Stagnant in life

To Everyone Who Feels Stagnant In Their Life, I Do, Too

If you have self-doubts, you're not alone.

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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.


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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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