I didn’t have a plan for this blog post, no dot points, no keywords. Today I want to be real and talk about something that has been plaguing me.
Lately I’ve felt like I’m running on quicksand, like time is running out. An incessant ‘tick, tick, tick’ in my ear, constantly propelling me forward, prompting me to hurry up and do more.
It felt like a constant pressure cloaked around me like a jacket. The urgency intensified, until I felt like I couldn’t breathe under all the expectations.
Go go go, rush rush rush, I was tripping over myself to be onto the next thing, striving to succeed.
In a moment of clarity and sense (rare these days) I started to wonder what I was running to. The answer was, I don’t know! I was trying to push so hard and fast that I never stopped to ask why.
I guess I was looking for a sign that I was on the right path, on a journey that would allow me to proudly and categorically label myself a success. Trying to tick all the boxes.
The truth is, I don’t tick that many. I don’t wear designer clothes or have a million friends. I rent a house older than my grandparents, and drive a 99 corolla. My career? A crossbreed of random fields turned blogger.
I couldn’t stop asking myself, what am I doing with my life?!
I felt like I’d reached a standstill, with nowhere to go. This pressure, it built and built until I sat down and asked myself, where is this pressure coming from?
It was coming from me.
It was coming from everything I surround myself with.
I’d done this to myself.
The record scratch moment
I’d love to just blame that dang social media. And to be fair it’s played it’s role. There will always be an effect when we drown ourselves in other people’s highlight reels.
But this was my fault too. All social media did was exist, I was the one who bought into it. Yes, my feed is filled with new houses, engagements and career steps, but that doesn’t mean it’s a challenge.
So why had I taken it as one?
Why did I feel guilty for not meeting an arbitrary standard that I had made based on comparisons?
Why, when I am so generous and empathetic with others, could I not forgive myself for a sin that doesn’t even exist?
How I’m choosing to move forwards
I’ve written before about how you can decide your own meaning of success, but that can be really hard to internalise. I believe it wholeheartedly, yet believed I wasn’t allowed to apply it to myself.
I am 23, I don’t yet have it all figured out. Some people believe I should, but the truth is, there’s isn’t one single perfect path through life. There are people who have it all together at 18, and some who never figure it out.
I don’t want to become so obsessed with creating and living a plan that I forget to live right now. I have spent too long trying to align myself with some predestined path.
I’m learning to give myself a break. While I’m not on other people’s path, that doesn’t mean I’m not on a good one. My life is mine and mine alone, and I’m learning to stop comparing, and start appreciating it. My path right now, is a beautiful one.
I have an incredible partner who fills my life with love and joy.
My mental health has improving by leaps and bounds.
I have the most beautiful and incredible people around me that I am lucky to call friends.
Is it all good? No. But that doesn’t mean failure, that means I’m living a life.
As for my career? I don’t know yet. Right now I’m throwing my heart and soul into the most terrifying yet fulfilling venture yet, this blog.
That’s enough for me right now.