A-ha! And not in the band way…
It’s been seven days since I wrote my last blog post, the first time I slipped up in a month of writing this. Oops. It’s partly because I’ve been too busy, using every moment to push my life forward, and partly because when I’ve sat down to write, I haven’t been able to meaningfully vocalise the last, goodness, has it only been a week?
I’ve had a few a-ha moments in that time. That Ted talk I linked to in my previous post, well, I re-watched it when I was in a different mood. Instead of all the scary things that stood out to me from the beginning of the speak (how my generation is wasting their twenties, how I’ve not really done anything since I left university, etc.) my listening ears made it all the way through to the end, where she’s talking about the importance of using this time for self-development, now that marriage, career and everything seems to be happening later. My first a-ha moment was to calm the hell down, because hey, I’m doing that development stuff, I am working towards being the person I want to be. The video did inject me with a sense of urgency and purpose, but also it calmed my panic and helped me to focus much more clearly on the things that I want to do and to achieve in life.
The second a-ha moment was when I was curled up on my sofa mindlessly and pointlessly putting off the time I have to go to sleep. I was idly up-sizing my dreams in my mind – how big an outrageous could I make them? Could I really do something like that, in that place with all those adults? It hit me like a slap to the face. I’m an adult. I have every right to live and operate within the “adult world”. I’m allowed to be here, and to do those brilliant, outlandish things that the people I admire do to achieve their success. I’m in the big leagues now, an adult. I need to be doing this stuff to and I can do this stuff too. There is no big angry person waiting to slap me down if I try things, and there’s no gate-keeper going to turn up and hand me an invite, no matter how long I wait politely beside the door.
The third is a little different, not so much an a-ha moment, but an a-ha discovery. THIS. Bullet Journalling. Discovering this was one of those moment I profoundly realised that there are many people with far smarter, more organised brains in the world that mine, and that I could benefit from those people really existing by them sharing and me using their good ideas! Enter the analogue system of organisation for note books, including a fabulous yet simple system for coding entries. My journals used to be full of ‘I feel this because this thing happened, which must mean this’ and while journalling that way is healthy and helpful for some people, for me, it was becoming an echo chamber for my anxious interpretations and fears.
The fourth a-ha moment came when talking to a friend whom I love very dearly, about something completely unrelated, and thinking about my first a-ha moment of this week. That thought was that I’m not sure if I’ll be “there” at thirty, I’m not sure I’ll be “there” at the same time or rate as the people I love, but that doesn’t mean the people I love can’t see the process I’m in, won’t respect me for at least trying. I’m not even sure where “there” is for me, but the pictures getting clearer, and I know that on the journey there, I won’t be alone.
The fifth a-ha moment happened today, less of a moment, more of a rising awareness. I’m getting good right, that’s almost a rate of one a day, except today was not a good day. Today was a crying-in-the-blankets day, and it just so happen to coincide with appearance of two potential jobs. So the day started of with feeling unexpectedly terrible, I dragged myself into the shower, put on some enlivening music, went outside, drank tea – in short, everything I usually do to pick myself up. It didn’t work. The weight of the air was crushing me and every gaze brought tears to my eyes. I went out, did the shopping, spoke to my friend. Crawled into a duvet and crying for half an hour before making tea. Read thirty pages of a book. Then I got up, knowing what I needed to do to respond, and just did it. Somewhere along the line, I realised that I can’t stay in my comfort zone forever. I can’t plan only to do the things I know I’m capable of or I’ll never be able to grow. What I had been crying about was not being capable of this things being asked of me – will I be able to hold down a job when I’ve been such a mess recently, would fifty hours a week be too much for someone like me, am I prepared to move to an entirely new place again – all things I was afraid in advance, and it’s only a potential prospect.
This feeling of ‘doing it’ is currently translating into me drafting a really scary email I have to send, even while I write this. It’s the second scary email today, but I’ll send it before bed. Somewhere in the last week, or perhaps the last few weeks, it’s like the cogs have all come slowly into rhythm, and now just this week, they’ve clicked into place. It’s become easy for me to think about the future, to plan into it and see myself doing things currently outside my comfort zone. Filling in job applications is no longer the roller-coaster of self-doubt and crippling anxiety. I might not necessarily be feeling better all the time, but I do think I’m getting better at dealing with life.