1. You’ve become a bystander to your own life.
You’re letting life pass you by. All the people you’ve yet to meet. All the memories you’ve yet to make. All the dreams you’ve yet to chase. You may be existing, but to say you’re actually living would be a bit of a stretch. The sidelines have become your comfort zone. You’re scared to step to the plate and take a chance because you’ve convinced yourself that happiness is out of your control. But the truth is, not taking a swing at life will strike you out faster than you think. Everything you want to achieve has been at your fingertips all along.
2. You don’t follow your heart when you make decisions, in fear of being judged by others.
Without realizing it, you’ve crafted a life that isn’t true to yourself. You’re in school for something you hate because you want to make your parents happy. You won’t voice your opinion in a group because you think you’ll sound stupid. You say yes to pineapple on your pizza because all of your friends love it. But you’re forgetting that you aren’t anyone’s puppet. This is YOUR life after all. Your family and friends won’t have to live with the consequences of your choices- you will. Do what feels right for you because life’s a bit too short to eat pizza you can’t fucking stand.
3. Your body is here, but your mind is somewhere else entirely.
You show up to your shitty 9-5 job like a zombie. Your feet find a way to make it home to the boyfriend you stopped loving months ago. You’re going through the motions, trying to keep yourself as busy as possible, yet, all you can think of is how this can’t be as good as it gets. You spend almost every waking moment daydreaming of a reality better than the one you’re in. Settling has become first nature to you because somewhere along the line, you stopped believing in yourself. You should start again.
4. Your life has become a script you no longer want to follow.
It’s all become a routine you’re sick and tired of. You’re stuck in an endless cycle of days that always play out the same and you don’t know how to find your way out. You don’t need to check that third horoscope because you hated the other two, to know that today will most likely follow the same old story. But, you’re forgetting that the pen is in your hands. These pages are repeating themselves because you’re letting them. You can go and explore somewhere new. You can stop listening to Drake and texting your ex. You can switch career choices. It’s time to write that new chapter.
5. You’re doing everything you’re “supposed” to be doing, but you still feel unhappy.
You go to school. You found a job that pays the bills. You go out with friends. You eat overpriced healthy food that you keep telling yourself actually doesn’t taste like shit. Maybe you even managed to get the boy, or the girl. You’ve done everything society has persuaded you into doing. You’re on your way to fulfilling the “American Dream”, except it doesn’t feel like a dream at all. It’s easier to fake it when you keep yourself distracted, but when it’s just you and your thoughts, you can’t help but feel empty. Something inside of you is telling you that this isn’t right. It’s your heart. You should listen to it.
6. You constantly feel the need to escape.
Reading. Music. Exercise. Alcohol. Sex. Drugs. We all need an escape from time to time. But, if you’re depending on your vices to get you through each day, it’s probably telling of a larger problem at hand. You should look forward to your days, not to the chances you get to run away from them. Your life should be filled with people and places that bring you joy, so go find them, because they exist. You’re worthy of a reality that inspires you to live to the fullest, in the here and now- don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
7. You’ve become indifferent to everything around you.
“Meh” has become stamped on your forehead. You say yes too much, because you “don’t care” enough to say no. You put up with toxic relationships and people that treat you like shit. You’re walking around with this nonchalant aura of indifference, but deep down you care more than you let on. “I’m fine” has become your favorite catchphrase, but the truth is, you’re not, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. To quote every cliché you’ve ever read, it’s okay not to be okay. But, what’s not okay is subjecting yourself to the same environments that keep dragging you down. You can let go of the people that only ever tear you down or take advantage of you. You deserve better.
8. You reminisce on the past a bit too much.
You cling on to memories of “the good old times” like they’re your lifeline, but when’s the last time you made a new memory? I get it- you wish you could go back in time. Things were simpler back then or maybe you want a do-over button. Maybe there’s a decision you made that you wish you didn’t or a person you let get away. The sad truth is that you can’t change the past, despite how much you may want to. The good news, however, is that it’s never too late to change the future. Making yourself sick with nostalgia is only keeping you from seeing how much greener the grass can be.
9. You put so much of your time and effort into making sure the people around you are happier than you are.
You pour your heart and soul into others. You bend over backwards to make the people around you happy, but you’re doing so at the expense of your own happiness and well-being. You don’t give yourself enough “me” time. You give love to others so easily, but still haven’t realized that you need to love yourself first. You deserve to be a priority. You can’t keep neglecting your own needs. Putting yourself first for once won’t make you selfish or greedy.
10. You make excuses as to why you don’t need change.
Everything so far may have been true, but you’ll probably close this article and tell yourself that you’re okay with the way things are. When the people who love you offer any advice on how things can be any different, you get slightly offended, even though you know they’re right. You’ve convinced yourself that this way of life has become your comfort bubble that you’re too scared to break out of, but the truth is, none of this feels comfortable at all. It’s exhausting and it’s stopping you from becoming the person you’re meant to be. You need to let yourself grow. You need to let yourself be happy. Don’t let your worries hold you back from living the life you want to, because the only thing worse than living in fear is living with regret.