Sometimes I could swear that Sabrina knew my story and was writing this specifically for me. I’ve added it to my “Me, Myself and I” playlist on Spotify, and get my daily dosage while I take a walk on my lunch break.
Being a 25 year old unmarried woman, I’m beginning to realize that the pressure from my parents to settle down is the least of my worries. In classic American fashion, my peers (both ones who know me well and ones who don’t know me all too well) make it a point to let me know that we are in constant competition. Questions about money, marriage and future plans for children have me more upset about the comparison rather than excited for what’s to come.
The more I get asked these personal life questions, the more I long for peace and solitude. I don’t mean permanent isolation, but I find myself craving time to get away from the strong opinions of people who don’t pay my bills more often than not.
If I’m being completely honest with myself, I live too far in the future as it is. My way of escaping reality was never through eating or watching movies or submerging myself into sports. Instead, I would read YA romance fiction, play Japanese dating sims and spend far too many hours on Pinterest.
Pinterest? Yes, Pinterest.
When I wanted to stop thinking about my current situation, I would turn to Pinterest to make boards fashioned after my dream future life. My future house, wardrobe, husband, children’s names, tattoos… Anything to leave what was happening right in front of me and pretend I was living 3 years into my ideal future.
While there may not be much wrong with creating dream boards, there is everything wrong with spending hours of precious time dreaming to escape reality and doing nothing to actually achieve those dreams. That’s exactly what I was doing.
And I wasted years of my life I’ll never get back.
Getting to a point in which I can acknowledge what’s going on around me, regardless whether I agreed with it or not, took more effort than I thought it would. (Kudos to everyone who has their ish together.) I’m still human, so there are times where I will still catch myself in the middle of a daydream, wondering what it would be like to finally be married, finally be living back in California, finally working for myself. But now that I’ve become wise to how my mind tries to sabotage itself, I’m better able to stop the negative habits as I notice them.
Recognizing my faults doesn’t magically make the anxiety go away, but it’s a crucial first step to getting to know myself. Being honest with myself can be hard too, for the same reason it is for anyone else: I don’t want to get hurt. But growth isn’t always a comfortable thing.
In losing myself, I allow myself to be more open to the modifications that come with growing up. Only recently have I actually begun taking more time to invest in self care and gaining more confidence. I’m human. I allow myself to be a human and I’m gentle with myself through this uncomfortable and exciting process.
My name is Julia Lauren and I’m confidently lost.