To The Ones That Wish They Could Get Away

To The Ones That Wish They Could Get Away

You don't belong anywhere but where you are now.
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We all crave a sense of belonging, whether it be in your family, friend group, college, workplace, or neighborhood. The ability we have been given to experience this life as we do is an amazing gift which we often take for granted.

But what if you don't feel satisfied where you currently exist?

What if you feel, for some reason, "anywhere else but here" may be better?

What if you feel as if you just don't belong?

These some of the perplexing thoughts that have entered in and out of my mind, day after day, since I was young.

Although I was very fortunately given a comfortable life growing up and a phenomenal support system I am more than thankful for, I'm still occasionally overwhelmed with the curiosity of what it would be like if I grew up elsewhere, or if I was someone else.

No matter your own personal walk of life, I believe these feelings exist in many of us, especially young people. These feelings seemingly weigh even heavier when it's not necessarily practical to just move away and start a new life elsewhere, or travel to your dream city.

I've always dreamed of traveling all over the world. And I know that if I put my mind to it, I can make it happen someday. But what about today? Right now?

If I'm constantly wishing I was somewhere else, how can I ever learn to be content where I currently am?

This is a question that I began to ask myself. As I've grown older, I realize the desire to be elsewhere only attracts misery and negativity to my current state of being. It encourages self-doubt and a pessimistic outlook on my surroundings. This has reoccurred throughout my life, and it definitely hit hard when I started college.

However, I've decided to take a different approach to dealing with these feelings. I recently read a book my dad gave to me a while ago, one that I highly recommend to anyone looking for guidance on finding meaning and purpose in this life.

In "A Man's Search For Meaning," Dr. Frankl writes, "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms — to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." If you haven't read the book, this is one of many insightful remarks written from this man's experience in a concentration camp during the Holocaust.

I love this quote because it constantly reminds me that this life will be what I make it. I don't want to live in misery, or feel sorry for myself, just because I long to be "elsewhere." I get to choose my attitude and mindset about the position I am in and focus on the here and now.

As I change my mindset, I notice a shift in the awareness of my reality as well. Every day holds new opportunities for us as long as we are willing to accept them. If you are constantly focused on where you would rather be, you may miss out what's happening right in front of you.

No matter where you are, find something that you enjoy or excites you. Use a creative outlet, whether it be music, art, or writing. Go out, even when you don't want to. You can even save up money and plan that dream trip. You can choose to let the misery cause you to be despondent and have a dismal attitude towards your surroundings, or you can strive for self-improvement and growth no matter where you are.

I choose the latter.

Cover Image Credit: Madison Skye Howell

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22 New Things That I Want To Try Now That I'm 22

A bucket list for my 22nd year.

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"I don't know about you but I'm feelin' 22," I have waited 6 long years to sing that and actually be 22! Now 22 doesn't seem like a big deal to people because you can't do anything that you couldn't do before and you're still super young. But I'm determined to make my 22nd year a year filled with new adventures and new experiences. So here's to 22.

1. Go sky diving.

What's crazier than jumping out of a plane? (Although I'll probably try indoor skydiving first.)

2. Go cliff jumping/diving.

I must be the only Rhode Islander who hasn't gone to Jamestown and jumped off a cliff.

3. Ride in a hor air balloon.

Up, up and away.

4. Try out skiing.

Cash me in the next Olympics, how bout dat.

5. Try out snow boarding.

Shawn White, I'm coming for you.

6. Go bungee jumping.

Because at least this time I'll be attached to something.

7. Go to Portugal.

I mean I'm Portuguese so I have to go at some point, right?

8. Go to Cape Verde.

Once again, I'm Cape Verdean so I have to go.

9. Vist one of the seven wonders of the world.

I mean hey, Egypt's on, my bucket list.

10. Try out surfing.

It's only natural that somebody from the Ocean State knows how to surf.

11. Learn a new langauge.

Because my little bit of Portuguese, Spanish and Latin isn't cutting it anymore.

12. Travel to a state that I've never been to before.

Fun fact: I've only been to 17 of the 50 states.

13. Go paddle boarding.

Pretty boring but I've never done it.

14. Go scuba diving.

I'm from the Ocean State so I guess I should see the ocean up close and personal.

15. Learn how to line dance.

There's actually a barn in my state that does line dancing, so this one will definitely get crossed off.

16. Go kayaking.

All this water around me and I haven't done a lot of the water activites.

17. Stay the night in a haunted hotel room.

I bet if I got my friends to come with me, it would be like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody episode, minus the ghost coming out of the wall but you never know.

18. Get my palms read.

Because who doesn't want to know their future.

19. Go to a medium.

Like a medium that can communicate with people that have died.

20. Take a helicopter ride.

Air plane: check Helicopter:....

21. Sleep under the stars.

Because sleeping in a tent is more like glamping than camping

22. Just to try new things in my everyday life.

Whether it's trying a new restaurant, getting something different at my usual restaurants, changing my usual style, going on the scary rides at amusement parks, and bringing things I used to do back into my life now.

Cover Image Credit:

Author's illustration

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I Have No Label

Labels aren't for everyone, and I'm one of them.

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There's a huge pressure from society for people to know things about themselves—what they want to do with their life, what career they want to be tethered to, where they plan on being five years from now—that we really shouldn't add more pressure by requiring people to know their sexual orientation and gender identity.

I've always been pretty comfortable with my gender, but my sexuality? I'm still figuring that one out. I grew up in a fairly conservative home, so I was never exposed to the LGBT+ community or anything similar to it. Straight was the only way to go, and I grew up completely fine with that. It's only now that I know I'm not, that I'm realizing some of the things I did, probably should have told me I wasn't sooner.

Thankfully, it was never a huge source of stress for me because I was OK with being straight. I was fine with the idea of only being into men because I mostly still am. It's just that "mostly" bit that has me thrown off.

If I'm not fully into just guys, does that make me bisexual? What's the full difference between them, anyway? What does "bi" really imply, anyway? Two? Which two? Does the "bi" aspect of the word "bisexual" even really matter?

Do people identify as "pansexual" because the distinction of "bi" is misleading since there are more than just two genders?

Speaking of genders, would I date someone whose gender identity doesn't conform to the binary? How about a transgender person? How can I really know this for a fact without dating someone like that?

All of these thoughts gave me countless headaches, and they still do if I think too hard about it. Since I'm still discovering myself, I'm not fully comfortable labeling my sexuality as anything other than "not straight."

That should be totally fine.

If anything, I think this should be encouraged. It puts way less stress on people who are already stressed beyond belief. It shouldn't be something that a person has to know immediately, and they shouldn't have to ever label themselves if they aren't comfortable with it.

Let people explore their sexuality and gender. If they find a label early, let them. They may change it later. They may not. As long as they're happy with it, what does it matter? Why tell them "no?" Even if you're their parent or caregiver, you should at least be fine with them exploring their own identity and figuring their life out.

It's healthy, and ultimately, it will make them a happier person to know they had support for the whole wild ride.

Respect people if they find nothing and choose to stay label-less.

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c1.staticflickr.com

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