As I write this first paragraph, I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted from everything life. I have yawned more than a million times (okay fine, I exaggerate sometimes) between writing the first sentence and this sentence which happens to be the second. I have picked up my phone a thousand and one times and “ooh”-ed and “ahhh”-ed over people’s lives on social media I know nothing about…and my fingers hurt!
I just want to curl up on a couch all day long and wail in self-pity while money randomly enters my account (who else fantasizes about random “mistake credit alerts” of millions where the person who made the mistake does not need the money and so decided to let it go?). But no, life calls. BILLS CALL EYYYYYY! I think it occasionally hits a majority of us hard that there will always be bills to pay. Like why? How can someone be paying bills for the majority of their life for goodness sake? Were there bills in the Garden of Eden? Because we need to trace this.
Disclaimer: The above photos look nothing like what my past couple of weeks have actually been like.
I have conversations with some of my very close friends and sometimes we just sit and talk about how tough life can be figuring out things on your own especially when you do not have family in your immediate environment (and if you have family around, no matter how annoying they are on some days, be thankful. It’s a big deal).
On some days, we agree that one can never never fully prepared for the cards life deals you and on others, we agree that growing up has always been an age-long trap. Adulthood tends to bring a lot of anxiety, panic attacks and nervous breakdowns with all the figuring out to do. I really cannot believe all we wanted to do at some point was grow up.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared two vital lessons I have learned and still continue to learn in growing up here. I am still learning so many lessons in my adulthood experience. Some of which are:
Life is not an emergency
It is easy to get caught up in this thing called life and enter beast mode in achieving goals, conquering deadlines at work/school and in our personal lives that we often forget that nobody is chasing us. Like, if you literally stopped and looked behind you one of these days, it would interest you to note that no one is chasing you.
“We take our own goals so seriously that we forget to have fun along the way, and we forget to cut ourselves some slack. We take simple preferences and turn them into conditions for our own happiness. Or, we beat ourselves up if we cannot meet our self-created deadlines. The first step in becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you are creating your own emergencies. Life will usually go on if things don’t go according to plan. It’s helpful to keep reminding yourself and the sentence, “Life is not an emergency”.“-Richard Carlson from Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff and Its All Small Stuff
I am learning to take one day at a time and tackle the things I get dealt with one step at a time. I constantly remind myself that Life is not an emergency so I do not get stressed out off not being able to figure things out immediately. As hard as it may be to swallow, things will still function and the world will still go on without your presence. If you kill yourself at work, neglecting your health or refusing to take time out regularly to refresh mind and body, work and life will still go even before your body is placed six feet under after slumping from stress.
Cut yourself some slack.
I am enough
Repeat after me: “I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.”
Sometimes we find ourselves looking for external validation that we are enough; that we are smart enough, intelligent enough, good-looking enough or capable enough to be and to do.
We often forget that our greatest powers and tools lie within us and so we seek for external validation that we matter or are capable of doing great things. Sometimes, we long to hear someone tell us “I am proud of you” or “You are doing amazing” or “Keep it up” or even just a simple “Well done”. We derive a deep sense of satisfaction when we hear those words from someone else, other than ourselves…that is, if we even bother to tell ourselves that we are proud of who we are and how far we have come.
In adulthood, I am learning that I am enough to be and to do. I am learning that I may not get the opportunity of hearing the words “I am proud of you” or “You are doing amazing” or “Keep it up” or “Well done” from other people, but I owe it to myself to be there for me. I owe it to myself to tell myself these words and believe them. I owe it to myself to turn up and turn out for me.
Life is busy happening to us simultaneously and we are all going through it. The person you may often look to for some glimmer of encouragement and motivation may just be going through it as well, albeit hiding it better than you. Even your mentors are figuring it out as they go.
Remember that you are enough to be the best you is within you. All you need to accomplish all you desire lies within you. You have what it takes to smash your goals and realize your dreams no matter how big and scary they are. Look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself “I am proud of you (insert name)” even for getting out of bed in the morning, because that itself can be a chore.
Communication is everything!
I am also learning the importance of communication; communication in every relationship and the need to voice out opinions, concerns and uncertainties.
One of the biggest mistakes we tend to make as human beings is assuming that the next person knows what you are thinking or feeling at any point in time. At this juncture, it is important to bring this piece of important news to you: Nobody can read your mind. And no, they cannot automatically tell what what you are thinking or feeling simply by looking at you.
Where unsure about anything, I am learning to voice out uncertainties and ask questions. You can never go wrong asking questions. The worst anyone can do to you is say “no” or whatever response may not be favourable to you at that time, but they cannot kill you for asking.
“When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”Shannon L. Alder
You are stronger than you think
Admittedly, some days are harder than others and sometimes, simply getting out of bed in the morning to face another day of challenges, responsibilities, fears, uncertainties and doubts is just about the hardest thing to accomplish that day.
I am learning that I am stronger than I think and not just because the sentence sounds cute. It gives me the strength to keep pushing through it all. Some days, I look back at all the things I have had to deal with and how I came out strong and alive in the end and realize that I may just be stronger than I think or give myself credit for.
Remember that you are way more than you think you are. Do not allow the negative thoughts creep in to overwhelm, confuse or make you overanalyze your strength and abilities. Secure your emotions, your heart, your power, your mental space, your strength and keep moving.
Life is a continuous lesson
I am learning, and this may be one of the hardest lessons to learn so far while growing up, that it is absolutely okay to be clueless and uncertain about life from time to time…just as long as it’s a short time, right? See? I’m already panicking.
We never ever ever stop learning; about ourselves, about people we care about or even about life in general. So I think what I am trying to say is this: Be okay with not having all the answers at every point in time. I am learning to live in each moment, not knowing what the next phase may bring sometimes, but also planning as much as I can for the future.
Every day above ground is an opportunity to fight and come out strong. Every day above ground is an opportunity to figure something out about life. Every day above ground is an opportunity to live, taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. Every day above ground is an opportunity to keep going.
Remember, life is not an emergency.
What is adulthood teaching you? Kindly share in the comments!
P.S, From 5th August 2019, I’ll be sending out life-changing, straight-to-the point and concise weekly emails guaranteed to help start your week right! Click the link here to sign up so you don’t miss out on anything!https://mailchi.mp/06750630c287/weeklyemails