Tag Archives: benchmarks

Feeling left behind

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It’s a feeling I’ve had on and off over the years. As have you, and him, and her. And probably my brother, and mom, maybe one of my good friends. Hell, maybe all of them. But, it’s not something openly discussed. Mental health and sexuality are now diagnosed, talked about, named and acknowledged, but feeling “less than” is something still in the closet, lurking behind closed doors, a Voldemort yet to be named.

Well, I’m sure we’ve all felt it. But, what do you do when you feel like others have moved on. And not always in a good way or bad way, but just in a different way? I’ve seen people move out of the city, buy houses, get married, have kids and in all orders imaginable and irreversible. Now, I’m not saying that everything works out for the best, some of those people move back or never even made it out in the first place, some are divorced, some lose their job, some lose their will, but what happens when you feel like you are standing still. I’ve got my cat, my plants, my goals to lose weight, but nothing else is on the horizon. Life just….is.

The funny thing is that is how I always wanted life to be. I didn’t want a neverending to do list of benchmarks and milestones, I just wanted to be okay in the everyday, in the mundane and in the now. And for the most part I am…but get a little case of the “wait for meeees” when my Instagram is littered with new dogs and babies, strollers and renos, wedding rings and honeymoons. There is nothing wrong with my life, but I feel a little left behind, not invited to the old gatherings, not cool enough for the new mom’s cool kids group, too old to party, too young to afternoon tea.

What to do? Do I wallow in my self-pity and think about all the friends I used to spend time with, do I fast-track my life plan to fit into my peers, do I think about all the times I tried to lead that pack with trips and adventures, new cities, new risks, new dates and new friends? I guess none of the above, because no amount of thinking, wishing, envying, or worrying is going to change the outcome. Tomorrow is what it will be and their plans are theirs, not mine. I can only hope that the world I fit into is the world that doesn’t forget to let me fit in. And the world that does forget, well I guess it’s not my world anymore.

“Normality is a paved road. It’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.” – Vincent Van Gogh

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The Unfillable Void

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Void stampI’ve written posts here and there pointing out the occasional desire or maybe more appropriately put…emptiness we have filled with goals, aspirations, big dreams and pointless tasks. Somewhere along the way we are all taught there are certain benchmarks to hit in order to lead a “successful and fulfilling” life. Each and everytime we feel an uneasiness creeping up we try to tick off the next box on that list of fulfilling life moments and achievements, yet for some reason we are still left wanting.

I never understood this void. And better yet, I thought it was just me.

In our own little myopic worlds, we don’t seem to understand that everyone, and I mean everyone, suffers. But, to what extent and what emphasis is put on which wrong syllable is often measured by wealth, education and the basic hierarchy of needs. The saddest part of this is that no matter how much you achieve, how many things you attain and how much money you make…you may still have a little emptiness sitting in your stomach that you just can’t explain.

And this, my friends, is called the human condition.

For some reason our brains are hardwired to want to reach some sort of next step, next need, next want. If we don’t know what that is, sometimes we try to shake things up with a new degree, new career, new spouse, new car or even a new country. But, the bottom line is that no matter how many times we change it up, we can’t outrun it. The best version of ourselves is always just out of reach.

There are too many articles out there about happiness, anxiety, the meaning of life, self-help and self-worth for this epiphany to come to me and me alone. When are people happy?  Well, if we look at the study of psychology, this is all people have been talking about for centuries. The world’s greatest minds have been trying to decipher the meaning of life since the beginning of time, so what made any one of us think we were so special?

I finally understand, I’m not.Red_Void_by_Gaurdian

But, I also understand that this feeling most likely isn’t going away. When it creeps up after a big night of drinking, a breakup, looking at bank statements or being bored at your job…you need to accept it’s part of you, it’s part of life and there will always be more to have, to be, to want. All you can do is try your best to dull the ache, soften the voice, follow your dreams and realize that you are exactly the same as everyone else. The human condition is a condition indeed.

Mark Manson, a favourite of mine, explains it and explains it well. Stop trying to attain happiness and just try to learn acceptance. Pleasure is mistaken for happiness, and achievements mistaken for worth. Trust me when I say, it’s not always worth it. http://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy#sxjbVV:6Q9y

The Ginga Ninja