Growing Pains

Knowing that the third year of the pandemic is around the corner, I still feel somewhat unprepared for what’s to come. These past two years have perpetuated a feeling of dread and kept a lot of things very much stagnant. Time was at a standstill and simultaneously in fast forward. Trying to adjust to the “new normal” whilst holding onto hope is mentally and physically draining. A lack of control during such unsettling times, paired with our need to pour ourselves into work as a distraction made the line in a New York Times article relatable, much more than I’d like to admit: "while jobs are sustenance, careers are altars upon which all else is sacrificed”.  Burnout was inevitable.

My batteries seemed to be running on reserve and I was simply existing. I felt guilty for feeling sad about these past two years as I was luckily healthy, my loved ones too (touches all the wood), had easy access to healthcare (thank you NHS!), a stable job and so much more, but time seemed to be slipping through my fingers and there was nothing I could do about it. I had to grieve over what could have been and what I had originally hoped for, regardless of how big or small they were. 

Being deflated was far from motivating so as I trundled along, I found strength through a change of scenery in my morning walk- nature is healing, in my morning coffee, through music, podcasts, TV shows and films. It was the little things that made the most impact for me. This pandemic was brutal in its message for all of us to slow down but I fear we may never learn. This was another reminder of how important living in the moment is and that taking a break consistently is necessary. Time is finite and there’s only so much we can foresee and control. Being fearful of the future can cripple you from living in the moment so stop overthinking and just go for it. ‘Almost’ and ‘what if’ are possibly the most heartbreaking words/phrases in any language and I do not want them to be used to define any facet of my life. To have lived with the least amount of regret is my biggest aspiration.

Mistakes will inevitably happen but staying in your comfort zone would be foolish so step out of it; it makes you stronger and wiser. It's also more fun. Happiness comes in waves so finding joy in the smallest of things should always be a priority. Hold onto your grateful heart. Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you and often (being stoic only does so much; it isn't attractive, more toxic). Set more boundaries and say no more. Break down those walls you have made into a labyrinth. Do things that make you happy and scare you a little. Be unapologetic about the things you love (as long as they aren't harming you or anyone else). Keep journaling, exercise for your mental health and sing & dance like nobody's watching. Be a little more reckless. Drink more water. Write more hand written notes for your favourite people. Compliment strangers more often. Scream in a wide, open space (it's good for the soul and your sanity) and you don't have to be doing something all the time- relaxing is productive too. Keep chasing joy and give less of a shit especially when it comes to irrelevant/ unhelpful comments. I truly believe the genuine good you put out into the world will come back to you either directly or indirectly so what do you have to lose?

And that's just a note from me.

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