The Fear of Not Reaching Your Potential

花見、2019/04

Hello old friend,

It’s been a while since I sat down and wrote a bit. I have been bad about keeping a journal lately, but I want to try and go for it today. Soon is my 30th birthday, so I feel a little more introspective and want to remind future-me of these thoughts and feelings.

Okay, so…when I was younger, like 10 year old me, I became familiar with the concept of responsibility and it instantly terrified me. While I knew then that I didn’t have to carry the burden by myself, I instantly felt that I could never undo the feeling and it has stuck with me since. I slowly learned I am responsible for my own life (and by slowly I mean it took years). I’ve been afraid of taking up responsibility of other people, as I felt like I could hardly carry my own. I don’t think I ever suffered from imposter syndrome, but I did need to learn a few lessons regarding setting boundaries. I could say no to people I didn’t care about, but phooey– if it was about my job, my family or people I considered friends, it would consume me.

Getting therapy in your 20s probably is something completely normalised for any millennial, but growing up only “crazies” got therapy. Depression was for sad, weak people. Hard work and working towards starting a family would be the solution to all life’s issues…this was an interesting lesson to learn.

Nowadays I think I’m doing better than I’ve done in a long time. Sure there’s a lot of things I could improve, but overall I’m more stable (financially and mentally), have a skincare routing that works (that stuff is important!), blame myself less for things that aren’t my fault to begin with, and even dare to share about myself to other people (sometimes). When I was younger, I was afraid I’d be miserable by the time I was 30. Honestly, for the longest time I even thought I’d be dead before I reached this age. Yet I’m still here! And while I am doing better, I am terrified. What am I really doing with my life? There’s so much I want to do, and so little that I feel that I actually can do… what if I never reach my potential?

And I keep wondering, is this “help, I’m turning 30?!”-angst? Is it just my brain, which has been fed capitalistic ideals all its life? I can’t help but think this angst has been on my mind ever since I got to know responsibility all those years ago. Questions like “what do you want to be when you grow up?” don’t work either. But who knows, I actually don’t think I will get an answer to these questions anytime soon. And you know what, though? I think I’m sort of okay with that for now. There’s a lot out there to keep living for, be it the people I love, the sunsets and sunrises I miss, the countless pieces of art I still want to see, the crazy adventures I want to go on… I think I will give myself another 10 years to find out what full-time job will give my life a little more meaning. There’s more to life than making money, at least I know that.

I would like to raise my imaginary glass of champagne to you, and propose a toast to passion projects. To doing things because you love to do it, and not only because they are productive or get you money.

Stay sane out there!
Love,

Louise

razz pizzazz

I like words, and I like languages as a concept. But I hate using them. You know that feeling, that you want to convey your feelings and thoughts but the idea of putting them in words feels constrictive and just not quite right? Instead, you would rather put it in colours, smells and sounds?

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