It’s eight minutes past three in the afternoon and I’m in a local coffee shop with high hopes of “getting my life together”.

In fact, I’m sitting here, with this humongous weight on my chest. I’ve been struggling for a while about what to write, to bring to life the ideas in my head either for this blog or otherwise. I had great plans of figuring everything out but once I sit down, my mind falls blank.

There’s this catch in my throat. I’m feeling guilty about my life at the minute – it’s not something I’ve really experienced before. I rehash events in my head where I was the direct cause of something negative. I go through friend’s profiles, I try to remind myself that their beauty isn’t an absence of my own but it doesn’t work.

There’s definitely been a sense of isolation I have been feeling lately that could be as a result of my location, my job, my all-consuming hobbies, and maybe my lack of desire to do anything in between due to sheer tiredness. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say I was depressed.

But I’m not, at least not the whole hog anyway, because I’ve been there many times before. I feel like a huge blot on the face of a seemingly perfect life and I don’t quite know how I got here or how to proceed.

So in a bid to end this isolation, I’m reaching out because I know I’m not the only one who feels this. This isn’t a cry for help, or a cry for attention, this is genuine curiosity – I’m not the only one, right?

I see now that even the best of us don’t feel our best even 60% of the time. Looking back on my social media, especially Instagram, my life looks pretty perfect and yet, I don’t feel anywhere near that. In between those curated posts, there are days I slept right through, evenings I argued with people, where I cried, days I wondered what my worth or purpose was. I’m still striving to be better/to improve/to glo up/to wake up among white plushy duvets and pillows with the New York Times next to a tray with coffee and toast but I’m not giving myself a chance to be human. No matter what we have, we always want better. And I think that’s part of why I feel so down. I’m constantly competing with myself.

I feel guilty for doing anything that isn’t productive – playing video games, sleeping in, even eating breakfast or scrolling on my phone. I’m always thinking “I could be doing something better as if the things I do don’t already give me satisfaction. “I shouldn’t enjoy these things because they don’t fit in with who I want to be” and then I’ll be at work or doing something productive and I’ll long for doing something I enjoy. It’s like I can’t win.

I push myself to be better than just being.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve ourselves but we strive so hard to improve what is already good, what is already the pinnacle of who we are. I will hold my hands up here and say I’m absolutely guilty for striving to be better just so that someone else will like me more. I never feel good enough for my friends – I don’t know why, I know I’m worthy of their attention, it’s like a game, how bad can I feel before it magically gets better.

My aim this week so, is to simply just be. If I want to cry, I can. If I want to do nothing, I give myself permission to do so. I give myself permission to be myself without forcing a greater image of myself onto my already vulnerable mind. We can still improve myself or at least strive to but we need to be kinder to ourselves in doing so.

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