Hey there friends,
I feel like starting this post out as if I were writing you a letter. How have you been lately? Have you been taking time to look after yourself? If not, stop reading this now and go grab a hot beverage of your choice before you continue. (Science shows curling up with hot tea is good for the heart. Just kidding, but I’m sure if you Google it you’ll find some sort of proof for it.) I hope life hasn’t been too hard on you lately, but if it has, then I’m here for you. It’s okay to not be okay, but come tell me about it; you don’t have to feel alone. It’s what friends are for. 🙂
By now we both have a hot cuppa, we’ve shared a little heart-to-heart and self-care moment, and now I think I can get down to why I jumped on here today…
I’m writing this today because I’m feeling proud, in a not-so-vain-way, about myself and a life-changing decision I recently made. I’m also writing to share about the beginning of my journey into self-care/self-love and how it looks like on a daily basis.
First things first. I’m so happy to share that as of last week, I have officially become a student again. Yay! For those of you that don’t know, I have been working (read: saving money like crazy AF) basically since I left secondary school. Not only was I uncertain what I wanted to study (something about Art History didn’t feel very stable to me), but throw an international move into the mix and I was much too overwhelmed to even think of uni in a foreign country.
Fast forward nearly 7 years, and through a series of unfortunate events, I have still been working and saving and waiting… Waiting for almost 7 years. Yikes, only now am I realising just how long it’s been. But it’s hard for me to commit to something without being able to plan it to the end, and with uni, I have never been able to save enough to afford it all up front. The idea of student loans terrify me. So I just kept waiting. Until it hit me recently that if I don’t start soon, I may never actually do it. You know how if you put something off for long enough you manage to convince yourself that you don’t need it anymore?
So after much debating over what to study (what I felt I could stick to), I got down to the dirty business of registering for a BSc in Psychology.
Yes, you read that right. I, the one that loves being creative and artsy, can’t keep to a routine or maintain habits, can’t stand science, always wanted to write and go to bible school, have decided to pursue Psychology. I recently realised I want to help those who struggle, like me, to feel alright in a world that constantly tells us we’re never enough. I’ve needed help from a spiritual, emotional and faith perspective and I’ve struggled hard to find a trusted person to confide in. And now, even though I know my road to being okay is long, I simply want to be to others one day what I wish I had had when I needed it most.
I’m scared about this sort of commitment, scared I will quit because I’m oh, so good at backing out of everything, scared that money will keep me from being able to finish it. I know that my passion will drive me, and I trust that finances will sort themselves out. But damn, this is a life-altering decision for me and a scary one at that…
On that note, somewhat unintentionally I’ve found myself on an introspective journey lately and it’s part of what led me to make certain decisions such as studying at this time in my life. I think I’ve been trying to figure out who I am and how I function for a long time. It’s hard to accept that I’m different and react differently to life than others. It’s hard when I can’t keep up with what my peers are doing; or when I feel I’ve failed because I had to quit when something got too hard for me to handle. It’s been hard to find the balance between pushing myself to be challenged in life and not pushing so hard that I break.
I’m a very sensitive person, and I struggle in certain situations maybe more so than others. I also happen to be quite shy, uncertain and self-conscious. It’s a terrible mix when one is trying to stay afloat in the adult world. It’s hard to get out my comfort zone, I get anxious talking on the phone to people I don’t know, I constantly wonder if I’m being judged for my looks and how I act, I break down in stressful situations instead of rising to the challenge, and I avoid conflict like the plague. I’m incredibly emotional and I feel other people’s emotions quite heavily. I suck at working in an office because I can’t handle the stress of the expectations. I quit dance after trying to go back years later because I felt I wasn’t good enough. I try to amp up my Instagram feed to gain more followers so that I feel good about myself. I watch way too much TV so that I don’t have to think about just how hard I am on myself.
Phew. That was all very hard to write just now. Hard to admit just how much I feel like a failure at 24. All of this constantly weights me down, but I’m starting to change my perspective on who I am and how I, Amy Elisabeth, can live a fully-functioning adult life. I’m not a dancer. And that’s okay. I’ve got really big hips and thighs. That’s okay. I’m never going to face challenges head-on without first breaking down in tears. That’s okay. And I sure as hell am never going to be good in the corporate world. Ever. And that is O.K.
But man, have I been hard on myself for all my failed attempts as an adult. I’ve been trying to mold myself into the expectations of who “they” say we should be long enough and I have to stop making myself feel like shit for not conforming to some made up idea of adulthood. I suck at lots of things. But I’m so good at many things too. And that’s what I’ve decided to focus on. What I’m good at. The things that no one else can do.
What a relief it is to say that out loud. What a relief it is to know that it’s okay. I’m not a failure. I’ve simply found a different way of adulting in this very challenging and confusing world. I choose to have little moments of self care, like getting a hot chocolate just because it makes me feel better on a rainy day, or sitting quietly in the sunshine to calm my mind, or getting personal on here because I think not enough people are being real about themselves. If I could make a living off of my blog, I totally would. But since it’s not possible (yet, heh), I do the kind of work I know that I’m good at. And you should too. Don’t do something just because you think it’s what people expect of you. You’ll fall down a deep, dark hole and it’s not easy to break free.
Anyway, I’ll stop for today. But seriously guys, take my advice. Be kind to yourselves. Have a little grace, and take care of your well-being. Mind, body and soul. You deserve it just as much as everybody else.