Think back to a time in which you felt completely shut down. Maybe you felt lost, maybe you felt overwhelmed? Everything was so dense, in retrospect you cannot even determine what made it all so intense. In these times, when your life is turning upside down, when things turn from black to white or from white to black and your vision is slightly blurred, you learn. You learn so much every day, you don’t even realize it until it’s over.
I don’t know if you’ve ever had a time in your life which you can relate to this. If not, it’ll come. Maybe when you’ve graduated from school or uni or when you’re in your midlife crisis.
You have a choice. Times like these can shatter you. Or you evolve. You can choose to bury your head in the sand or you can choose to be strong. You can choose to let it happen to you or you can choose to make something happen.
I was full of expectations. I made sacrifices. I took a big step forward. And then I fell. It all turned out to be exactly the opposite of what I wanted. The bubble burst. I was in such a bad condition, even I was worried about me. The only thing that kept working and pushing like some insane marathon runner or machine that you can’t turn off, was my mindset.
I am re-reading my journal to remember what I told myself in order to get through a time in which I was 70% overwhelmed, 75% alone, 95% fighting and 85% exhausted. (I know that doesn’t add up to 100% – deal with it). Mind, in my journal I write nothing but raw thoughts and emotions.
“strong are those who can also be weak”
Those are strong words. I had this attitude from the moment I woke up until I fell asleep late at night. I had this mindset in everything I did and encountered.
By moving across Europe after graduating from high school and having every thinkable obstacle between me and “happiness”, I learned that my mind can move mountains, that I am responsible for and capable of creating my own happiness.
I learned that feelings are temporary and that it always gets better. It gets better more quickly if you take action, though. If you make a conscious effort. You might fall much deeper before you can see that glimpse of light. The glimpse of light might disappear and be visible again later. But it always gets better.
You are not alone in your struggle, no matter how lonely you are. I never thought that other people, especially the ones I was sitting at a desk with at university, were going through similar things. I learned to open up and share. Community cheers you up. Sharing stories keep you going. Laughing is healthy and important. You don’t know what the person sitting next to you is dealing with. Even if you have nothing in common, you might share a struggle? Be curious. We all need real connection more than small talk.
One more thing: I’m a big fan of setting goals and focusing everything you do on accomplishing them, as you might know. But sometimes what you so desperately wanted, what you envisioned for yourself, is not your dream anymore. When that changes, for whatever reason, you need to acknowledge that. It’s not giving up. It’s not quitting. It’s a good thing if you realize it. It means you’re self- aware. It means you’ve been reflecting. You need to re- orientate. It’s brave to step away from it to chase something else that fires you up. If something or someone doesn’t make you happy for more than 50% of the time, it simply doesn’t make you happy. Full stop.
In the end, I think it’s incredibly important to feel what you need to feel. There is only so much positivity and fighting you can do. Sometimes you have to cry into your pillow. Emotions are important. They are there to be felt. Let it all out. Take a bit of time for self pity and disappointment. Then sit back. Prioritize. Think about your “why”. Or think of a new “why”.