So, ages ago when I was 21 (I can hear your gasps guys, I too am confused about the mix up in my birth certificate) I had a picture of the kind of person I would be at the end of my twenties – from professional achievements to personal victories. Like every smug millennial, I had it all figured out. Every thing good would march into my life with perfect timing. Why wouldn’t it? I could allow for the odd minor surprise or disappointment –see, I wasn’t being a total Nazi about it. I just wouldn’t let anything crazy through the cracks though. We all have expectations of ourselves. The real challenge is getting yourself back on track when you hit unfortunate circumstances you never saw yourself going through.
It’s extremely important to be positive and do what you can to ensure you get the best out of life. However, every single one of us will face an unexpected challenge at some point. A lot of the things I thought I would have all sorted out at this point in my life are not sorted out.The awkward thing about goals, dreams, visions boards and New Year resolutions is the glaring absence of the ‘If something horrible happens to occur, how do I adjust…’ OR ‘If something I’m waiting for as the missing piece of my true identity never shows up, what then…’ element. We always think ‘It couldn’t possibly happen to me!’ I’ve had experiences now that I never would have imagined I’d be able to cope through outside of a psych ward. I had to drag myself forward a centimetre at a time, taking breaks when I needed them. If somehow that challenge arises, you should also build up your character to the point of knowing for certain that you can survive anything.
Maybe you are 30 or 40 or 50 and haven’t attained the level in your career you wished to, or had that great romance, friends, family life or the lifestyle you always longed for. Maybe an unexpected loss has left you crippled and depressed, Maybe a betrayal has set you back. The point I’m making is that you are not alone in any painful situation, ever! You are not the only person who keeps getting rejection letters, you’re not the only single person or divorced person in the world, you’re not the only person who is battling addiction or who failed at something, you’re not the only person who is dealing with mental illness. You have to focus on all the other great parts of your life and hold on to the belief that you will make it through. Everyday is another chance to change the narrative and perhaps reshape your views if thats necessary so you can grow from where you are and not just disregard your chances.
The worst thing you can do is to live your life as a tribute to that thing that you thought would destroy you. Your shortcoming is really your secret weapon. If you excel in spite of it, your story is richer and more beautiful because of all you fought through to be successful. It’s also a battle scar reminding you that you are stronger than you think.
We are ALL afraid that we haven’t done all that we should have done with our lives yet or become what we’d hoped we would be regardless of how confident others appear on social media etc Please focus on your own survival and stop speculating on how great everyone else life seems. Figure out how you can use a shameful experience to give others strength. Step away from the failed relationship you allowed to define you and do the best you can to keep going. We are incredible creatures because no matter how broken, filthy or worthless we seem at one point, we are still able to SHINE