A little over one year ago at the end of March 2020, my path in life radically changed. At that time, I was preparing to quit my job, which was terrifying since I didn’t have a solid plan or another income. But my soul was aching. I was searching for something that I didn’t even know I wanted. All I knew was that I couldn’t continue to allow my passions to be stifled.
The Universe put it’s hands on my shoulders, pushed me into a seat, and told me, “No. Stop everything. You need to figure out who you are, who you want to evolve into, and what it is that lights your soul on fire. You’re not going anywhere until you do so. I’ll be guiding you.”
As it turned out, I didn’t need to quit my job, because the store was closed due to COVID. I couldn’t return to work even if I wanted to since they were only taking people on full-time, and that wasn’t a possibility since Joel and I share a car.
The following months were extremely difficult. I struggled heavily with old thought patterns, bad habits, undoing harmful social conditioning, and relentlessly questioning myself, my choices, and my desires. The underlying depression that never truly went away came back with a vengeance and everyday was a battle to get out of bed.
I was having a complete existential crisis (or, quarter-life crisis if you’re not into new-age stuff.) I had everything I needed – a safe home, plenty of food, a loving family and partner, financial support and stability, but no sense of purpose. Actually, Mark Manson said this in his book: “Our crisis is no longer material; it’s existential, it’s spiritual.” Unlike previous years, I made sure to be aware of what I was even battling, why I was dealing with it, and whether I needed to either tear shit down in my head, simply rearrange, or both. That was what made this time with depression different – I was actually sitting with the issues, observing them, and figuring out why they were there and how I could reconstruct my mind to make it how I want. THAT is what made all the difference. I wanted to learn my lessons in real-time, rather than a year or two later.
I allowed myself the space to heal, unlearn, relearn, and discover. So that meant that I had to be painfully honest with myself. I needed to acknowledge my deeply embedded guilty conscience, ego, outdated goals that were severely holding me back, crippling fear of what others thought of me, out-of-balance chakras, and daily panic about what the hell my purpose even is on this earth. But I felt so guilty about everything I did – what I wanted to eat, wear, do, about taking a break from Japanese class, changing my career goals, not being productive enough. Guilt and fear were the pillars that upheld every other destructive element. “I feel guilty about this because I’m afraid of…” After a ton of practice, I gradually stopped fueling the Feedback Loop from Hell which was feeling anxious because I was anxious, guilty because I was guilty, angry because I was angry. I began speaking to myself in a vastly different manner, so instead of being even subconsciously degrading I began embracing and accepting what I really wanted.
As many people were, I was stuck inside for the majority of last year. Sometimes I didn’t feel the sun on my skin for well over a week. I know that contributed to the depression, but I truly believe that I was forced inside so that I could go inward. The most important and meaningful thing I could possibly do was improve myself for myself and the world, so I could actually find what was important and meaningful to me. I was given a solid year to work on myself, which I am endlessly grateful for. Despite what I’ve said thus far, I am so immensely glad to have been able to do the work I did. I could not move forward in life if I didn’t change. It would have been impossible.
My life made another massive shift this past March, when I signed up for a TEFL course, started taking my health seriously, changed my appearance, and finally began stepping outside my comfort zone by meeting new people. In writing, it may not seem like much, but there were radical mental shifts that occurred simultaneously – like a whole reconstruction of the vision of my future. I realize that not one of these things could have come to life if I didn’t.
The Universe works some crazy magic. I can confidently say I’m no longer depressed at all. I’m excited, I have a new childlike wonder for life, I energetically take up space, I allow myself to be scared or nervous, but do things anyway. I’m going to reference Mark Manson again here – figuring out what you do and do not want to give a fuck about is a lifelong endeavor, but it is probably the only worthwhile endeavor you’ll have in life. So yes, I still give too many fucks, which is why the Universe laid the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” in my lap on a gold plate when I visited Austin a few weeks ago.
“What if everything you’re going through is preparing you for what you asked for?” is the culmination of the last year. I’ll always be stubborn, but now I trust myself and the Universe more than ever before.
If you made it all the way to the end, thank you so much.
Talk soon ♥