As a disclaimer, this article is not going to be some sort of self-help "10 Ways To Treat Yourself" type of post, but rather, a more melancholy and real discussion about mental health, and the emotions that can arise for those of us who are trying to move forward in their life, but rather, feel like they are stuck in their current position.
I have a lot of high hopes for myself. So does everyone it seems. I want to be a travel photojournalist, get paid to explore the world and write blogs and articles about my adventures, but life so far has not been the kindest in helping me pursue my dreams. It's been a two year struggle to find my foot in the giant door that is the journalism world. You either know someone or you don't. You either get lucky or you don't. And with school, work, and just trying to support myself, I haven't become motivated enough to commit myself to gaining the precious experience I need to making it in my prospective field.
For you, it may be a different, or the same, dream, but the emotions are real, raw, and universal. You feel stagnant, stuck in your own world and feeling like you will never accomplish what you set out to do. You want to try, you really do, but some invisible force keeps saying you're not good enough, you're not smart enough.... talented enough, to do these things. A personal demon perhaps, or the just the harsh brush of reality bringing you down, the sadness and hopelessness of feeling like you're stuck in a never ending loop is painful. We all have bills to pay, education to receive, physical health to take care of, a job to go to, how can we have time for anything else? How is it physically possible for me to make enough hours in the day to commit towards my future? I feel overwhelmed, I feel like I just... can't, and that's the difficulty of it all.
So, it's now 2019, a new year... new me, right? Wrong. Same me, but coming to terms with what has been stopping me all along.. myself. I have let the numerous job failures, negative comments from past professors and my own lack of courage bog me down for too long. But I can't be unrealistic. I can't just wake up one morning and completely change my attitude. Ideally, I would wake up tomorrow at 6am, go the gym, take my dog for a walk, spend hours writing and doing photoshoots, exercise my mental health, maybe throw in some yoga or food prep if I'm feeling extra well, and finish off the day with a completely optimistic mindset. Ha, I wish. I have to take steps, I have to lay out and acknowledge my goals, and find little pathways to slowly get there. I'm only human, and so are you. We shouldn't put these pressures on ourselves to become superhuman overnight, to achieve everything at the first try. No, to be a superhuman is to experience struggle, heartache, self doubt, but push through it. It's when the bad outweighs the good, but you still focus on the good. That's the real super power.
To everyone who feels stagnant in their life.. who hasn't found that first job, that first house, the right college, the amount of funds to move away toward new opportunities...I want you to know that I understand. And I am so sorry. It is not a positive place to be. But just know that you are not alone, acknowledge your self doubt as valid. You are valid. I want you to take those little stepping stones and make a path toward a future, how little they may be. I personally have started applying for more jobs, exploring ways to gain new education, waking up earlier, refreshing myself and shaking the dust off my self doubt. I'm not saying I still don't feel stuck, because I do, but I am trying, and I hope you decide to try too.