I say lives because it’ll happen more than once.
You’ll have many versions and iterations in your mind of how each chapter in life is going to turn out. But the reality is, life moves in accordance to a plan beyond our own. Sometimes life will steer in a different direction, and there is a certain kind of heartbreak that comes with it. I learned it’s healthier to sit and allow yourself to go through the grief that comes with it.
It’s okay to mourn. It’s okay to say, “I really wanted things to go this way” or “I wanted this to happen by now” Having timelines and expectations are natural and we shouldn’t beat ourself up for having desires. It’s difficult sometimes for me because I fall into this unhealthy framework of thinking that just because it’s not happening right now, it’ll never will.
“I wish you existed”
There is a graveyard full of names, job titles and time frames that I once thought belonged to me. Somewhere in there, there is a version of me. One that figured it out early. One that got what she wanted.
I ask her, who would you have been? Where would you have gone? What would you have seen?
I really let myself sit with this idea for a bit and allow myself to feel the sadness, disappointment, and any other emotion that arises with it. Even letting myself betray current me by saying, “I wish you existed instead.”
After this reflection and allowing myself to have this moment, I get up, I dust myself off, shake hands with her and move on. Because I know deep down the life I’m living in right now is best for me.
It isn’t easy
Even though I know for a fact this version of me is the best possible outcome, it doesn’t make it any less bitter. It doesn’t make the patience any less exasperating, or the future any less daunting. I’ve been working on my skills for so many years now, and I feel like I haven’t moved. There is this fear of “what if, after all of this, there is nothing?” What if there is nothing to replace what I’ve lost? I just got laid off my job this month, I’m still in the trial-and-error phase of my craft, I’m not happy with how much I’m failing. I physically feel myself cringe when people ask me how my life is going, as I don’t have anything a normal 27 year old should have. It feels like its been years of me accepting my reality, rebuilding blocks, and it get knocked down again. But Alhamdulilah
We keep on going
All those versions of me existed for a reason. And there will continue to be different iterations and versions of me as live moves forward, inshallah. The only thing I can do is give myself the space to feel emotions and then focus on moving around what is in my control. Acknowledging emotions are crucial as it bleeds into your thoughts and perspective, which bleed into your actions, which ultimately shape your entire life. Accepting and allowing emotions, no matter how heavy, to run their course is a way for me to avoid the development of maladaptive views and limiting beliefs, because pain and negative experiences could trick our brains into thinking an isolated incident is a blanketed reality. All the things I desire and I wish to bring into my life, they are still possible with effort and patience, despite what has happened. I saw this quote that said, “Don’t lower your standards, lengthen your patience”.
All in all, we have to be open to having things still happen for us, even if it’s looks, and arrives in a different way. Don’t be afraid of aging. We will still be us when we get there, and the view will be just as beautiful.