I never thought I’d ever have to re-evaluate my life at the young age of 24 – but who knows what the universe has in store for you.
As you can tell from my rambling blog posts – I have always been a do-er. If it needs doing, I will do it. If it doesn’t need doing, I will do it. And if there’s nothing left to do, I will do some more.
Whilst this kind of mentality has brought me lots of stereotypical achievements, it’s also left me with a life that I haven’t overly enjoyed.
Sure – I’ve been happy. But I’ve always told myself that my life would start and I would be truly happy when I had achieved the next step or when I had done something else. There was always a race to be run, but whenever I reached the finish line – I would just create a new one.
(Copyright unknown – not my own image)
One night in December last year, I came very close to losing the gift of life that I have so often taken for granted. I remember being so very poorly – unexpectedly – and being rushed to hospital. The journey there was exceptionally hazy – a mixture of blurred street lights and the sense of not existing – but I remember being so upset at the notion that if it was all to end right there and then, there were so many things I had not done or felt.
Now, I am not in the habit of being ungrateful. My teenage years saw me experience the tragic loss of two very close friends of mine. Both deaths were unexpected, tragic and utterly heart-breaking. The loss of love and the loss of such wonderful youth, had feared me in to making sure I made every moment count. That I did not give in to procrastination and laziness – because I should go forth and making something of my life, in the memory and honour of those who didn’t have the luxury to do so for themselves.
Whilst I still strongly believe in making the most of the life you are given – I can see how this feeling triggered my desire to constantly be working towards something. I see how this reinforced the idea that failure -the worst crime- was not an option.
It triggered this idea that you are simply not allowed to give up on anyone. That you must give your all to every single human being you encounter. That your own needs and happiness should be dealt with last – after everyone else has been served.
I’m exceptionally proud of my work ethic, my motivation and my desire to help everyone. But I’ve learnt that there is more to life.
Success is not just measured in promotions, pay cheques and pep talks.
So… I have decided to stick a big two fingers up to shit that literally does not matter.
I’m going to focus on what makes me happy.
I am going to think about what does and what doesn’t actually deserve my time.
I am going to celebrate success’ that are not just work related.
My anxiety had caused me to blast my way through life like a whirlwind. Always on the go, never taking a moment to step back, relax and breath. It has given me such a warped perception on what life is about, and the purpose of my own existence.
I want to break that cycle.
In a society geared towards money, status, instant gratification and materialistic pleasures, it can be easy to lose your way. There are so many people out there who fear failure – and yet our own definition of failure is extreme, unkind and unrealistic.
“Failure – lack of success”
If you love with your whole heart and you are kind – you can never fail.
Success to me, is being married to my best friend. It’s facing my fear of making phone calls. It’s cuddling up on the sofa with my dog on a Sunday. It’s being kind. It’s making and eating dinner with friends. It’s looking after myself when my mental health is suffering. It’s knowing that it’s ok to not be ok, because you know better days are coming.
I am so glad I re-evaluated my life.
This is my life – and I cannot wait to enjoy it.