Dealing With That Pesky Black Cloud
You get it. It's a hot topic and it seems like everyone you know is either struggling with depression or anxiety. This topic has been gaining popularity rapidly, and it isn't going away anytime soon. Want to know why? Because we are just scratching the surface of what people go through who suffer with either of these mental health issues.
As we continue to learn more about this topic, I want to talk about some of the scary truths that go on in the minds of those who have depression or anxiety.
I'm going to be honest with you, I have started and stopped this blog post many times because I have a hard time even trying to figure out how/where to start. I'm going to pre-empt this by telling you I'll probably jump around a lot, bear with me.
I'm a 23-year old trying to figure out what I want in life. I have hopes and dreams of one day being able to have the luxury to work from home. I have a million ideas and ways I think I can make that happen. If I had to guess, you probably have gone through this too, or are going through it right now. As a millennial, I have so many aspirations because my parents have always told me anything is possible. But to make those things possible, we have to work hard, right? So why is it so hard to put in that work in the beginning? Or if we don't see growth immediately, why are we so apt to giving up and starting something fresh?
I believe that it is because everything has been right at our fingertips for the majority of our lives. The internet is a beautiful thing! However, it can be something that makes people's lives seem perfect and make everything look easy. But that isn't the truth. Things aren't easy. In fact, they are really damn hard. But that is where we learn and grow, we learn about ourselves, and life in general, when we go through the hard times. But then again, we look at others and think, "well it doesn't look like it was hard for them, why is it so hard for me?"
I see all of these creators and influencers on Instagram and through podcasts. I think to myself, I want that life. I want to be one of those people. And we get back to those dreams that will allow us to get to that point. I get sucked in to all of the "free tutorials" and "simple steps" of how to become an influencer. I look at those people, and I compare myself to them. I am sure I'm not alone in this, right? Lately, this is all I can think about. I think about how I can be different from them, and how I can create what they have, but according to my own experiences. Sometimes I think that the market for influencers is so saturated, that there's no chance I could make it. It is just this crazy cycle. "Can I do this? Yes." Two weeks later: "well that didn't go as planned, time to come up with a new idea." Over and over again. There are so many ideas and thoughts going on in my mind, how do I know what is going to help the most people, while also being profitable?
I want to create an app.
I want to create a clothing line.
I want to create a successful blog.
I want to become an influencer on Instagram.
I want to own a business: home furnishings or clothing?
I want a 9-5 where I can enjoy the weekends off.
I want to have a job where there is growth opportunity.
I want to be my own boss.
I want to write about fitness.
I want to write about fashion.
I want to write about anxiety.
I want to write about happiness.
See where this can start to get confusing, and a little too much??
But I take a look at myself, what is different about me? How can I provide others with hope and inspiration? Something that I believe sets me apart is all of my life experiences, and how I have gotten through them and come out stronger in the end. There is something that I haven't gone through though to prove people that they can succeed as well, I haven't had the success as an influencer or blogger or become insta-famous. So how can I tell people how to do that too if I haven't even done it myself?
So I keep on pushing, I keep working my full time job, and working on my "side hustle" on the side (makes sense right?) But then I think to myself, I don't want to work my full time job, I want to make my side hustle my full time hustle. See where this can get complicated? And to add the cherry on top, I'm dealing with my anxiety too.
I'm not telling you all of this to make you feel bad for me, I'm telling you all of this because I am here to say, I understand. I know what you are going through. You aren't alone in this. What we need to do is keep working hard, and know that in the end it will pay off. We can't keep getting stuck on this now part, even though it is so simple to do. It is so easy to get caught up in our dreams, and while we need to keep those alive, we have to be realistic. We need to recognize that we can't give up on ourselves. We are the only ones who can make our dreams come true (aside from God, but that is for another post).
If you've made it to the end of this, first of all: thanks for sticking with me. Secondly, I just want to tell you that us millennials have to stick together and believe that we can make our freaking dreams come true. We just have to work for it.
I have recently made some new friends on Facebook, and there is one person that I have seemed to talk to more often than others. We interact, comment on each others' posts, and support each others' businesses. Well, this new friend posted a FB live about how you need to swing the bat. At first, I wasn't really sure what that meant. What bat? What does this even mean? She began to go on talking about how in life, we have to take a swing at things. If we never swing, then we never have the chance to hit the ball. We never have the chance to make it to first base, or hit that home run.
This analogy got me thinking about the different steps we have to take, and go through, to eventually be able to hit that home run. Here are the 5 steps that I think we all need to go through to get the courage and confidence to be able to succeed and take those steps to get that home run.
You're scared. You are doing something you have never done before. You're excited because you know you want to do this, and do it well, but you want to be good at it right away. You learn how to hold a bat the proper way, how your hands need to be placed and how far up or down the bat. But the most important step? Being able to step up to the plate. We know we are new at this, and we may not do well. But we have to have the courage to step up to the plate.
Life is the same way. Starting something new is hard, and it is scary. But you're doing exactly that, you're starting. You have to accept that that's a big step in the right direction. Do you have a goal or a dream that you have been wanting for a long time but haven't done anything about it? Yeah, me too. It can be terrifying, because if you try then you have the chance to fail. However, I 've learned that we can't let the fear of failure keep us from working towards our dreams. Babe Ruth said it best, "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."
3. Your Next Swings
These are where you really grow and learn. You have that first swing (and miss) under your belt, and now we can move forward from that. Here is where you are tested the most, you figure out how you have to adjust your swing to hit that damn ball. You're challenged, you have to overcome a lot of doubt in yourself. But somehow, you hit the ball. Maybe it isn't a home run, but you make contact with the ball. And then you make it to first base; you start to gain your confidence back. Little by little, you start to believe in yourself, and believe that you can do it.
Once you make it to first base, you start to think about what you did right. You start to figure out what works for you and what doesn't. From here, we just have to run. As fast as we can to make it to second base. Yes, whoever is at the plate has to hit the ball, but you have to focus on you, and how you can make that move. But, you hit some bumps in the road. You know what though? That's okay. Now you know what you have to do the next time you step up to the plate. And now you're ready to hit that home run.
4. Home Run
You're up once again, you're up to the plate. All you want to do is hit a home run. You watch the pitcher, you know what he is about to throw, and you watch that ball come all the way to the bat. You watch the ball make contact with the bat and you swing with all of your might. The ball starts to soar, and you have that split feeling of happiness and being scared. You're happy because you know it's a possibility that you can hit that home run, and you're scared because what if it doesn't make it over the wall? But you start to run, in hopes that you will hit that ball over the wall.
You watch the ball as you run, and you see it hit over the wall. You are ecstatic! You slow down your run to enjoy your time running around the bases. You get all the way to home plate and you just jump on it. You are so happy that you just can't contain yourself and you jump on that home plate to let it know that you freaking did it. You accomplished your goal. You were able to make the special feeling possible. You are over the moon, and you realize that you are the one who made that happen.
5. The Aftermath
I considered not including this step, but I believe that this is a very important part. The initial excitement has warn off and you start to settle in. You settle into the fact that you are able to do what you put your mind to. Your confidence continues to grow, and you recognize that putting in the work can lead to great things. You see how far you have come. With all of the practice, failures, and successes, you have grown. Without all of that, you may not have been able to hit that home run.
Life works the same way. We fail, and we try something different. And we keep trying until we figure out what works for us. If you are putting in the effort, you will eventually see a reward. Sometimes it may not seem like what you're doing is going to get you where you want to go, but you have to believe in yourself. Once you see success for the first time, you start to get a taste of it; you want it even more after you've had it because you know what it tastes like.
If you have a dream, don't let fear stop you. Just because there may be challenges on the way, does not mean that the dream won't be worth it. The challenges are what make the success of achieving your dream so sweet. So, dream as big as you can; dream all of your dreams, and don't let anything get in your way. Especially yourself. Swing that damn bat.
There is a lot to be learned from Walt Disney. Walt was rejected and fired from his company at age 23 because he was not "creative" enough. And what did he do? He kept moving forward. He continued to create. He continued to believe in his work. Walt Disney became on of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. Walt created those fairytales we watched as children, Walt allowed us as children to have dreams and goals. I know when I thought about what my life would be like as a grown up, I imagined it being like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella.
If there is one thing that Walt and I have in common, it is that we both believe in moving f o r w a r d. The movie Meet The Robinsons came out in 2007, and as a 7th grader, there was one thing that truly stuck out to me from this movie. At the end, a quote from Walt Disney appears, "Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we're curious... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
Let me be brutally honest here, I have never been much into fashion. Yes I like to look nice sometimes, but if you were to look in my closet right now, you would see a whole bunch of t-shirts and sweatpants. I like to be comfortable. As soon as I get home, I change into sweatpants and a big shirt. If you're telling me you don't do that, you're lying. There was a certain event that happened in my life in middle school that turned me to sweats. That story is for another time; but after that event, I wore sweats for probably a week. And the rest is history.
Hi there! I'm Kelli and this blog is about my life with anxiety, and how I am learning to cope. Looking to God is the only way that I stay sane (well with some help from my family, pets, and boyfriend). My goal is to attempt to be a silver lining for all, myself included.