Fed Up with my Anxiety
The Ramblings of a 25-Year-Old
At 25 years old, I’ve decided to stop putting myself under unnecessary amounts of pressure. As an anxious person, this is easier said than done. I always have a feeling that I’m letting people down around me if I'm not meeting their expectations. Well, really what I think their expectations are. I have spent my life since graduating high school focusing on what I ‘should’ do to make more money, to be respected, blah blah blah.
You get it. You’ve probably done this to some extent in one way or another.
I have been unemployed for several months now after following a move to a new state. I am applying for the same jobs I would have applied to 5 years ago. Food service, customer service in general, etc. Those jobs can become great careers, but I’ve never wanted them to be mine. I’ve always wanted to do something “creative” but have never narrowed down what that means for me.
Anytime in the past when I have tried to pursue a degree or one of my several passion projects, I would simply give up. When I do things, I want to do them right. I want to be the best. But doing things right the first time around has only led me to disappointment. Therefore, I chose not to do them at all, feeding into my self-perpetuated cycle. Back at the start, time and time again.
After applying for dozens of jobs, feeling little to no excitement at the positions I had been applying for, it became very clear to me that I will continue to do this if something doesn’t change. If I don’t change. If I don’t want to keep this up, I need to prove it to myself.
In danger of sounding like a self-help book - no shade, just not what I’m trying to do here - I have realized that if I don’t like certain aspects of my life, I can take a look at them and see how I can change them. I can’t do much to change the fact that my Dad is dead. That’s not changing and to be quite frank, I don’t want it to. But I have a say in how I deal with it. At the end of the day, my life is up to me. I can either let the things that have happened in my past to continue to knock me down, or I can choose to push through it.
When I was in high school, I wrote all the time. I would write stories for my friends, enjoyed every essay I wrote, and fell in love with writing even more in my first creative writing class. I invested myself in the stories I would write or in the research required to finish an essay. Not to subject myself to flattery or anything, but my work would always be used by teachers as an example of how to express voice in a body of work.
So tell me why I graduated and haven’t written anything since?
I went through a bout of depression following graduation and my first break-up, as many 18-year-olds do, but that doesn’t explain why I gave up this passion of mine for 7 years. I’ve lost so much of what I had then. I know I’m romanticizing the hell out of it and I probably was decent at best, but I don’t care about that. I know that to get back into this, I’m going to be terrible at it, and accepting that fact is what has allowed me to pick it back up again.
Using my reasons as excuses to keep myself down has done nothing for me.
I’m using vocal as a way to get back to what I love. I don’t want to be 70 thinking, ‘I should have written that novel.’ It’s cliche but I don’t care. That doesn’t make it an invalid motivation. I’m done with pushing myself into a shape I don’t feel comfortable in. Then feeling bad when I break. I’m ready to push myself and see what I can do with this.
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