I don’t give up.

Today I am grateful that I don’t give up. Seriously, I just don’t know how to give up. If not for the Gospel I would not have the strength to get through my days. Days like today I would love to just give up. I hate to sound like a Debbie Downer, but my perspective on my life is so screwed up. I don’t appreciate the good things I have in my life. I don’t appreciate my talents and gifts, even the spiritual gifts I have been given to bless the lives of others. I don’t appreciate all the times where I have touched the lives of others. I really don’t know why I keep going. All I can think about are the things and people I don’t have in my life.

In recent times I struggle to do basic things. Things that used to come so easy to me now seem almost impossible. I have been at my job for five years. You would think that after being there this long I would be an expert at what I do. Even though I thoroughly love my job and the type of work I do, every morning I dread coming to work. I am filled with anxiety. I am fearful of failing. My mind has become obsessed with the fear of failure. That obsession leaves little or no room for the confidence I once had or the intense focus that made me so successful in the past.

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All too often I have felt like a failure in recent times. I’ve burnt myself out. I know that there’s no question that I thrive off of the positive energy of others. The best way I’ve found to be around positive energy is to create it yourself. I’m REALLY good at that. However, just like when going on a cross-country roadtrip and you need to fill up your gas tank, on this marathon of life, I’ve forgotten to take care of me. It became so easy to put the needs and desires of others before my own, because I loved the rush I felt when I made others smile. Making others smile made me smile. During that process I forgot how to make myself smile… just because. Just because I am awesome. Just because I am worthy of love. Just because I am wholehearted. Just because… I am Jimmy freakin’ Paderta.

Through all of this I refuse to give up. I don’t know why. My earthly heart is done with all the failures. However, my spirit inside of me is much stronger. Something won’t let me stop. Al Carraway once told me, “Jimmy, do not let giving up be an option!” One thing that fills me with gratitude is that I have the courage to share this moment of weakness with 596 of you. I know that all of you have moments like this. There’s no reason to feel like there’s something wrong with you or that you are the only one feeling this way. Last night I read in my book by Brené Brown, “Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it–it can’t survive being shared.” I guess I could end this post by telling shame to stick it where the sun don’t shine. I’m strong, even in my greatest moments of weakness, and I refuse to go down without a fight!!!

Thank you for being there for me.

Love,