Are You Overwhelmed By Life? Yeah, me too.
If I had to describe my "mid" twenties I'd say they are a pendulum, swinging from moments of extreme positivity for the future to debilitating feelings of self doubt and fear. Sometimes I feel scared to be so joyful when good things come my way because I know it's short-lived. I already know that moments of disappointment and difficulty are sure to follow and even though I try my best to hold onto the moment and really appreciate life, there's that 1% that's always waiting for the shoe to drop.
Let's get one thing straight, you are not alone.
At the beginning of this year I decided to be open about my anxiety because I felt strongly that this was something that has played such a significant role in my life and it would be disingenuous not to share. And although at the time I thought it would be one of those posts no one would care to read, or be judged on, it was actually one of the posts that people resonated with the most. While l couldn't give anyone the cure for anxiety I certainly wanted to reassure people that they weren't alone.
And so, again I wanted to share that I still go through periods of anxiety. Granted I feel I have better tools to deal with it (such as meditation and exercise) and it's not as frequent as it was but it does still hit me hard. These days I'm becoming increasingly aware of time. I'm now at a point where I'm closer to 30 than I am to 20 and I still can't define EXACTLY what it is that I want to do with my life. When I was 18 I wasn’t as scared because I felt as though I had time to figure it out but now I'm terrified that I won't have enough time to figure it out and still have a plan in place. Don't get me wrong I still have dreams but they seem so big and sometimes so out of reach that I lose hope that I still have what it takes to achieve them.
So am I really destined for greatness?
One of the things that has me feeling overwhelmed is that I'm scared to start the things that could possibly bring me closer to realizing my dreams because I'm terrified to find the answer. I'm terrified to start the journey only to be hit with the reality that I am indeed not the "chosen one". I don't want life to show me just how "unspecial" I really am but I also don't want to continue to live in this purgatory of dreaming and not doing. I know at some point or the other I will have to make a choice to either pursue or to change course because if I don't, life will certainly do it for me.
I guess the corny things are true.
Facing your fears is a scary thing but to truly grow you have to do it. You have to trust that you have enough inside of you to atleast try. Look at it this way, you already know the result of avoiding your fears, it's filled with waves of anxiety but you do not know the result of facing your fear, so go on and find out. Procrastination compounds anxiety. The longer you wait the more overwhelming it becomes and sometimes life is not so forgiving if you miss the deadline of certain opportunities. You have to grab it by the horns and hope for the best.
Control what you can
I know that it can all be overwhelming but I've found that constantly looking out for the things that I can control makes all the difference. Identifying pockets of your life where you have control and exercising that control is not only a game changer to the trajectory of your life but it does give you a sense of ownership. All of a sudden life isn't the only one that's pushing you around , you're also pushing life around. Everyday I'm learning to let go of people's expectation of who I'm supposed to be and what society expects me to be. I'm searching for my own voice. and it's not always perfect but I'm always asking myself "what does Khanya think of this?". Living a life that is authentic to you is the most exciting thing that you can do and you should chase it with vigor.
Hope is the best of things
I hope this post gives you a glimmer of hope, I hope it gives you a sense of comfort that you are certainly not alone and that some of us don't have it together even at 26. We discover, grow, get kicked down and we get up again. Because you know what, Andy from Shawshank Redemption, was right "hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." so keep going because you give the rest of us hope and all we really need is hope.