So I’m a recent graduate. That means I’m young, able and looking for experience. Yes, I’ve been lucky so far because I haven’t struggled to find a job but I’m fully aware of how hard it is.
But the stark reality between what you see in the media of what a shiny successful woman (regardless of what field you’re in) is meant to be – differs from what I’ve experienced completely.
Yes, there are highs. You can reach some goals, get that promotion and feel like you’re winning when you get hard earned praise from a supervisor.
Except those are only some of the days. You can reach a point of no return – feeling exhausted from the 9 to 5 grind while trying to maintain a social life, relationships, fitness goals and still seem like you’re content.
It all seems entirely overwhelming. There are times when there aren’t any surefire ways to make yourself feel better. Recently I went through a really rough patch creatively and I’m not someone who often feels demotivated or out of sync. I was questioning everything like why had I even bothered moving to a new city or wanted to be ambitious in my chosen field.
And I’m not even 24 yet.
The funny thing is, when I spoke to a couple of my friends, they all kinda felt the same way. The struggle is real when you’re trying to find your own little spot in this world. Needless to say, I was worried.
But speaking from my own experience, the best thing to do is re-evaluate everything. EVERYTHING. Even the gross things.
I looked at my job, my city, my friendship circle and, most importantly what makes me happy.
But first I had to do a bit of the following:
1. This (and often)
2. Some of this
3. And watched a whole lot of Beyonce (kweeeeeeen):
And it didn’t cure anything immediately but it made me understand that something needed to shift in my life. And that made me happier (I’m a person who like seeing things done or change a-coming).
Most importantly I had to be less hard on myself. Something that I could tell plenty of my friends, but struggled to share with myself. I had only noticed when one of my friends mentioned one day, “Yoh, dude. You say some horrible things out loud to yourself.”
I’d never even realised how harsh I was to my own damn self.
I had to look back at my own achievements instead of just seeing the good that others do. I have a tendency to cheer for other people and forget my own life completely.
But in a nutshell I’ve graduated, I’ve moved three cities in a year, I’ve landed a job that let’s me explore a beautiful city and I’ve managed to get most of my own little projects going (like my donation drives and blogging a bit more).
I’m doing okay.
I still need a change, but goddamnit it all could be a whole lot worse.
(Do note: I don’t have a history with depression/mental health struggles but if you do check out the South Africa Depression and Anxiety Group here and find a support group in your area)