I woke up this morning really not feeling good mentally and that feeling continued to follow me to work, weighing heavily on my chest and in my stomach. There is only one thought that I can use to try and describe what I am feeling:
This is not who I want to be, this is not the life I want to be living.
I think this is the ugly truth at the center of everything I am going through. For the longest time, I either punished myself for not easily fitting into the expectations society has set for me or I numbed myself to the point that I could make myself fit.
The truth makes me want to vomit because I put so much of my time, energy, and resources towards building this “house of cards” life and by admitting the truth I am now accountable to change it; to take new and unfamiliar steps towards the life I want to live.
Let me tell you: new and unfamiliar is fucking terrifying. Now the house of cards is crumbling and I am left exposed. Exposed to judgment, pain, and failure. Living in a house of cards may not have been the most stable, but it felt safe.
But, I know that living like this is simply unsustainable and I am nearing my breaking point. I am tired of feeling weak and worn down all the time. I hate being apologetic and afraid of everything and everyone. I want more for myself. I want to be better for myself and for my partner and even for my dog. I don’t even know who I want to be or what I want to do, but I do not want this anymore.
So what do I do with this Tuesday morning epiphany?
They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, but I would say that also applies to changing your life.
By admitting to myself and to you that what I am currently doing no longer brings me joy, I am holding myself accountable, too. I am identifying the life I do not want to live anymore and therefore many of the things that are going wrong that prevent me from being happy. Now it’s up to me to figure out what does feel right and what will bring me joy again.
Thankfully, I don’t have to figure it out alone – I have a support system of my partner, friends, and family to navigate this journey with. I have a dog who challenges me daily to live my best life and a cat who helps remind me to appreciate the simpler things in life. Happiness and fulfillment do not happen in a vacuum, it takes a village to thrive in this world.
I may not be who I want to be right now, but this is me taking my first step closer. It is so much easier to avoid asking ourselves in the first place: is this the life I want to live? It is so much easier to let the expectations and standards of others and society drive our choices. We can even take those choices and build lives that look beautiful and successful. But houses of cards are hollow and a foundation of sand is unstable. Asking ourselves the hard questions is not easy, it is fucking courageous. Vulnerability and unfamiliarity are fucking terrifying, but they are god damn necessary if we want to live a life of fulfillment and happiness.
So I challenge you to be fucking courageous and asking yourself one simple question: is this who you want to be?