I woke up on the morning of my 23rd birthday in a similar fashion as all my previous birthdays, gripped by the feeling that there was something that I should be, or could be, doing with my life. A feeling that caused breathtaking emotional pain at the most inconvenient of times.
I had a dead-end job, a toxic relationship, a complete lack of direction, and an annoying over-thinking mind which just perpetuated the intense feeling of being utterly lost. I was a mess. I wanted to do so much with my life but I didn’t know where to start. I hated the concept of how things “should be” - I knew if I were to have a 9 to 5, going to that job every morning only because I felt the need to support myself abundantly, it would slowly kill me.
I always heard the phrase “No one will love you until you learn to love yourself” and I thought, great. When you’re 23 with concealed anxiety this is pretty terrifying. I was always outgoing, rebellious, my comeback bank was always fressshh and I could get myself out of any problem. When I was out, I was the life of the party, reveling in the attention I received. But I was also very far from loving myself - I would never, ever reveal my worries, or how much I struggled at times - I didn't know how to explain it. I mean, silent panic attacks can make you feel like you’re going to lose your mind, worries centered around the fear of being judged by others or just overwhelming worry and self-consciousness. Anxiety doesn't care about how many people you connect with. I would often be just getting on with my day, and out of nowhere my anxiety was all, “Remember me?! Mwahahaha!” causing me to have completely crippling panic and unease. Good times.
My heart always got me into trouble. I was unapologetically strong, but in relationships I was like china, thinking I was bull, only to face tears at the most unexpected times. I ended up in toxic relationships, suffering a lot, handing over my entire significance and self-worth to another person, and therefore my mood and happiness became entirely dependent on them. When those relationships ended, I fell hard, I didn’t know how to live, let alone how to be happy without them, I felt utterly helpless. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was all happening for a reason.
That feeling of being utterly lost - that anxiety telling me that there was something more that I should be doing, that pain of being completely broken down, it pushed me. I kept going. I somehow kept believing that I was meant to do something. Being uncomfortable with yourself, I’ve learned, it’s necessary. Breakups, soul-crunching heartbreak, dead-end jobs, frustration, not being okay, it’s necessary. People don’t understand that when your heart is broken, that’s when new light gets in. When you feel trapped, when you feel like that fire in your heart is slowly being dimmed, that’s when you start to fight for what you want. Because you’re sure of it. That’s when you will have to transform your life, when you get pushed towards your passions, that’s when you truly learn to fall in love with yourself.
The truth is, you’re allowed to feel messed up, lost, confused. You’re allowed to not have a plan B. You’re allowed to sidetrack. But you can never, ever let anyone fool you that you can’t do something. Including yourself.
Never let anyone tell you that you are not worth being loved if you don’t love yourself. You will get there. You’re allowed time. Don’t forget that. That fire in your heart is something that not a lot of people have. It’s special. But it also comes with a lot of passion - a lot of ups and downs. But it's necessary. It keeps things interesting. Don’t be too hard on yourself - you’re on the right path. You are so much more resilient than you think. You’re lost now because you know there’s something inside of you that is hungry for more. While it can be stressful, trust me when I say that this feeling will push you to achieve your dreams. You came to slay.