As I’ve mentioned before…I suffer with anxiety and depression and as much as I would love to be happy all the time…sometimes I slip. And what I have come to realise is that its okay! It’s okay to not be happy all the time…it’s okay to slip and be down. Life is tough and sometimes you end up questioning everything. That has been me for the last 3 weeks.
Certain life events over the last couple months has meant that I have ended up questioning every aspect of my life! Now those of you who know me, know that my life has been far from easy. I have been through a lot and I’m sure that there will still be plenty more ups and downs to come. But you know what…my story isn’t over yet! My past does not dictate how I will live my future.
Someone super close to me introduced me to ‘Hamilton’ by Lin-Manuel Miranda and there is a line in it that has really stuck to me. ‘There are a million things I haven’t done…but just you wait!’. I am only 26 years old…I still have the rest of my life to go, plenty of time to do the million things I want to do. I can also look back at what I have accomplished…I have completed a research masters degree, which if you’d asked me whether I would have done one 10 years ago, I would have said no, and planning on doing a PhD.
Whilst talking to my best friend about my situation lately, she reminded me of another line in ‘Hamilton’ and it goes ‘I am not throwing away my shot!’ and I decided this week that I won’t. I won’t let my depression and anxiety get the better of me. I am going to fight it and I’m going to get better. I won’t let myself worry about whats going to happen in 5-10 years time. I am just going to focus on what I want to achieve by the end of 2018.
I also just want to thank those closest to me who have been a support through this tough time for me! I really appreciate every single one of you and I love you all dearly. I know I can be a lot to handle and that I say things I don’t mean when I am down. But know that I really do love and appreciate you!
So I might have a million things I haven’t done…yet…but what about you? What is a song lyric that sticks with you and helps you?
Hamilton has been such an encouragement to me too! Am proud of you and wishing you well on your future projects and your ‘story’. Sending you much love xxx
Thank you so much! Xx
Thanks for sharing. As I read what you wrote it brought to mind the time I was 26 and had a life-list a mile long of things I was going to do. One of them was creating a major motion picture by the time I would be 60. Well that time has come and gone. And the objective still not realized. Today I’m 65 and must acknowledge that only 20% of the things on my list when I was 26 have actually been accomplished. I still have 80% left to do and fewer years to get it all done. I remember being told, when I was young, “don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.” So I began burning the candle at both ends, working all kinds of crazy hours, in order to get more stuff done. I accomplished a lot for sure, but then I discovered that the above saying is the wrong one to encourage those with tendencies toward perfectionism, like myself. Sure everybody likes to have me do everything perfect–project completed on time, with attention to detail and excellence, all coming in under budget. And I did that often. But then I heard another saying, meant for the perfectionist, “don’t do today what you can put off till tomorrow.” I’m still learning to adapt to that way of life, but I think by now I’m catching on. I’m a recovering perfectionist, although I’m still often living for the details. I’ve left so many things “for when I retire” that it will be impossible to accomplish them all. So I can either be depressed about it, or shorten my list to what I really want to do with the remaining “fewer” years. And just this week I realized, that (although I’m not yet retired), retirement is not really much fun when you’re old (and worn out). In other words, when I was half my age, I figured I could do a lot in my retirement years, (and therefore put those things off) but now I realize that the word “retirement” does include the idea that you get more “tired”, more easily. I’m no longer the robust rancher who had four horses, three kids and a farm in addition to full time work when I was in my thirties. Although, I can still out-hike your mom!!! Stay true to yourself, pick your projects carefully, never expect more of yourself than is truly realistic and thus set yourself up for failure (and depression). And enjoy the journey. (That’s something I often failed to do, being so completion focused.) Another saying from long ago, “stop and smell the roses along the way.” I’m still learning to do that. Oh, and BTW from my experience: life is continually up and down. That’s totally normal! Blessings, “Uncle” Fred.