There are a lot of times I feel like I’m not where I should be. My friends are getting married, having babies, and buying houses. I feel, a lot of the time, like I am behind or stuck. I look around at my surroundings and feel “less than” those on my Instagram feed who post photos holding the sold signs in front of their beautiful homes I could never afford.
Then I take a step back and remind myself that 5 years ago, I wanted to be exactly where I am now. I was living in a toxic place surrounded by toxic people and my mental health was at an all time low. I really look around and I see a home that I may not own but am renting and love. I see a man that treats me like a queen and a cat that I treat like he is my actual child. I’m happy with where I am, even though I’m not where everyone else is. Here are the reminders I give myself when I’m feeling stuck or not where I should be.
– You have a roof over your head
Whether you live in a shitty basement apartment, still live with your parents, rent a room in someone else’s home; you still have a home. You are safe from the elements. You aren’t homeless. You are okay.
-You have food to feed you
I know some weeks go by where the grocery order is small, when we can’t afford to have steak for dinner, or even real chicken breast for that matter; but we always have something. As long as you are fed, you are okay.
– You are loved
Even if you feel unloved completely and wholeheartedly, I promise there is someone out there that could prove you wrong. Hell, even if it is your cat or your dog. Someone loves you, so you should love yourself as well.
– Remember where you were before
I mentioned this in the intro to this blog post, but really, take a minute to remember where you were before. Were you living with your parents? Were you in a bad place? I remember being in my mom’s house, watching “my first apartment” videos on youtube, just wishing I could move out. When I moved out, I wished I had a house. It’s extremely helpful to remind yourself of how badly you wanted to be exactly where you are now.
– You’ll get to where you want, just not in one day
Your dreams will be accomplished someday. Things take time and effort and can’t happen in one day. This helps me to remember that my dreams are big. Very big. I may not already have a house in my name but I’m a student. I may not have a great job but I am working toward it.
– It is not a competition
This one is hard for me. Rationally, I know it’s not a competition with my friends. I know I don’t need to have a good job, a nice house, or a family before my friends. However, there is this feeling deep inside me that I want to be before them. I know that’s wrong, and weird of me to feel that way, but I do. I have to remind myself that life is not a competition and that the timeline to success looks different for everyone almost daily. Each time a friend posts a photo of their pregnancy announcement, or of their new home, or of their flashy job, I have to tell myself to take a breath, and that its not a competition.
Having a mental illness and feelings of inadequacy or emptiness is hard. Feeling like you don’t have a purpose, or you aren’t where you are supposed to be is hard too. While this may be harder for people that suffer from mental illnesses, I do believe this is a universal feeling. I believe when you reach the ripe old age of 20, and enter the adult world, there is always this pressure to be perfect. To be successful. We compare ourselves to our parents who got married and owned a home by 20 years old, and see ourselves as failures because we can barely afford rent at 25 and are living on instant noodles.
I think it’s more than important to give yourselves these reminders. To remember that you are JUST where you need to be. To remember that you will achieve what you want. To remember that you are now, and will be, okay.
Take care of yourself