March 6, 2019
I feel like this post is a long time coming. #braceyoself This has been on my heart for a while. I’m going to break down the barrier of this perfect front many of us place online, including myself at times. I saved bits of this article over a year ago and never had the “balls” to share it. While reading through another email draft entitled “what would make a wildly successful 2018” which was a list of things I wanted to accomplish last year (financial goals, personal goals, business goals). Luckily, I can say I did accomplish most of them and laughed at a few others. I laughed because some of the things that were on that list are ideas/expectations that were placed on me by others. Ideas and expectations I threw in the trash were they belong.
The following is a quote taken from an article that stopped me in my tracks yet again.
“Although I have people in my life that I love and I am young and healthy and grateful and fortunate… I often feel lost. I often wonder where I belong. I often wonder what I’m meant to be doing, or if anything I am doing is taking me anywhere. I often feel uncertain about how I am proceeding with my life.
Almost daily, I question decisions and ponder career directions. It sounds dramatic (I know), but I sometimes I feel like I undergo a bi-weekly identity crisis: needing to please people, wanting to be liked, accepted, admired – overexerting myself and stretching and reaching and scurrying around being everything I thought everyone wanted me to be, and in many ways (really) saying: “No thanks! I’d rather not deal with the uncomfortable and instead, I will distract and fill myself with everything else but the emotion I am avoiding!”
The statements made above hit me like a ton of bricks. Maybe it’s because I will be 26 this month and I have been doing a lot of reflecting on my life + preparing to make some large life-altering decisions that have me in my head. But I can’t help but think – actually I KNOW I’m not the only one who feels this way. You know the pressure?
I feel like my twenties are supposed to be the days of fearless discovery, bonding friendships, ultimate physical well being, jam packed road trips and wild social weekends and music festivals and backpacking trips through Asia and great style and endless adventure (phew!).
And maybe my life has a few of those components, no doubt I’m blessed. But what often goes on under the radar are all the messy and confusing parts of being a twenty-something. I know some people who are able to experience those things mentioned above and that’s great for them. But what about the rest of us who experience a more “pressure-filled” scenario. Many people leave college and start a career, some of us have moved away from home, some of us have stayed, others started families, and some like me did many confusing things before landing on a business. Which let’s be real, is my baby. And despite a long road of self-discovery and adventure, some days I can feel absolutely lost. I thought maybe it was just because I sit at home (work from home) alone and just over think/analyze my life. I like to play the comparison game, but after talking to a few of my close friends I know they must feel this way too.
If this is you, let me just tell you it gets better. But it comes at a price, your time.
For the last 6 months I’ve been doing the work: inquiring about myself, reading books/listening to podcasts, attending therapy, learning self-care and other healthy behaviors. And slowly I am learning to differentiate myself as a human being from the stories I tell about myself. You know the ones: the stories that come from all the shoulds and comparisons. The standards placed on me by others. Ladies, can I get an amen?
I am also learning that I am not my joy or pain or indecision, those are just temporary emotions and I just experience them. They happen through me, but they are not me. I have to remind myself daily that I am not defined by these stories, and that I have the power to choose so let me remind you – YOU DO TOO. I hope this is just the bit of encouragement you needed today to go kick ass and not be paralyzed by the daunting sites of comparisons made on the internet. Be you. DO you. Make yourself happy.