“The alarm goes off. I get up and I want to do a million things; morning is definitely MY time.
My mind is brilliant first thing in the day. I experience a flood of brain waves, ideas just flow effortlessly… add a bit of caffeine to the mix and I’m unstoppable. I feel an urge to get dressed in my training clothes and go for a run at the beach. Or maybe get to the gym before the crowds and have the place to myself… or maybe both. I just know that I want to feel the endorphins wash over me when I finish exercising, and in that moment – I am genuinely happy.
After that, I get to work knowing that I did something for myself. Having put myself first, I can now handle whatever the day throws at me. I interact with colleagues and we exchange mindless conversations, passing greetings or make small talk. I tell them that I have been up since 4 am for a workout, and they reply that I’m crazy. Some might tell me that they were up early too, as their children woke them up in the middle of the night. Soon enough we become engrossed in our respective jobs and our chatter shifts to work related topics… we might joke about difficult customers, ‘talk shop’, complain about our rosters… after all, that’s our common ground. It has a time and a place, and I enjoy that exchange.
Through the day, I eat my prepared meals. I hate wasting money on takeaway foods, and I like knowing what I put into my body so I make an effort to be prepared. After all, food is medicine for the body and soul.
Okay, so maybe I’m not one of those lucky few that can brag about doing what I love every day… I can’t say I’m necessarily passionate about my work (well, the one that generates my main income). But I do enjoy it most days; I have a good work ethic and will always try my best to be professional in whatever I do. Not to mention that I am also very grateful to actually have a job, as I live in a town where it can be hard to find employment. I work as many hours as I can fit in the day to save for my dreams, then I live my passions around it. I’m always chasing and perfecting that elusive work/life balance.
Finally I finish work and I’m stoked that there is still daylight outside. I try to drive home as fast as I can while still being prudent enough not to break any laws. I get home and refuse to miss the sunset; so I rush off and grab my skateboard or bike and head for a cruise along the esplanade. I marvel at how beautiful the colours are on the horizon; the pink hues of the sky complementing the ocean blue… at times, there might also be interesting clouds around or a fiery sunset to admire.
As they say, the best things in life are free.
I genuinely appreciate all of it, while at the same time I try to capture a memorable photo. I sometimes wish I had a fancy camera; instead I only have a smart phone to use – but I love combining that perfect light, composition, and angle to make a beautiful landscape shot. I do what I can with what I have, and that’s what life is about. Come to think of it, I have a lot. I eventually take a photo I am happy with; I then share on my Instagram travel account.
I think about travel often, if not every day. I mentally plan my next trip, the places I want to see, the photos I want to capture, the experiences I want to have – because life is short. I know it won’t be tomorrow, but I’ll continue to save money, and when the time is right, I’ll get away. Looking forward to adventures gives me a purpose. Someday I really want to do a humanitarian trip and give back, helping others while experiencing different cultures and this amazingly limitless world we live in.
I go home and prepare something to eat. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, as long as it’s healthy and nutritious. I’ve never been into cooking, so I prefer to keep it simple and easy. I always eat it all, as I dislike wasting food. I’m so grateful to have enough. I may enjoy my meal listening to music or chatting to someone. Or I might reply to messages then look for inspiration online, just browsing travel photos, potential job offers and other people’s blogs to feel inspired by their different ideas and perspectives.
I make sure I’m in bed early, because I love getting up before the sun. I believe it’s important to feel physically rested and mentally restored so I can be productive. I read a book until I’m sleepy enough and drift off.
Tomorrow is another day. I have so much I want to get done. I hope I always feel like this”
“The alarm goes off. It brings a somewhat startling realization that I’m still alive. I must admit that part of me is disappointed. I want to get up and do a million things… I want to put on my training clothes and go outside for a run, or to the gym, or both. But I don’t. And I almost of feel like I physically can’t. I momentarily feel frustrated, before a familiar apathy eventually washes over me and it just doesn’t matter anymore.
I make excuses in my mind, so that I can avoid feeling bad for not fitting into the high expectations which I actually created myself. I don’t feel energetic anyway and it’s cold outside. It’s getting late now because I deliberated too long, and now the gym will be busy, there will be people everywhere and I will feel watched, judged and inevitably anxious. What I really want is to stay in bed for now and try to go later… maybe I just need more time, maybe I can work up the energy and courage; but that won’t happen – because that’s right, time is limited and I have to go to work. I need the money.
I want to call in sick. But I’ve already taken so many sick days lately, I can’t afford to draw attention to myself. I worry that I might lose my job, and I really need this job, since it’s so hard to find another one in the town I live in. It’s deflating to be so easily replaceable. I contemplate how it would be so much easier if I had an accident, an operation, a broken leg, or just a visible problem of any kind – because then my absence would be “legitimate”. It would be acceptable to call in sick, if only I had an illness which society considers genuine.
So I drag myself out of bed and go.
I cross paths with colleagues; they try to make conversation and small talk with me, but my inadequacy is almost palpable as I can barely manage a greeting. I keep my head down and purposely avoid eye contact while being as polite as possible. I actually deeply care about how I make others feel and wouldn’t want them to think I dislike them. But I look like shit. I feel like shit. They can probably see it too – which makes me extremely anxious and by now I’m convinced that everyone is judging me. I rush around doing things so I’m never in one place long enough to have a real conversation with anyone.
I start work and do what I’m obligated to do. I can only manage the bare minimum, and I’m concerned that my supervisor will notice. Not because I want to get away with poor productivity, but because I don’t want to disappoint yet another person. Through the day, I need more breaks than usual and sometimes I spend them in the toilets to avoid seeing anyone else.
I used to kind of like what I did; but now everything feels empty. I feel like I have no purpose. This isn’t my calling and I don’t even know what is. I can’t wait until the day is finished so I can feel safe at home where no one expects anything from me. I count down the hours and minutes. I overthink everything and feel that I should be doing something else in life, because everyone on Facebook seems to be living their dream except me. I scroll through my newsfeed during my lunch break and envy other people’s achievements. I forget to eat my food.
Finally the work day ends and I’m momentarily relieved. I head home but it dawns on me that there’s nothing much to look forward to there either. I then wonder why I wanted to be back so badly.
I vividly remember how I used to love watching the sunset and it makes me long for who I used to be. I start to feel a creeping guilt for not wanting to go outside, so I quickly drag myself out, purely to avoid having failed at something else. It’s still undeniably beautiful. I can see that. So why can’t I just enjoy it? I feel annoyed at myself for not getting the enjoyment I used to, while simultaneously I feel lonely because there’s no one there to share the supposed enjoyment with. I manage to take a pretty photo and share it on Instagram. Briefly, I feel validated that others enjoy my photo; but then it dawns on me that what I actually long for is a group of “real” friends. I don’t even know half the people that ‘follow’ me or that ‘liked’ my photo.
I go home and there’s not much to do so I put dinner together. I remember that I should eat, but in all honesty I’m not even hungry. I make something bland and effortless then just eat it standing up near the kitchen counter. It feels mechanical and like an obligation.
I lay in bed to rest because I actually feel emotionally exhausted. But then – I can’t sleep. My mind begins to race and I ponder so many things. I think about what was and what could be. Instead, I’m stuck in what is – and “what is” feels like some kind of purgatory. I think about what I should do to change my life, because I have to change my life, don’t I…? it’s all up to me, no one can save me, only I can. Yes it’s all up to me. If I just made myself think positively, if I just focused on attracting prosperity, if I just got it together and made things happen…
While it all sounds logical and amazing, right now I don’t have the will or the energy to achieve all those wonderful things I desperately want (and subsequently pressured myself to pursue). I badly want to silence my mind, so I take a sleeping tablet or have a glass of wine if there is any around (or both) and basically force myself into a restless sleep, because please let the day just be over.
Tomorrow is a new day. Will I want to do anything? I don’t know. But I hope I never feel like this again”
Remember: It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.
Your struggle is not your identity. You are so much more than that.
After all, the moon is still the moon in all its phases.
Feel what you need to feel. Allow yourself to focus on it, but refrain from mentally labeling it.
You have to feel. There is no other way. That’s what makes you amazing – all your perfectly flawed humanity.
Some of life’s best journeys begin with a wrong turn.
Nothing new would be built if things were never broken.
And every day, we build again. We all write a new diary page.
Love, Cristy xo