It’s all a bit too much lately and really getting under my skin. All of these “web aficionados” claiming they can save the world – it’s making me want to barf. For the last 15 years I’ve been ultra motivated and driven. And I still am ambitious, no doubt. I know what I am about. But there is this culture evolving online that the world is all rainbows on the other side of the follow button, and it’s just not.
I’ve never read a depressive post in my life, let alone written one so I’m not about to drop one on you but I am about to give you the reality behind what day-to-day life is really like behind social media, blogging, parenting, setting up a safe and nurturing home for your family, working and still wanting something more in life for yourself and what it actually feels like.
Switch off the filters, the perfectly placed items for the photos, the videos with many cuts and bloopers… and a world emerges that people are afraid to talk about;
- Little sleep
- Stress and angst
- Dietary challenges and weight struggles
- Sudden senses of urgency to do something
- Days of internal questioning and self validation
- Impatience and frustration
- Panic attacks
- Chest pains and tightening of the throat
- Muscle aches
- Constant internal dialogue – that NEVER switches off
- Throwing up under pressure
Anyone who knows me well is aware that I’m quite thick skinned. I can move from task to task quickly and effortlessly most of the time. I’d say I’m well grounded and directional, very clear about where and what I want out of life. The thing is though, there is a cost of living this way, much of which is deeply rooted in the list above. My success is constantly transactional with at least one of those challenges.
I’ve struggled on and off for years now with my weight and health, bouncing between 65-85 kg over the last 10 years. My fitness and appetite for it thereof is like a roller-coaster and my body constantly feels pulled in both directions, and suffers as a result, not being able to find a state of entropy in the chaos I subject it too. Constant changes of diet, in an attempt to find the sweet spot disrupts my digestive system to the point of irritation. A constant need to be doing something means I often only get 5 hrs of sleep a day, until I feel exhausted, but addicted to the process of soaking up information in between.
As I move into my thirties, family by my side, I increasingly live with fear, a fear that I’ll loose it all. I fear death more. I fear leaving my family behind. Obsessing over this fear for weeks is disruptive as it often stops my foresight in life – and I hate that.
Sitting still comes about only by necessity, and I experience less “in the moments” due to impatience and a constant need for “what should I be doing next”, worrying if I don’t always do something that the opportunity may pass to take a step forward, not realising that I’m probably only taking two steps back by entertaining this habit.
This fear leaches into other areas of my life, like my health, where for the first time it’s not uncommon to experience hypochondria, the thought of which I could never comprehend years ago.
At the same time as I re-read each sentence I type here, I’m not discouraged. I’m not worried about what it all means as that innate and inherent strength inside still drives me forward. A part of me is compelled to write the truth behind the order, to tell of the chaos behind the control. I suspect I’m not alone in these feelings. I’m not an unhappy person, but I’m certainly not in harmony. There are areas of my life that need calibration, I can appreciate that.
I guess my message here is that behind what you think is the perfect lifestyle, if you’re not self aware enough to know that it can come at an expense, you will inevitably come to a crashing halt at some stage. I’ve been there. A handful of times. If you find it difficult to adjust to life maybe it’s OK to step back a little and reflect, without the need to come up with answers, but just reflect, and then pick just one area to pull the reigns on. I don’t have all the answers so I can’t tell you how to manage it all as it’s both personal and subjective. But I do believe that in the end the macro version of life will turn out just fine… it’s just the day to day challenges that humans ought to respect and become self aware about so you can navigate your course well. And that is both comforting and reassuring. At least for me anyway.
If you take my life as a ratio of being in total control versus feeling the above, I come out on top with a feeling of being fairly well ground 70% of the time (that figure is not accurate but what my gut tells me). I’d say that’s pretty reasonable considering the pressure I put on myself so I’m willing to wear that score with pride and just keep plugging on. Life ain’t easy, we’ve all heard that clichè but it has some truth.
Why am I telling you all this?
Apart of me feels compelled to be transparent with you. There is too much fluff going around online with no telling of the behind the scenes of life from someone really putting in a heart felt climb to something larger than me. I’m not 100% sure what that is yet, but I honestly feel it. Whatever that turns out to be I’m yet to totally know. But when we both look back in 2, 3, 10 years from now, you’ll know the roots because it’s in these moments that dreams are made for us both. Anyone can do anything when shit is easy. It’s what you do when it’s not that counts.
Can you relate? What’s your experience? Leave a comment.