For the past couple of weeks I have been feeling intensely strung out and stressed to the point of losing sleep, becoming short with the people around me (sorry), and withdrawing socially. Little things that should never cause me to lose my cool have begun to feel like insurmountable mountains when they are, in fact, minor obstacles. I’m not alone in this struggle either; Jackson has been much the same way, and the two of us were at a loss for what to do about it.
Finally, on Sunday, he and I took a timeout from our apartment to take a walk around the neighbourhood and figure out how we were going to solve this problem. We talked about what has been going on in our lives lately and what is causing both of us to feel so much stress and angst where there really doesn't need to be any. He identified a few key struggles for him, and I nailed down the things that I am finding particularly difficult. The interesting part is that, although we are both struggling with our individual goals, the real source of our stress has been hiding right under our noses. We have both been putting undue pressure on ourselves to “catch up” in life somehow, as though where we are right now just isn't good enough. Rather than looking forward to reaching our goals, we have been putting them on a pedestal and behaving as though the life we are living right now somehow just doesn't measure up.
I hadn't realized the extent to which I have been devaluing my own here and now, or how much I beat myself up over not owning a home or being flush with cash. It disappoints me to find that I have fallen into the trap of perpetually denying myself permission to be happy with who and where I am in life. The way I have been experiencing my existence is not healthy or productive, and that ends now. Developing myself as a person and in my career takes time, and I need to trust that the steps I am taking will be enough. In other words, it's time to stress less and do more. I can’t get these years back, and if I don’t enjoy them while I am living them I will regret it for the rest of my life.
I am where I am in life, I'm doing what I need to do to reach my goals, and that’s OK. Repeat.