The Fear of Not Reaching Your Potential

花見、2019年04月

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, and I’ve been even worse about logging onto this place. I think it scares me. Not so much the process, because there’s a comfort in a process as you have to stick to a few things in order to write — but more the actual being honest with myself and see what comes up when I write.

Soon is my 30th birthday. Many, many years ago I thought blogging would be my way to cope with life. That was until I discovered self-esteem and trust issues. Yet I must say, I didn’t think I would stick it out for this long. Don’t get me wrong, my writing is still shit — but at least I’ve (sorta) kept at it. I wanted something and stuck to it, I don’t think I can say that about a lot of things in life. Although I have completely let it wither away ever since The Great Depression of 2017/2018, we’re still here. Whoever is out there, please know I appreciate your quiet presence.

When I was younger, like 10 year old me, I became familiar with the concept of responsibility. It 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… what a shitshow. 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. It wasn’t until the last year of university that I understood that I really, really sucked at setting boundaries. Sure, socially I was fine. I could say no to people I didn’t care about, but boy– 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, and is probably already late for the average gen z-er. But when I was 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.

What a joke.

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, blame myself for less, and even dare to share about myself to other people sometimes. When I was younger, I was afraid I’d be a miserable fucker 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 can… what if I never reach my potential?

Is this “help, I’m turning 30?!”-angst? Is it my mental illness taking over? Or 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 don’t think I will get an answer to these questions anytime soon.

But 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

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