Chin up. Look around you.
What do you see?
Houses probably, or a roof over your head, right? What are your problems? Why are you sad? Why do your eyes sometimes water when you’re all alone in your room at night, if everything seems fine? I can’t answer that question because I also don’t know myself.
Living away from home is tough, don’t get me wrong. Being 19 or 20 or 28 is hard. You’re not ready for all the things coming your way and you put so much pressure on yourself to ‘get our shit together‘. You’re young. We put so much pressure on a concept most of us can’t even define… Most people haven’t even ‘gotten their shit together‘ per se. Adults are mostly just children who have more experience in pretending they know what they’re doing… But I bet that if you ask your parents they’ll tell you they’re scared too… probably some days more than others, but they’re scared every single day I guarantee.
Everyone is scared.
The unknown is scary.
No one has done what you’re about to do before. Only you can be you… The fact that no one can do what you’ll do is both freeing and incredibly terrifying. But keep that in mind. The only advantage you have over anyone else in this world is that they’re not you. They’ll never be you.
And baby, don’t let your thoughts get the best of you. Don’t over think. Don’t let your fears drag your mind to the deepest corners of darkness. Sometimes you just have to accept that you don’t know. Talk to yourself out loud, act like a crazy person and remind yourself of all the beautiful opportunities that are yet to come, and may be just around the corner. You’d be surprised at how much thinking out loud can get your head straight. Things may be tough now, but they can’t be tough forever as you’ll slowly develop a way to cope with the things that scare you. You’ll solve problem number one, just in time for problem number two to get promoted, but even though the problems get harder, you get so much tougher, and soon they won’t be so exhausting to solve.
I guess you’ll just have to trust me on this one.
Take your first heartbreak as an example. You thought the world was going to end and you’d never love again, right? You were also probably around 15, and in those 15 years of life the variety of problems you’ve ever experienced have been minor, therefore the heartbreak seemed enormous, because you’d never been hurt like that before. But as soon as your second comes along you realize that although tough, life goes on. Things change and the pain eventually fades.
That’s the mindset you must have for your whole life. Neither pain not happiness last forever, so learn to cherish both, for one does not exist without the other.
And you’re not alone! Everyone sitting around you in class, or work, knows what it feels to lie in bed in night and feel lonely, even when deep down they may know they have no reason to be sad at all. Humans long for human connection. We’re pack animals, we really want to be loved and appreciated.
The years between eighteen and twenty-eight are the hardest psychologically. It’s then you realize this is make or break, you no longer have the excuse of youth, and it’s time to become an adult – but you’re not ready. – Helen Mirren
So what should we do? How can we make this crazy time in our lives less difficult?
One simple answer: be kind.
Give each other a break.
You know that feeling you get when someone notices you? Ask you how your day was, says they like your shirt, invites you for coffee? Remember that little fire that burns inside when you feel cherished? Share it. Know that you have the power to make anyone in the world feel like that every single day… Sometimes just a simple and meaningful “how are you?”, where you actually evoke an honest answer that steers from the generic “fine and you?”, can change someone’s whole week.
Reach out. Remember how you felt that one time, and please don’t forget the lows when you’re feeling high. Cause we all know that what comes up, must eventually, come down. And I’m sure you won’t want to be alone when you’re down there, it can get pretty scary sometimes.
Aim to make at least one person smile per day, I do not say it lightly when I say that I promise it will change your whole perspective.
But before you diagnose yourself with depression, make sure you’re not just surrounded by idiots.