Being a two-steps-forward-one-step-back kind of character
Forget them, do you.
I was sitting at my friend’s house at 1030 yesterday morning and I was severely dehydrated from the sort of Sunday drinking you do with your single childless pals. I had no actual commitment for the day except a lousy dentist appointment in the afternoon. I was staring at the floor in a daze, eating cereal with one hand and stroking my bikini line with the other. I realised that the most complex thought I’d had since waking was wondering if my hair was growing back faster these days or if I just care less now.
Everyone who had been drinking with me the night before had gone to make hay at their respective places of employment and I’d had several texts using pained emoji faces to express the anxieties of having to look and behave like a functioning person until at least 5pm. I couldn’t figure out if I felt sadder for them or myself so I just took a nap.
This time last year I was braving the beast from the East in London. A week-long snow drop that covered the city in a pretty white layer that messed up train timetables. Misbehaving train lines didn’t affect me though, I’d got myself a little studio room in Chiswick, just a pleasant 20-minute walk from my workplace. My income was the highest it had ever been and I really felt like I was doing good in my job. (That is to say: successfully completing the tasks and responsibilities required of me while working on accounts that challenged me morally, NOT doing anything positively impactful for anything or anyone.)
At the beginning of the year I had written out my goals and stuck them to my wall, and I wasn’t even embarrassed when I had guests come over and read them. Not least because I was proud to say that I was actually hitting them. And even though I lacked a sense of community and fulfilment in my personal life, I feel like I got a lot from focussing on my career path and looking at what the future of that bonanza might look like.
I’d taken two steps forward, fo sho. But then I left the country.
GOODBYE ENGLAND ✈️
Now I live out of a suitcase and I don’t even own the suitcase. It’s borrowed, much like everything else of any tangible value in my life; accommodation, vehicles, mouthwash. I’m relying on friends and family for my basics, and while at times I feel like a big fat pain in the neck, I’m also okay with it because:
a) That’s what a community is and I bloody love it
b) I’m okay with taking one step back to be able to take my next two onward
What I’m doing is by no means comfortable. Not physically, emotionally or psychologically. But I’m enjoying the challenge of overcoming all of these things while focussing on creating a new reality for myself. The biggest hurdle is acknowledging and accepting, every day, that it takes time.
As humans, particularly in today’s society with all these mental health dramas flying around, we have to be so careful not to compare ourselves to other people. And not just in the way we perceive people to have their shit together, but the way we think they took their journey to get that shit together. Because most of the stuff you think is totally made up by you.
I imagine people who have -$500,000 in the bank but live in a house with a spouse they hate would envy the person with $0 in the bank and who lives under a bridge with their best friend. But if we look at the two situations without knowing any of the details (which is usually our only option), of course we are drawn towards shacking up with someone we feel like collecting life insurance on. That’s the silly nature of perception. Our eyes see one little detail and our brain makes up the rest to form our inaccurate assumptions and opinions.
Society writes general guidelines for us to follow in order to reach success, but they simply can not work for everyone. The same way having girls and boys toilets doesn’t. Just because you’re not on a path which is considered acceptable or normal, doesn’t make you any less of a human being than anyone else. You just work differently. Some people find that interesting, others find it irresponsible. Some people like avocado for breakfast, some people think it’s a waste of money.
NOBODY IS RIGHT. EVERYTHING JUST IS WHAT IT IS BECAUSE IT IS.
Do you get it?
I’d be interested to know other people’s thoughts on this.