It’s been a while since I’ve just sat down and typed about how I’ve been feeling – I always feel as though I’m doing you guys a disservice whenever that happens. I know it’s not an obligation of mine, but there always comes a time when I’m ready to spill the contents of my head into this blog space again…
I wanted to try and articulate a way I’ve been feeling for the best part of this year. At first, I wasn’t really sure what it was that I was experiencing. It definitely didn’t feel like depression, and I couldn’t say for certain that it was anxiety. Mostly it comes in the form of a gentle numbness – a sense that I’m watching myself go about my day to day life without feeling very present within it.
I think this can happen when you get caught up in a routine of deadlines and To Do lists. It’s easy to forget what it is that you need to make your soul happy when you’re so busy trying to create the life you think you need.
When I start to feel disconnected or a bit numb, I know that it’s my bodies way of concealing something that I’m not dealing with. Something that I might not be ready to process – or just something that hasn’t quite made its way to the surface yet. Starting therapy earlier this year has made me realise that we are all works in progress. This idea of a ‘fully rounded human being’ rarely seems to exist, and we are sort of tricked from childhood into thinking that ‘the adults have it all figured out’…
When I was growing up, I always pictured this sort of ‘end goal’ – the type where I’d end up in a lake house somewhere surrounded by children and puppies. I think in some ways, this is where the route cause of a lot of my issues derived from. The idea that happiness and contentment is some sort of end goal for life, and until then you just have to graft and fight until you eventually make it to the front gates of your lake house.
Whilst I was working and creating and writing and doubting – I forgot to stop and just let myself enjoy the moments of happiness and contentment. I’d feel guilty for letting myself just stop, and then slowly the feelings of disconnect crept in until I didn’t really understand what my role was anymore.
When I feel that way, I really have to dig deep to create any kind of content – I feel uninspired, I question my life choices, and generally just spend time in the blurry space between what I know and what I’m yet to figure out.
Not knowing what you want out of life can be scary, not knowing whether you want the life you’ve worked hard to create for yourself can be even scarier. It’s something I’m sure many of us go through at some point, and it’s normal to fall in and out of love with what you do. It’s normal to feel disconnected at times, and it’s human to need some head space to figure out what your next steps are. Even if they feel like they steer you in a backwards direction…
At ‘almost twenty seven’, I’m allowing myself to take some of the pressure off that previous me has piled up. I’ve stopped trying to see happiness as this place that I’ll eventually end up, and have started to seek it out in small everyday moments. To allow myself to settle into those little nooks of happiness, rather than batting them away because there’s work to be done on the ‘bigger picture.’
The bigger picture is all of the little moments leading up to it anyway. We have to learn to find happiness and wonder in the everyday, or we are pretty much screwed. Happiness doesn’t have to be big or fancy or elaborate – it can be tired hugs at the end of the day, or burning banana bread for the second time in a week. It’s the small act of doing things that make you feel good, and surrounding yourself with the people that make you feel even better.
I think as a society, we tend to make people feel like they need to be really hard on themselves in order to achieve anything, so loosening the reigns can feel like a self indulgent act. And so, I guess this is my reminder to you (and myself) that loosening the reigns only helps you to breathe a little better…
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“a sense that I’m watching myself go about my day to day life without feeling very present within it.”
I can realte so much with this. In fact, I started therapy in January this year and yes, it has been truly transforming to find out that I’m not entirely “there” yet. As in: I’m not as confident, not as round-up, as I thought I was. There is always something going on.
My mindset regarding happiness changed too. So far in my life, I tend to have moments of extreme sadness and extreme happiness. I’d be full of joy a couple months, then the rest I’d live in anxiety and almost depression. Now…. now it’s almost like every day I feel “happy” but as I’m not feeling this exploding joy in my chest, it’s even hard to regard it as “happy”. I’ve gotten so used to living emotions extremely, that I forgot what it was like to be in a constant mood of happiness that isn’t overwhelming but just constant.
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Thank you so much! Really hope your therapy is going well – totally understand how you feel xx
I loved reading this post. I 100% get where you are coming from. I used to think I would have my life together by now and that has led to being massively disappointed. But why should I know what I’m supposed to do? There’s no manual so you just have to focus on one step at a time.
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Exactly! I think society makes women feel like we have to have everything figured out by a certain age and it’s just not the case. Life looks completely different for everyone – that’s what makes it unique and exciting xxx
“we are all works in progress” – I couldn’t agree more with that. I’m in a weird place right now where I’m not really too sure what direction I’m going in and it can feel so frustrating, and also leave me feeling really numb a lot of the time. I’m trying to take things each day as they come!
Thanks for this post Alice, just the thing I needed to read today! xx
Thanks Hol! I don’t think it’s too important to have a sense of direction throughout life because life always has other plans anyway ha. We just have to keep doing what we love/spending time around those we love xx