Lately, lots of content about “How to get over shit that happens in your life” is popping on my facebook feed and youtube videos making me feel completely numb and mad at the same time. Like the response to being lost is to watch Netflix, download Tinder and wait for your shit to get solved on its own. Like it’s a feeling that lasts two seconds and that is easy to shake off à la Taylor Swift.
Well no. Feeling lost sucks. Big time. It’s without a time one of the most difficult things you will have to go through, at least it was for me. And it’s a feeling that is increasingly hitting us, millenials. Why? Because we are suddenly exposed to an infinity of answers to our questions. You grow up with the idea that you can do whatever the hell you want, be whoever you want, date whoever you want. When our parents lived in a more conservative era where you had to be lawyer, doctor or business man and marry their highschool sweetheart; We find ourselves stuck in a road of endless directions often not knowing if we are going to the right way.
For some reasons, I have the impression that we tend to pretend like these moments of fear and loss of orientation don’t exist. Yet they do. In a world of constant fake, you sip your latte in your perfect make up and I tend to believe that everything is going fairytailish for you. But let’s be honest here, as much as most of us pretend to get our shit together with a bright smile, I know for a fact that it is just a role we have learnt to play to go along with everybody else. The reality is that sometimes you don’t know where you are going, you don’t know what you are supposed to do but mostly, you have no clue who you are supposed to be. Either you just ended school, went through a heartbreak or are suddenly 40 and realize you have no clue what you are doing with your life. Let me just tell you it’s okay, even the greatest have to go through this. The capacity to requestion everything is what makes us human and taking the decision to evolve is what makes us better. We are young and we have been given an immense power to make a difference by shining with our own selves. So here it goes to months of doubts and questions, bringing some answers I hope will help you if you are living something similar.
BREATHE SLOW (please)
You are not in the right place and everybody is. Suddenly all those questions pop in your head: WHERE? WHY? HOW? WHAT THE HELL??? WAIT, WHAT?
Yo. Can you please tell the control freak part of you to take some vacations? It’s okay if you don’t know who you are, what you are supposed to do next or what you should do to feel better. You are not supposed to be a life master, you are not supposed to have the answers to everything, you are not supposed to have a magic wand that fixes everything in 24 hours (but if you do, share the bibbidibobbidiboo). Stop being so hard on yourself because you don’t have it all figured it out and don’t try to control the change. Or do if you want to experience stress, frustration, impatience, occasional panics and the list goes on. Be aware that it’s not going to be easy but then again great things are not achieved easily. So breathe slow, start thinking that things will get better and take it one step at the time. A better you won’t come overnight but I can promise it’s worth it.
ALONE ALONE ALONE TIME
Forget about all the people that tell you that keeping yourself busy will make you feel better and forget about your issue. It’s not true. Partying harder, get drunk and sleep until 6PM won’t make it disappear. It’s you trying to fake it until you make it. Instead, allow yourself some time alone to think, to feel, to release. Cry, sing, shout, break plates: Do what you have to until you get to that place where you say ” Okay, what’s next?”. Last time it happened to me, I disappeared. From social media, from answering any message to anyone, from interacting with people. I know it sounds very radical but getting a break from faces of confusion and everybody’s opinion of what I should do felt refreshing. So many times you are in such a vulnerable state you get influenced very easily on decisions and actions that might not be the best solution for you. Remember that only you are able to know exactly how you feel and only you will be able to find the right solution to these issues.
FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY
Find that thing that will make you feel fulfilled, go for that goal that you want to achieve. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about. Well, that’s why you should have alone time. This time isolated will allow you to better connect with yourself, to understand what makes you the person you are, what you want your life to be about. It will teach you to know what you want and don’t want in your life. This year, I forced myself to walk alone everyday for at least one hour. Everyday I stopped at the mall’s bookstore to read read read. Find what kind of topics interest me to later realize writing is what makes me happy. Ever since I realized that, I forced myself to sit everyday and write until all my emotions start pouring on the paper, slowly fitting each other like the pieces of a puzzle. And it makes me feel so good, my credit card is suffering by all the coffee I’m drinking but that’s a cost I am willing to pay. Finding what makes you happy won’t make you feel any less lost, but these little things that bring you joy and let go of all those emotions will help you to see things more clearly. It will help you to understand yourself, to learn how to live with that person on a daily basis and accept her needs and decisions. And so many times, the answer is in doing what genuinely makes you happy.
What is worth keeping in your life? I’m talking material, habits, memories and people. Getting lost is often the trigger to a fresh new start, to focusing on the things that keep you going in the right direction and get rid of what holds you back. This step is the dark side of the whole focus on what makes you happy advice. It’s more radical, it’s a tough decision as we often tend to hold on so tightly to things because they feel familiar. We get caught in the fear of change but as I already told you: trying to stop change is often synonym to Big Fail. Change is good and letting go of the bad might be hurtful in the first place but it will surely make you feel lighter in the long term. So be proactive and embrace that change by saying goodbye to all the barriers standing in front of you. I had this friend who would be exhausting the hell out of me, she was in a dark place and it was like it got stuck on me. I couldn’t write, I couldn’t take pictures, I couldn’t anything meaningful to the person I am because I believed blindly what she said about me. But she was wrong: No one, absolutely no one has the right to tell you who you are or are not as a person. You decide that. When I realized I was worth more than that and that I absolutely needed no one validate me as a person, I said goodbye and never looked back.
AND GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Experience, try new things, go to new places, meet new people, cut your hair, move to another damn country, do something unexpected. Because alone time doesn’t mean that you have to be all depressed in your room with your cats and Netflix. It’s quality time that will allow you to taste a new reality, to start living on your own terms by discovering what the hell they are about. You have to seek for that new NOW that is going to make you feel stable and accomplished. All of what will be to test your limits, know what your whole self is about, see the world from a completely new perspective. Go crazy or go completely uncrazy, start doing stuff that matter instead of waiting for your life to matter without any effort.
And you know what I am talking about, you look around you and see the people you have gone to uni with: they are in a relationship, started their first big adult job a while ago and seem to be able to cook themselves dinner without burning the house. They seem to get their shit together, they seem to be happy and you are a fucking mess that apparently still can’t stop swearing. Does that mean you need to do the same shit to be happy? Nope. As I already told you, we are exposed to an infinity of directions and to having the same questions as our friends, classmates, instabuddies or whoever is part of your day to day. However, having the same questions doesn’t mean that you have to solve it the same way. We are all different, with different passions, heart, soul, minds. What is going to work for others might not work for you. No matter how similar you are, your paths are different. So don’t trick yourself into thinking that doing what everybody else is doing is going to be the answer to your happiness. I know it’s hard to interiorize your emotions and try to find the answer on your own, but at the end of the day, it is what founding yourself is about.
AND NEVER FORGET… YOU ARE NOT ALONE
As cheesy as it might sound, there are people that love you just the way you are. With Defaults, insecurities, doubts, psycho crisis and twitter rants included. And that’s something I forbid you to forget: no matter how hard things get, no matter how snowy your days end up being ( Yes, to me snow is worse than clouds), no matter how alone you feel at the end of the day; you are not alone. Focus on these people that truly deserve your love, the ones that will take your hand no matter the amount of shit that just fell on your shoulders. Remember that needing time alone with yourself doesn’t mean shutting them down. Because well, as much as it stinks here they are holding you tight and feeling it all with you to try to help you getting back on track. Most of the times, that is when you will realize who your true people are. I surely did.
Lots of love always,