I spent the start of my twenties in bed. Hiding behind closed doors. Flipping between moments of pulling myself together to prove that I didn’t need help to dark moments that pretty much screamed that I did.
I spent the start of my thirties feeling really happy and reflecting on how lucky I am to be healthy, to be loved and to have so much to look forward to in this next decade.
Clearly, ten years can make a dramatic difference. I’m sharing this not to drudge up old sad stories or brag about how rosy life seems to me at the moment. I’m sharing because when I look back at how much has changed there are two pieces of advice that keep circling around in my head that helped me in a big way.
LIFE IS FULL OF PHASES.
They can last minutes, hours, days, months or even years. They can be tough. They can be beautiful. But one thing is certain - they don’t last forever. So if right now you’re in a dark one, like twenty was for me, I hope this gives you a little sliver of belief that things change. And if you’re in a bright one, like today is for me, I hope this give you a deeper appreciation for how lucky you are.
NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT.
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The people that you think have it all together - they don’t. Comparing yourself to them is only going to make you feel more lost for no reason. No matter how perfect their life may seem, it’s not. They have ups and downs, bright moments and dark moments, just like you do.
So yes, thirty is already much brighter than those first few months of my twenties. I’m nicer to myself, I pay attention to what I need, I feel excited about my purpose in this world. And at the same time, I have moments where I wonder what the hell I’m doing with my life, where I feel lonely living an ocean away from home and moments where despite my best efforts, anxiety creeps in and takes me out.
And you know what helps me in those moments?
Remembering that life is full of phases and we’re all just trying to figure things out.
I hope that maybe it will help you too.