times you’ve tried, and it didn’t seem to work. Keep going, keep trying, and keep learning.

One of the best things that has really hit home with me this past year is that I’m not perfect. There’s no more reason to feel guilty or bad for feeling bad, or like I’m not good enough. You'll have problems, you'll have concerns, you'll have heart ache. It's all growth, and it may be hard to admit, but it's all good for you.

In this process I have discovered that I enjoy teaching others what I have learned, this also opened me up to the realization that I am not the only one who feels the things I feel. There are thousands and thousands of people all over the world who have felt the same way. They may not have been through the same experiences, we all have hundreds of unique things that happen to us every day, we may all have a different perspective on life and on happiness. We have different, races, religion, gender, politics, sexual orientation, nationalities, and on and on, we all have one thing in common. We are all Human, and therefore, we can help one another learn and grow, and change. We can all learn from others, and we can all take away from the stories of others and the books and books written about self-development.

Remember, I’m not perfect, I’m no professional, I’m not an expert, or a guru. I don’t claim to be, I do however, affirm to be a student. I am a student of the art of a positive mindset, the skills it takes to overcome anxiety and depression, and the tools of happiness. I am proof that anyone can do this. No matter what your past is or what you think about yourself.

All you must do is make a choice, just decide, and then start.

If not now, when?

Make your first choice be now.

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