Please let me know what you think of the new weekend reads! Thank you so much for those who have been reading my entries and engaging with me. I love hearing how my entries have influenced you.
I love reading and hearing about people who have “done their learning”. I spent sooo many days, full days when I was growing up in the care of my grandma and listening to her stories. Listening to the learnings she had along the way, the silliness of this life and the perspectives she came away with.
Since I can remember people my age have called me an “old soul”, those older than me have said things like “oh you don’t seem [insert age at time of comment]”. It became something that I strove for, that comment. That compliment! It felt like I had a “one up” on those around me, and I think the warmth I would feel when a friend or family member who was older than me said that to me became addictive.
I have often felt anxious to get to the next step, to move to the next stage in life and achieve the next goal. I use that word “anxious” very deliberating because it does manifest in anxiety.
I am realising that this is all closely linked to my desire to please others. I want to sacrifice all that I have for those around me. To support them and help them and make them see that I am doing my best for them. All the while, progressing at a rate equal to if not faster than them.
In essence, I often don’t feel like I am doing this ‘life’ business right if I am not jumping forwards in leaps and bounds.
Anxiety is an absolute coward that hides until there is nobody around to help you move through it.
So if you strive to make those around you impressed with your progress, what are you meant to feel when you are left with your own thoughts and reflections? Often, it leads to stress, to anxiety, to fear of failure.
I wrote about the way this fear of failure can manifest in friendships last Saturday in my Open Letter to a Fading Friend.
It is all really confusing. I feel like listening to the learnings from others is essential. Those that can teach me, guide me, help me and push me further along in shaping my own story. It means that I am curious, I am respectful and I am grateful to hear those stories when they are shared.
But I need to work on being conscious of how it manifests in myself. I do not require the validation of another to know that I am progressing in this life just as I should be. At this moment, in this instant, right now. I can pursue the topics and pursuits that fill me with joy, I can engage in meaningful conversation with those who fill my soul to the brim with happiness, love and affection and I can share my fears, doubts and worries with them.
But I do not owe it to the world to be at a place that I am not yet meant to be at. I can’t help that I haven’t had that life experience. I can’t help that I have not suffered in the way that you have, nor should I ever strive to experience it for the sake of learning.
What I can help is how I take your story, your warning, your guidance, to bolster my understanding of you, perhaps influence my expectation of my own future, and the way in which I will continue living in this life alongside you and those around me.