Focus on the journey. Because ultimately, life is a journey: the destination is the end of life. Not only is the outcome unknown to you, arriving at the destination is of minimal importance in the grand scheme of this game we call life.
I’ve been hit in the face with the proverbial sack of bricks several times in the past years. I’ve gone hard on that quarter-life crisis. I’ve had my dreams seemingly shattered – summer after summer. I have lain in bed inert for days. I have cried myself to sleep; I have been weak. I rode the rollercoaster of anxiety, depression, reform, vices, self-medication and shame. Nightmares.
Each time fell prostrate on my face, stumbled and I managed to get back up, I thought I had come back stronger. Just to be paralyzed by the next assault. I found myself seeking things I did not want. Indulging in escapism and subconsciously trying to find fulfillment in The Temporary. I turned into a shell of myself. I abandoned my gratitude journal, the gym, food and all the routines that kept me mentally afloat.
I had to make a decision. And I had to realize that my happiness is not predicated by the outcomes of my endeavors, my expectations nor my dreams. The person I had become was not capable of pursuing these dreams, achieving the goals I had once set or dealing with the successes I so desired.
I had to fight. Rekindle my ambitions. But simultaneously, be comfortable in my own skin and my current circumstances. Distant as they were from where I, and others had seen myself at this stage in life. This number. I allowed it to define me: 22. I am 22. But until recently I could see nothing in this but utter failure.
Perhaps I will die tomorrow. Perhaps I will live to see 90 years. This frightened and infuriated me. Why should I live so long in this miserable torture we call life? But what I did not realize, and what nobody could have convinced me, is that I did not have to be miserable. I was choosing to be miserable.
I was sick.
My mind could not perceive any greater hope. I was stuck; I was a prisoner in my own mind. And it was taking me nowhere. I was burning with an internal fury that manifested itself as pain and sadness. I was simply waiting for a future that I did not believe existed.
The future is now. This is the future. And I can change. I can love. I don’t need to be defined by my past. I can forge this future from now. Despite the time seemingly lost. I can forge it now. I fought. And I’m winning. Not because I am now where I had hoped; far from it. But I have come to accept and enjoy uncertainty. I don’t know what country I will be in next month. I don’t know where I will live.
But that’s okay. I accept this. And I’m fighting. Enjoying this crazy rollercoaster we call life.