Today was my 24th birthday. This was probably the least excited I have ever been for a birthday. In fact, I hated the whole concept of celebrating my birthday. Everyone claims that it’s “your day” and that they would like to celebrate by spending time with me doing something fun. In actual fact, if It was my day all I would have done was cuddle up on the sofa, with my pup who always loves to be next to me and have a nap. As you get older your birthday becomes less of a celebration and certainly from my perspective it becomes a recount of the last year – all you have achieved or (with more emphasis) failed to achieve. In my case, I definitely feel it has been more of the latter.
My head is constantly filled with anxieties & my depression means that I put myself down constantly.
“You’re useless, you can’t even do that right”
“look at what a burden you’ve become to your family, ”
“always relying on others to make you feel better – you’re so desperate!”
These are the thoughts that fly around my head, the darkness is the pit of my emotions. Hunched & curled in a ball I have no energy left to fight off the toxic bites of the venom-filled bats that swarm me. I have become numb to the pain. It has become normalcy to accept these thoughts. I see nothing wrong with them, I only see it as truth. It is only through the support of family a friends I was able to start thinking again that maybe this wasn’t true. I realize that many people that reach their mid-twenties feel this despair and it is partly fuelled by the feeling of a lack of accomplishment, myself & my peers often feel as though we are falling behind.
When you’re in your twenties there’s not much you feel you have accomplished in terms of life goals. It’s very easy to look at social media posts of friends jet-setting and feel as though you’re miles behind everyone else you know. My best friend and I die internally whenever we see a person our age or younger achieving fame or fortune – Cardi B, Stormzy, Jaz Sinclair, Chance the rapper, Yara Shahidi, Zandaya, to name a few but! everyone has their own journey, everyone’s plan is different from your own. They, just like many others have struggled and persevered with hard work and determination to get to where they wanted to be. Granted, they have achieved it at much younger ages than most. Heck, some people do not attain such amazing feats until their late 30s, and that is perfectly acceptable. I have to remind myself that it is not a prerequisite to have figured out life by now. Yet I constantly stare into the depths of the abyss that is my own consciousness (often in the reflection of my teacup) and I can’t help but beat myself up. Sobbing while sliding down a wall, much like a dramatic scene from a film is one of my favorite past-times.
I often think maybe If I had embarked upon a profession less conventional I could be financially independent and in a place that I have long dreamt, I would be by 24 at least. However, Today I read some profound words from maybe an unconventionally profound place. One of the gifts I received this year was the book: Recovery by Russel Brand and I requested this. Strange as it may be I do believe that Russel Brand, beyond his perceive d crazy persona, has a few gems of truth. He wrote:
“I believe we live in an age of addiction, where addictive thinking has become alsmot totally immersive. It is the mode of our culture…The very idea that you can somehow make your life all right by attaining primative material goals – whether it is getting the ideal relationship ,the ideal job… is consistent and it is quite wrong”
I know that I have always constantly been in pursuit of the next step up. Nothing is ever enough to satisfy the desire, the craving I have for a specific gaping hole to be filled. I have often remarked to myself that I feel empty as if there is a hole to be filled. We are all, like Kid Cudi titled one of my favorite songs, In the Pursuit of Happiness. I wanted to write this blog post today to be a lighthouse on the shores of a lonely, gloomy and fog-ridden coast. To shine a beacon and say “Hey, you are not alone! I feel as though I’m falling behind too,”. I am reaching out and giving a virtual hug.
To all the twenty somethings out there reading this and maybe even older. You’re aren’t alone. There is not one right time or age to have life figured out. To have bought a house, a car, the dream job and be jet-setting on holiday. It is the dream that social media & life are selling you. The 20s are a time to build, 20s are for yourself, for understanding yourself, what you want & what you don’t want. Quit that job that makes you sad, you have no obligation to anyone but yourself (and in some cases your family), dump that boyfriend that makes you miserable, drop kick the friend that makes every conversation about them. This doesn’t only have to be a philosophy for your 20s but life.
Life is meant to be lived. Not to worry about what others want, or what others are doing and where you should or shouldn’t be. Live life to the fullest, without fear, chasing opportunities you enjoy and want with an attitude that you are building a life you will love.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4: 6 -7