IF YOU’RE reading this now, it means you’re coping. That stage of your life where you found yourself locked inside your room for days or weeks or months is gone. By “room,” I’m not just talking about the physical one with four corners and a bed and a lamp and a shelf. I’m talking about the untouchable, secret bulwark inside you that nobody else has a key to but you and God.
The well of your tears has dried up. And for an unknown reason, a new source of strength and hope showed itself to you. It could be your faith, your love, your family. Whatever it is, embrace it, cling to it, and never let go.
I understand that sometimes this world is just too much. There are failures, betrayals, isolation, frustrations, expectations. Some of your friends vanish from your side like a bubble popping aimlessly under the summer sun. They leave without any trace or explanation. And in those moments, you question your worth. Know that your value isn’t dependent on how they see you, how they treat you, or how they perceive you. Go on. Keep walking. Reach for your dreams.
Do you remember that bucket list of yours that you’ve been keeping for a long time now? Revisit it. Think it through. And one by one, with all the energy and optimism and drive left in your tank, do everything in your power to turn each of them into a reality. To shift your gears one more time.
I know that it’s easier said than done. You’ve probably heard these same words from your core acquaintances before, or maybe you’ve read it in a book. But what are our choices, really? Here we are in a world currently being shared by about 7.7 billion people — living, breathing, walking, waking up, eating, talking. We’re in this puzzle of existence reaching out to the unknown, figuring out what makes sense, doing what’s good as dictated organically by our hearts.
Every day, new innovations in technology and engineering are being introduced that had been curated inside laboratories or research facilities somewhere by the nerdiest and most creative among us. New celebrities are being born on YouTube and Facebook and Instagram. Their motivation may include fame, power, prestige, or for their names to be etched in history. These are debatable reasons, but you don’t have to compare yourself to them. Don’t scroll if you sense that you have the slightest tendency of feeling despair, jealousy, or the never-ending stream of doubts of who you could be. Not everything that you see – the glossy photos, edited videos, and perfect moments – are real. Aim for specificity and learn to decipher the real ones.
Focus on your abilities and talents and don’t live to impress the world. Explore at your own pace and rhythm and earnestly prepare your backpack. Leave behind the unwanted baggage. Go out into the unknown. Because to achieve peace and contentment in one’s skin is one of the travails that humanity is facing today more than ever. Don’t give up now.
Trust that you’ll feel lighter; yes, it’ll get better.
(This piece has been published by Thought Catalog on January 31, 2019.)