Let me start off by saying that I like to consider myself a fairly reasonable voice of my generation, so I hope you are willing to hear me out. I am 28 years old and am finally starting to feel in tune with myself and the world around me – now, that didn’t happen overnight. I’d like to dedicate this blogpost to the millennial women I know and respect, and cherish, and love. As millennials, and as women, but especially as friends, we have supported and encouraged each other, and have achieved way beyond our predecessors because we refused to listen to unfavorable criticisms, refused to break down in misogynistic situations, and refused to give up our dreams. We have made progress of galactic proportions for both women and human beings in general…because we refuse to say “no”.
What’s this blogpost about, anyway?
Now I’d like you think about the last time you felt overwhelmed. Did you have a specific reason why you felt so? If you couldn’t figure it out, this blogpost is for you. And if you could, please continue reading anyway to see if you agree with me.
Lately, I have been finding myself in these strange situations, where I’m sitting thinking to myself – I’m going to implode into a million little pieces if I don’t run away somewhere. But why? Wait a minute, what’s wrong? Your life is good – great, in fact. You have a career-oriented job that you love, you have a loving partner, you have a beautiful apartment, you travel the world, and get to cuddle with your kittens every night before you go to bed. What can possibly be so wrong in your life?
That’s just it ladies (and gentlemen can relate as well, in my opinion). The reason we feel overwhelmed at times and get into what I like to call “oh shit, get me the fuck out of here” modes is because we have achieved on a level that is mostly unprecedented in modern society.
The downfall of all of our accomplishments, is that we don’t take enough time to think about them and process the scale on which we are operating our lives everyday.
What’s the Big Deal?
Enter the society-approved check list. Whether you think you’re following it or not, you are. Admit it, embrace it, and be proud of it. I’m not saying that everyone is following everything to the tee and exactly in the same way. I know way too many people that can prove otherwise, but everyone in our generation follows a similar template one way or another, nonetheless. If you are that outlying unicorn, good for you.
Are you pursuing a career that brings you joy, fulfillment, and oh, also supports your way of life? Check
Are you continuously trying to advance and/or develop this career to the best of your ability? Check
Are you in a loving relationship with your significant other where both sides contribute equally to said relationship, in as many ways as possible? Check
Are you trying to take care of your physical well-being, as best as you can? Check
What about emotional? Reading those books, learning new ways to maximize your brain capacity? Figuring out how to use your amazing DSLR camera to take amazing photos when you go to amazing places in the world because you want to learn about new cultures and explore new locations? Don’t forget to put it on Instagram, otherwise, it doesn’t count. Check
Going back to supporting those amazing travel adventures – gotta go to work everyday, even when you hate the world, even when you don’t want to. Check
How about your parents? Always helping them set up electronics, create dating site profiles, and pay bills online? What about listening them argue about the fact that yellow indeed, is not the color for you and that you should, regardless of actual temperature, at all times, wear a hat in the winter? Check
Trying to coordinate that wardrobe and maybe match your bedding, finally, now that you have that nice new bed? Check
Oh and by the way, you’re considering the right time to perhaps have a child with that partner you love. Not too early, but not too late. If they’re male, they can wait, but you’re on a biological clock. Goddamit. Check.
Get to the Point
We wanted equal treatment – we got it. Now we’re passing a lot of men when it comes to the level of achieving. Sorry gents, that’s just the truth.
I think you’re starting to get the point. Our world, all of a sudden, has become so openly accessible, it has become limitless in terms of what we can achieve, where we can go (especially with an American passport) and who we interact with. That’s a LOT to process for your poor brain. And it’s not just mental processing – you can’t leave out the emotional aspect of climbing an active volcano, or zipping through the canopy of a rain forest, or tasting your first glass of French wine at a winery in Burgundy. You just can’t.
So ladies…it’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times – in fact, if you don’t feel overwhelmed then you should really contribute your five cents to a science experiment so that those scientists can look into your brain and figure out how you can seamlessly multitask the processing of this much information as a human being.
How to Deal with It
How do you deal with it, you ask me? However the best way is for you. Some people go to yoga, some to kickboxing, some hike mountains, and others paint. Engage in the activity that’s right for you, key point being that it clears your head and forces you to focus on the present, rather than letting your thoughts wander, instigating the sense of panic that we all feel as a result.
For me, sitting down and writing this blogpost is that activity today. More longterm solutions are definitely my travel trips – putting something on the calendar and looking forward to it. A form of escapism you might say…you’re not wrong. But there are two different forms of escapism, one of which is healthy, the other one not so much. When you escape to create new moments and memories, and to fully change up your routine for a few days, it is healthy, because it allows your brain to take a break and reset. When you escape to AVOID the problems you have, not having solved them before you left and coming back to those problems looming over you – that’s the unhealthy kind. Don’t practice that one because it’s only going to create more stress for you, not help you relax and reset.
Most importantly ladies, makes sure to always set some time aside for yourself. Yes, “me time” is what I’m talking about. It’s not selfish, it’s smart. It’s healthy and calming to self-reflect while you’re just painting your nails or watching a nonsense Netflix show. It’s that “time out” that you get as a kid, except better because you can pick what you want to do. Love yourself first and practice that self-love on a daily basis – you project that onto the world, in whatever way you’re best capable of.
Lastly, remember that at the end of the day, all that matters is that you’re healthy and happy – everything else can be fixed. Also, you get to wake up tomorrow and start all over again.