“That’s what I should be doing”…
I’ve had this dreadful sentence living rent-free in the back of my mind for most of my life, forcing me to overthink and excessively scrutinize almost every decision, choice and feeling to the point where I had the crushing, but unavoidable sensation that I was a spectator watching my life cruise by in front of my eyes.
Even though I am no astrology expert or avid believer, being a libra, I find myself in constant need for balance and search for beauty and harmony in pretty much everything.
That said, I used to (and sometimes still do) feel like my life needs to look like a Pinterest board, where everything just makes sense, is consistent with what people usually choose to like and is up to date with current mainstream trends. Never in my life have I taken a Psych class or even attended a wellness webinar, but I don’t think I would be going out of my depth by saying that this mindset is toxic and unhealthy, or in simpler terms, it’s pure bullsh*t.
If I’m being totally honest, I realized I had memorized this pattern of wanting everything to make sense right away and fit all my expectations only when I was in near-complete isolation during the pandemic. That’s when I had to actually stop, take a long-needed breather and face head-on the direction my life was taking and decide what kind of person I wanted to become.
In a time when all I could do was binge-watch Love Is Blind and find 10 different ways to roast potatoes, I realized that for the past few years (especially since starting university) I had been kind of lost in a whirlwind of new experiences, feelings and expectations, unable to determine whether I was satisfied with my choices or truly had any plans for the future.
Maybe the fact that the world was legit going crazy and completely re-shaping social norms, conventions and relationships allowed me to put myself first and regain control over my narrative. I started to rediscover my passions, my interests and ambitions, and for the first time in a long time I felt like I wasn’t just barely trying to stay afloat and avoid drowning, but I was actually swimming to go somewhere, and I was truthfully okay with that somewhere being different than someone else’s. Once I took the time to slow down, I realized that I needed to let go of my toxic mindset in order to be okay with the direction my life needed to take.
Ever since I have been (most of the time) fulfilling my own funny, unapologetic and sometimes weird narrative, trying as best I can to let go of that idea in my head of what my “ideal” life should look like. I won’t deny it can sometimes be a struggle, especially since letting go of my own expectations can feel like I am somehow disappointing myself or cutting myself too much slack. To be honest though, I have come to realize there is a difference between being ambitious and being too hard on yourself, which is the insane amount of energy the latter requires.
So, if you feel like I used to, you should know that you are not alone and even if sometimes you feel like a Todd, you should know you have the right to feel like a Mario when it comes to your own life race.