This has been my constant worry recently: everybody seems to get ahead but me. Working towards entering a particular career field is never easy but when your field of choice is within the arts and entertainment industry, it often feels impossible.
One of the most toxic things one can do when trying to figure out a direction to start out with is to compare oneself with others. In more rational moments I am aware of this. It is easier said than done, however.
I can almost physically feel my resentment and envy dragging me down into a dark, infinite place where negative thoughts and depression reign. Only yesterday I struggled with bouts of self-doubt and feelings of hopelessness. I considered writing it all down right away in order to both use this creative outlet to deal with my frustrations as well as find the right way to express what exactly is bothering me. Instead, I proceeded to sit there wallowing in self-pity.
It’s often tough tackling subjects and thoughts that upset you at the exact moment they are consuming most of your mind. For me, I tend to take the easy road by distracting myself or simply sitting it out until brighter thoughts cheer me up again or I’ve managed to put things into perspective.
Holding on to that perspective is something I should remind myself of daily. In the process of laying out all the plans not realised and all the goals not achieved yet, I keep ignoring the steps that I have made so far (it doesn’t matter how small or inconsequential they might seem). I need to stop comparing myself with my peers and, more importantly, cease being so envious of other people’s success. Whether I think they ‘deserve’ it or actually have what it takes is beside the point. While planning for and envisioning the future is essential, sometimes we have to bear in mind that most things do not happen over night. The years spent working in random little jobs are not wasted – without them I wouldn’t have been able to afford the things I needed to proceed or would have missed out on experiences that are consistently shaping the person I am.
Perseverance is the most vital trait one can cultivate. I know I will find myself in similar situations in the weeks and months to come, I’m far from over the hill with respect to drowning out self-doubting thoughts. Until I have learned to maybe maintain a more positive outlook on where I am right now in general, all there is left for me to do is to pull myself together and get up the next day and keep on going.
Keep on going, keep on going, keep on going. Until I’ll eventually be there (hopefully). As long as I don’t lose sight of where I’m headed (and there will be moments and periods of struggle, uncertainty, and what not), there’s no point in looking left and right. Seeing others strive and be where I would like to be does not make me any less of a person or an achiever. It’s simply different paths taken and different priorities had.
I don’t know where I’m headed.
I find myself at loss without direction or purpose.
I’d been waiting for a sign urging me to go on. Now, I am craving for one to tell me what to do.
The scariness of the unknown is thrilling and frustrating.
I want adventure. I want to find what ‘everyone’ is looking for. I’ve had a brief, quick, inconsequential taste of what life could be. This experience has already gone to waste.
How come others make it seem so easy. No doubt it isn’t.
When will I find a path – right or wrong – to follow…to let it lead and guide me.
This is going to be an unusual post. For this blog journal anyway. Mostly I focus on sharing my thoughts and feelings, sometimes finding others whom I can relate to and vice versa. But today I’ve got to rant.
I’m gonna come out right away, in fact readily admit, that I don’t love working in the service sector. Currently I work for a big international company as a sales assistant in one of their shops in my hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my job and love my coworkers AND superiors (!!!) and after working there for a year I still like the brand and the products we sell.
There’s just one thing. The customers. I know that I might not be the most suitable person for this kind of work of people-pleasing: I don’t smile all that much (or rather I don’t if I don’t have no reason to) and I usually take it personally if someone is rude. And I’m not ashamed of that. I’m not gonna (rhetorically) question when everything has changed and since when people (i.e. customers) have started thinking they can act any which way while still receiving impeccable service as I believe the answer is that it’s always been this way. However, I don’t have that cool and calm persona not to at least react slightly to impoliteness.
I know retail (and restaurant/hotel business) will have you believe that we, the employees, are your own personal servants. But we decidedly are not. If you don’t have much time/are in a hurry, don’t go buy a watch that’ll need resizing and other stuff like writing of warranty booklets etc. and then demand to have it engraved and get tax free on top of that. And definitely don’t rush somebody who has been working there for less than a month and has not yet mastered how to adjust watches by reminding them you’re in a hurry. That’s not our problem.
Anyway, I just needed to get all of this off my chest. Today’s been a particularly difficult day. I also feel like I need to point out that I only work part-time (I’m a full-time student) and that I admire anyone who survives 40h weeks after 40h weeks of this sort of madness.
Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why have I not learned by now how to just pull myself together and get things done?
Where is my drive, my ambition, my committment, my dedication?
The more I procrastinate, the more I push things off, the more I’ll struggle to keep up with everything. I feel like it all will spiral out of control unless I do something soon. I thought I’d had my wake-up call months ago; I guess I didn’t hit rock bottom hard enough.
I feel at loss. I don’t know how to change myself in time to be able to achieve all the goals I’ve set myself. I wish I had a way – a little routine maybe – that would ensure I do the things I’m supposed to.
As of right now, I fear I won’t ever find the necessary motivation.
Things I’ve come to realise recently:
- You have to work hard at staying positive. It’s a daily battle. Especially for someone like me who tends to fall into that black hole all too easily. Not only do I consciously have to work at being positive – not letting my “bad thoughts” and anxiety get to me – when I have succeeded in doing so, I also have to seriously remind myself to keep it up.
I’ve got to ensure each night that I am motivated for the next day instead of dreading all there’s left to do. And each morning, I’ve got to see to it that I have the best start into the day.
A positive mindset, in fact, is the daily act of reminding onself to be positive. It has nothing to do with what comes to you naturally.
I have recently started going to a therapist for my anxiety and feelings of “downness”. It’s something that I’ve been dealing with more or less for the past few years; I’m not sure what exactly made me take that step just right now.
One part of my road to self-exploration and, ultimately, self-help is trying to figure out what is actually bothering me and what, perhaps, in my past may cause me to feel and react in these ways. This all sounds reasonable.
I am not sure whether I want to rehash my past and stir up old feelings. Though nothing severe has ever happened to me and I am lucky to say that I’ve never experienced any trauma, I am still hesitant to deal with my now long-buried emotions. I know there are incidents and memories in my life that I’ve stored remotely in the back of my head (there was a struggle to get them and make them stay there; not to be completely consumed by them).
I am afraid of what I might realise if I uncover those “unknown” deep hidden pieces of myself.
I refuse to hide my feelings. By feelings I mean my reaction to things said or done to me and not necessarily the loving or overly emotional ones. If I don’t agree with something someone’s said I will tell them so. Many are surprised when I correct or at least protest some assessment they’ve made of me but, in my eyes, if you can say what you want, so can I.
I’ve recently been called sensitive. That might very well be the case, though there are only certain things that would bother me. I don’t mind and actually appreciate people being candid and saying what they really feel. However, I won’t hesitate to tell them if I don’t agree. I’ve been told I shouldn’t take things personally but I can’t help it. For too long have I hidden my true self, have not spoken up or stood up for myself. These days are long gone. Quite frankly, I’d rather voice my thoughts and maybe cause the situation to become uncomfortable than swallowing my anger and let things slide. I suppose that makes me less likeable. That’s okay – I won’t (and don’t need to) be everybody’s friend and certainly not if I’d have to suppress my authentic self.
I have bad traits and can be difficult. I am not perfect. I don’t see anything wrong with that. And I won’t apologize for it.
Why am I doing this to myself? Why do I invest so much time and energy into pleasing someone who probably wouldn’t even recognize me? Why do I subject myself to that pain of realizing that the encounter I’d considered so meaningful was nothing but a short interlude.
I always have too high expectations; thinking that the other was experiencing the same rush of excitement at the sight of me as I did of him. I’m slowly giving up hope of ever forming a close bond or relationship with anyone. I only deceive myself over and over again, desperately clinging onto the faint hope that this time it will be different.
I’m tired of crying myself to sleep, of feeling unworthy and pathetic. Of feeling foolish for falling too quickly for someone and never having my feelings reciprocated.
Once more, once more I’ve fallen into the slump. The slump of self-doubt.
I feel so stuck: I thought I’d gotten over it and knew how to handle my phases of self-consciousness. But I’m tired as well, tired of always trying to lift myself up from the gloomy hole I’ve fallen in once more. I just don’t feel like I’ve got any energy left for that.
I want to release myself from all these negative thoughts and feelings that eat me from within.
I am terribly afraid of failure. Not the kind in which you don’t have lots of money or aren’t popular. I worry that I won’t ever achieve my goals. Do what I want to do. I’m scared of life and the future. Where will I be? What will I do? Who will I be?
I’m waiting for a sign showing me that all I’m doing is not in vain. I don’t know how long I can go on like this, desperatedly searching for something that’ll make things bearable again and make me believe in myself. Urge me to go on….
Just a few days ago, I read through all my old diaries. You might have guessed from the theme of this blog – a twenty-something’s journal – that I’m a big believer in writing down one’s thoughts. I started keeping a diary at eight years old after I’d been given one for my birthday. Since then, I’ve been filling journals more or less conscientiously, the only year between 2003 and 2015 without any entries is 2012. To be honest, I’d had no clue that I’d kept writing my journals so consistently over the years as I’ve only really started doing so regularly and deliberately two years ago.
Reliving former experiences again made me realise many things about myself. Naturally, there are the random sweet memories like what film I went to see at the cinema in 2005 or which friend I hung out with on a particular day but I also discovered other sides of my past. Two years ago, I began having minor panic attacks and frequent feelings of anxiety. I already knew then that I’d been having this constant uneasy and nervous sensation in my stomach for quite some time, and that it’s probably only had come to the surface at that point due to additional stress I was dealing with. I also occasionally struggle with feelings of depression, sadness, lack of motivation and drive, loneliness, and self-doubt. When I look back on my later high school years, I can best describe the image that pops into my head as a dark void. Not trying to sound dramatic but my life back then did consist of getting up, going to school, returning home and instantly going to bed, sleep being my remedy and all-round cure for when I felt sad, angry, down, stressed, exhausted, or empty. It was my way of drowning out everything. Now, while I definitely did remember this period in my life it was still haunting to see, thanks to all the detailed records I’d made, when exactly that switch in my disposition happened. Nothing compares to reading one’s own words and through those recall the raw and vivid emotions felt years ago. To see my transition from a happy carefree kid to a negative unhappy teenager was fascinating and the fact that some of the things I lamented over are still relevant to me today is crazy. I really don’t feel that different from this person I used to be although I’ve learnt to have a more positive outlook on life and have “accomplished” some of the things I was fretting about by now. Still, I do fall into my old ways every now and then but I won’t let myself be held down for too long.
This summer brought about quite many changes, changes that required me to make difficult decisions and caused me to feel demotivated, discontented, and even hopeless. That’s when I increased the frequency I’d write in my diary even more (I’ve now grown accustomed to scribble down something every single day) because it helps. Writing down what’s on my mind, in particular when caught in situations where I’m at loss what to do, writing forces me to reassess my thoughts, see things more clearly, and guides me to take in the bigger picture. I’m more in tune with my emotions, as well, having learnt to trust myself more thanks to the self-reflection that comes with keeping a diary. It opens up your eyes to your flaws and mistakes. Helps you to grow and tackle any obstacles. Makes you understand yourself a bit better.