It’s Saturday night. I have no plans so, after spending a day doing nothing, I decided to have a me-evening. I exfoliated my skin, did a face mask and a hair mask. After moisturizing my skin, I prepared myself a late-night snack and got out a bottle of wine to sit down and finally write. I think the kids these days call this “romanticizing” your own life.
I had to do all of this to sit down and talk to you for a change. A few years back inspiration was something that came naturally to me. I never had the need to draw it out or give it a little push to show its pretty little head.
It got me thinking about the ways in which stepping from my teen years to my “kind of adult-but not quite” years deprived me of those deep, passionate feelings that made me want to write and create constantly.
I believe that one of the main differences between my teen years and this period of my life is exactly this blog. A few years back, while I was still in high school and university, I had the strongest belief that one day I will be able to live off of this blog, writing and travelling. That was my honest goal in life and the travel part kind of enticed me to study languages I already loved. There was this point during my third year of university where a thought started haunting me: “You will never do it. You wasted all of this time. Why did you ever believe you would accomplish this? You can’t even write! Where is the book you promised to start writing? You don’t even have a title. You wasted all of this time….”
I don’t know if it was doubt or common sense that came creeping in, but it changed me forever. I did not just abandon the ideas I had about my life, I abandoned my dreams, the goals that kept me going and I distanced myself for everyone because I felt like such a failure. I don’t regret many things in my life, but I do regret the day I stopped working for what I want.
I cannot complain, life has been treating me well over the last few years since I dropped out of grad school. I did go through a rough period, but I finally managed to get my life together… Or did I?
As a person that never dreamed of stable jobs, living in the same place, doing something that I am not passionate about, why do I all of the sudden believe that living this life means that I did well? Am I complicit in my own misery and in the creation of a life I might regret in a decade or two? Are we all complicit?
If your dream was to settle down and have a family, maybe you rushed to do it within a certain timeframe, maybe you neglected your passion to climb up the corporate ladder, maybe you let your family define your life and dictate what you do instead of you… there are so many scenarios in which we could ask ourselves are we complicit in our own misery.
I never thought there would come a day in which I would need a bottle of wine and a whole preparation session to just sit down and write directly from my soul, but here I am. As somebody who kicked and screamed her way through life, I always believe I would have the strength to fight but yet here I am and my batteries are empty.
Even as I try to convince myself that I have so much to be grateful for, I open my social media or the news only to see people who make me think I am a complete failure not just for settling down for less than I wanted in life, but for not having a better version of the life I never even wanted. You know what I mean?
We came to an age where we are in a conflict between our dreams, the reality and the image that is imposed on us by the rest of the world. How do you stay true to yourself in that? (I know that sounds cheesy)
This conflict I have going on in my head is one of the reasons I started writing those Letters to myself. For now I only have two, Move and From Scratch, but writing to myself, talking to myself in that form helps me clear my head and get on paper things I might never say out loud.
This blog used to be my passion and now it’s primarily my safe space. I don’t talk about this to anyone, I only know how to write this because I know that down in the comments and in my DMs and emails no one is going to tell me that I should be grateful for what I have because some people don’t have it. I know that, but it’s not a measure according to which I can align my happiness.
I have reflected about this for a while, especially while reading a book in which I came across an interesting quote:
It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a sick society
Maybe these thoughts I have are indicating that I am not adjusted. Maybe these thoughts tormenting me are the remains of the rebel I was and maybe it means that I am not ready to give up just yet. Maybe there is still strength in me to put up another fight and reinvent myself again. Or maybe these thoughts are just ghosts from the past, haunting me and making me fall into one episode of depression to another, from one panic attack to the next.
I don’t have a lot of answers. I know that we all have to give up something in life, we all lose something along the way, but I do not feel like I just gave up anything. I feel like I ripped a part of my soul out and left it on the floor of my one-bedroom apartment in Zadar when I let the voices in my head be louder than who I really am.