Can you be happy with your life and still feel like a failure? This is completely how I’m feeling at the moment, and have been since the turn of the New Year. The start of a new year often makes us look at where we are and where we’d like to be. If you read my goals for 2017, you’ll know that I haven’t made any specific resolutions this year. I have committed myself to making sure I grow as a person however.
Call it a mini quarter life crisis – you may be right. I’m just struggling with accepting that where my life is right now is actually okay.
Social media means we see everyone else’s highlight reels.
Which naturally we compare with our own lives, including our down moments. As well as this society of comparison, it’s far too easy to compare our current lives to that of our parents. Naturally as we move through life and look for advice on decisions we may need to make, we turn to our parental figures. It’s so easy for me to look at my mum and think ‘at my age she was this and had that’, and wonder why I seem so far behind.
It’s also easy to look at those slightly ahead of ourselves. In the year I turn 25, it’s so easy to look at those I know who are around the 30 mark and wonder if I’ll ever reach a point where my life seems that together.
Whilst I’m happier than I’ve ever been, I can’t shake the feeling that because I’m not as far along in my life as comparison with others tells me I should be, that I’m a failure. I have also been having those creeping feelings. Those that you don’t consciously have but all come rushing out in a PMT hormonal outbreak.
I didn’t even realise this until last month when I had a little breakdown. You may be aware that at the end of November I was made redundant, which was a total bummer. Money and financial security has always been very important to me after my upbringing and this was something that disappeared with that job. Fast forward a couple of weeks and an innocent conversation about buying something mundane could send me into a tailspin.
At this moment in time I’m struggling to see how I’ll catch up.
To be able to buy my own house, and get married, and maybe one day be in a place to comfortably afford to have children. Combined with the society of comparison telling me I’m behind where I should be already it’s a recipe for disaster.
At the same time, there’s so much I haven’t done yet!
I want to travel and see more of the world. Current discussions include the possibility of going to work abroad for a year, something I’ve dreamed of doing for years but never thought I’d have the chance. How can I possibly fit this all in and catch up with where I’m ‘meant to be’ at the same time?!
Life is hard. And I need to stop being so hard on myself. My head knows that all this is rubbish. It knows I’m not a failure because I’m not a married homeowner popping out kids every two years. But somehow I can’t help feeling like a failure. Perhaps it spans from not having a job at the moment. A slight lack of purpose maybe.
I just need to believe what my head is telling me. To stop being stupid. That my life is meant to be where it is for a reason. To shut up and go and do those things I want to do before it’s too late. That there will be plenty of time to work out the rest when I need to.