Being in this experimental, "care-free" stage of life often means having fewer things to ground you... less to prioritize. Thus, in this stage of adolescence, we are commonly familiar with instability. I’ve found that this lack of stability often breeds insecurity. Furthermore, I think it is this natural sense of insecurity that keeps us entertaining the negativity in our lives. We may feel like we don't have much to deflect our attention to. We simply have too much time, with minimal responsibility… So when things go bad, they often feel like the end of the world... I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, "You're so young, stop worrying…” “You should be partying and living life." Although these comments are generally spoken with good intentions, I often find myself extremely bothered by them. Many would say I worry too much… That I overthink… That I look too deeply into things… But that’s really what being human is about... Being curious. Wanting more. Wanting happiness… This is not to be confused with those who are extremely pessimistic and can never find satisfaction in anything… Nor is it about those who are so critical on themselves that it is damaging to their mental state... There's a difference. There is a healthy practice in questioning and analyzing all that encompasses your world. There’s nothing wrong with wondering if you could possibly be happier than you are in this moment. There is always room for improvement in all aspects of life. At the end of the day, it’s really all about you and your personal journey…"Living life" is relative to whatever personally brings an individual fulfillment. And for me, it is found through connection with myself, and the world around me. In asking, "What can I do to add supplemental happiness to my life in order to reach my personal fulfillment?" there is so much potential for personal growth to be found.
I write this as I struggle to find out what combination of things it is that makes me feel the most whole in this moment. Keep in mind; this is a healthy struggle- the kind that makes you better and stronger. Although I consider myself fairly mature and intuitive for my age, there's no denying the fact that I have so much more to learn. Life is about experiencing... Then, further reflecting on what you like and don't like from those experiences, so that you can constantly tweak and make alterations to your life. Its an ongoing process; and based on what you've been through and how your mind works, you may have to confront these feelings more or less frequently than others. In order to understand yourself better, you have to be willing to ask yourself a lot of uncomfortable questions... For example, you can ask yourself: [What is it about yourself or your life that makes you proud? What activities and behavior do you partake in that make you not so proud? Are you actively doing things to promote your growth? Are the people you surround yourself with those who bring out good parts of you? Are they helping you to reach your goals? Helping you grow? Challenging you? Are you doing all those things for yourself?] The things we want are constantly changing as we gain new experiences. This is why we must question ourselves often, to avoid complacency. You may think you are happy right now because nothing bad is really happening... But does that mean you are really content? Or just comfortable? Does the absence of bad, mean things are actually going good? Are you growing upward, or simply getting by day by day? Try to make that distinction.
Pay close attention to your path… Reflect… Observe and analyze which decisions were those that altered your course. Which took you in a direction you enjoyed and which lead you down an unpleasant detour? Remind yourself that the path you have traveled does not define you, but rather holds great importance in leading you to where you are in this current moment. It’s in all those unexpected turns that personal and social awareness are strengthened. I understand we may find ourselves in many crappy circumstances that we don't have control over... In these situations, the only thing we can do is accept what we cannot change and decide what we want to take from it. To do this, we can ask ourselves: [What can I learn from this situation that can help me make smarter future decisions? Is there a lesson to be learned that may help me better define what it is that I want/don't want out of life? What does this situation tell me about myself?] The majority of the rest of our problems are often those that we do hold power over- as much as we don't like to admit it. If you are unhappy about the way your life is going, don't just sit there and feel sorry for yourself. Take the time, and sacrifice that energy to carefully dissect what factors in your life may be the source of this negativity. Take a mental breather... Take some time away from your phone... or even people. Allow yourself to really focus on what you value, without the daily distraction of what you are used to. The only way we can make progress is by questioning everything we put our energy into. Some may not want to do all this work because they just want to have fun and not think about all these difficult, uncomfortable topics... To each his own… But this is your life! You must protect your energy! And you must also try your best not to disrupt another's positive energy!
The attitude you hold towards life lays the foundation for the relationships you build, the confidence you carry, the decisions you make, the motivation you hold to achieve things, etc... I think it’s important to note that if you are someone with diagnosed anxiety or depression, it's not as easy as just "change the way you think!" This post is more geared for the general public who wants to be better, but doesn't know where to start or how to. I do, however, think some of this healthy questioning can help alleviate some of those "stuck" feelings. The more we investigate, the closer we come to understanding ourselves. Attempting to get to know yourself on a deeper level can only help you feel more comfortable in your skin in the long run. The way I like to get through hard times is by first, separating the things I cannot change from the things I do have the power to change. Once we filter out the two, we can then narrow down the ways to go about each specific situation. In both cases however, we can always try to look deeper to find out what we can take from our circumstances. I try to observe (as objectively as possible) how I react, how I think, and why I behave in such ways. I like to remind myself of my eager anticipation for the future... A time where I am more settled in life and will have been through enough to better cultivate a personalized "recipe" for my happiness. I then remind myself that I cannot get to that point of deeper understanding of myself, unless I actually go through things that provoke deep into the depths of my internal thoughts. The more I reflect from my experiences, the more successful I am in shaping the type of lifestyle I want to maintain. This is what helps me detach as much emotion as possible to the darker times of my life... Finding purpose in my experiences. Whether they be positive or negative situations that make us question ourselves, both types strongly help to reaffirm what it is that we really want out of life. And for that reason, we must remind ourselves that the shitty times are indeed necessary to reach that wholesome feeling we all long for.
This blog post is mainly just a vent session as well as a helpful reminder to those who may feel stuck right now. That common sense of longing for purpose, direction, guidance, and happiness... We may feel it in different ways, for different reasons, but we all feel it or have felt it in similar forms before. One quote that has stuck with me since I’ve heard it is, “No one is you, and that is your power.” No one else is exactly like you. Therefore, no one else has ever had all the same exact experiences as you. Understand that whatever you may be going through right now is propelling you forward through your own unique journey here on Earth. At times, they may feel more like set backs than steps forward, but when we recognize that there is growth to come from these situations, we realize that we are always gaining. Purpose is feeling proud of who you are and feeling confident in what you have to offer the world. Purpose is associating your own personal value to what it means to be alive. As we go through life, our definition of purpose may change; and that’s okay! Life is a constant project... And we must find our own incentive to put time and energy into it… to tend to it… to go back and forth to make sure we are proud of our work. Most importantly we must want to do a good job for ourselves, and not for external validation. I am nowhere near perfect, nor am I an expert at life… I just want to share my take on the growth that can come in finding comfort in self-confrontation, and taking the time to take a deeper look into all that we do.
Thanks for reading.