HOW I BECAME MY WORST CRITIC.
Soon my 26th Birthday will be here and I’ve found myself in a loop of reflection of the past year.
Throughout my year I’ve been my worst critic, judgmental and unforgiving of the person I am. Failures overshadowed accomplishments and for the first time in my life, I felt lost. Everything I’d ever envisioned for myself seemed impossible and the suffocating fear of not reaching my full potential had become a depression trigger.
Within a month of my 25th birthday (Nov. 30) I felt so much hurt and loneliness that I began to isolate myself away from family and friends. As a natural introvert I constantly have to work hard at staying social and being active in other peoples’ lives but suddenly I no longer cared to be engaged. I deleted all of my social media accounts, I opted out of group text messages and stopped going home to visit. For 8 months my days seemed automated and blurred into a series of meaningless events. I lost myself and soon realized that I was having a Quarter-life crisis.
In hindsight, I can now recognize that people were concerned (aka Mom) but at the time I didn’t know that I was depressed. Until then depression had never been a personal struggle of mine, it was a new experience and frankly, their concern was unwanted. In fact, it became overbearing and I soon got tired of fielding questions about my life.
When are you going back to school?
How’s work at the firm? But wait, don’t you still want to work with animals?
Why are you still single, aren’t you dating yet?
It felt as if I was constantly defending my life choices and goals. I started comparing myself to others and came up lacking in every aspect. Somehow I missed the functioning adult memo, the same kids that I partied with are now successful in their respective careers. How could I compete? I was surrounded by happy people and truly proud that everyone seemed to be living a good life but let’s be honest, misery loves company. We all have our crosses to bear and in my misery, I failed to note that everyone struggles in different ways. I became selfish and envious of all those celebrating milestones and intolerant of those that I hadn’t reached myself. When negatively consumes you it’s so easy to lose the meaning of who you are. To lose the beliefs and goals you’ve always held when everything seems wrong.
A MOMENT OF REFLECTION.
It wasn’t until vacation that I realized how much I had lost myself. Traveling brought mindfulness to my depression. When you’re surrounded by beauty and new adventures it brings a new perspective of how you perceive yourself and the world. It empowers you to take on challenges and life experiences you never thought possible. It teaches you that your failures only make you a better person. I learned that there’s a whole world out there but in the end we all want the same things.
To figure out who we are and where we fit in.
To find our purpose.
To be loved.
The truth is that there are no guarantees in life and all we can do is try our best. For the first time in a long time, I know that everything’s great. The universe is on my side, I just have to in the moment. So to start this new blog I would like to begin by the celebrations of my 26th birthday by sharing a list of personal goals.
THREE PERSONAL GOALS
1. Breaking Social Isolation.
It’s easier to believe your invisible when you’re alone. I want to work on breaking my self-imposed isolation and start building and maintaining a strong support system.
2. Gaining Self-Confidence.
When you lose confidence in yourself it makes it easier to focus on the worst parts of who you are. I want to focus on my strengths and learn from my mistakes.
3. Learning to embrace my life.
My life is filled with so many blessings, I have my own apartment, car and a killer job that hundreds of people dream of. I want to see myself take risks and travel more. Working toward eliminating negative thinking will undoubtedly be hard at times. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of bad days but I’m human and I’m learning to accept these flaws. I only hope that through this blog I can share my journey and help others reach a better understanding of themselves.
We’re all still finding our paths in life, I’m learning that the best course of action is to be open and expressive in what you need.
Please share your story, we’d all love to hear it!