I started yesterday off with a panic attack. I was so overwhelmed and worried and it came out of nowhere and hit me like a freight train. You know that feeling when you’re walking down some stairs and you miss the one at the bottom and think you’re falling for a moment, that feeling you get in your stomach and through the rest of your body, that deep fear? You know how it goes away instantly when you realize you’re not falling anymore? Imagine that feeling being intensified, and not going away; that’s what my panic attacks feel like. I feel like I’m drowning on land. It takes a little while to calm me down. I don’t have them often thankfully, typically my anxiety isn’t as intense as it is for some people, and I am usually able to keep it under control. But today I just couldn’t.
I don’t want to grow up anymore. When I was little, I wanted nothing more than to be older, and have that freedom that comes with age. But now I’ve hit the point where I fully understand that it’s a trap, and a big lie. There’s no freedom. There’s the vague idea of freedom, and you can almost reach out and grab it, but then reality knocks you back just an inch too far and it is completely out of grasp. I wish I could fly off to Neverland, and just spend my days with the lost boys and Peter Pan, dreaming and living life with no thoughts of fear of the future or longing for something that isn’t really a possibility.
All of this comes after submitting applications at offices for work. Real work. Not the nanny jobs that I’ve had for the past three years, not the silly little jobs I had before that; real, substantial, career building jobs, and that scares me like nothing else in this world ever has. I’m lucky to have the opportunities that I do, I’m lucky to be able to attend college, and to have a realistic possibility of getting a decent job, I know that. But the idea of growing up and doing all the things that adults have to do scares me because it makes me think that my dreams are going to die. It makes me think that my head will be pushed back under the clouds. It makes me think that the life I’ve always wanted to live will never happen, and that’s my biggest fear. I don’t want to end up like my parents, fighting to scrape by, just wishing for the day they can retire to come a little sooner. I don’t want my dreams to die. I want to be the one that makes it, the one that follows their heart all across the world, documenting each time a dream comes true with a pen, notebook, and a smile.
Being told about interview tips, business attire, presenting myself in the best possible light, selling my self to a company, making myself into the most “hireable” version of me that I can be; It all seems so… real. And I’m not ready for it to be real. Will I allow myself to be sucked in to the career-driven world of business? Will I lose who I am along the way? Will I no longer be known as the dreamer, the one who’s going places, the one that will never give up? No. I refuse to do that. I refuse to let this change in my life ruin anything. I am writing this post to make a promise to myself and to motivate myself: Never give up on your dreams. Work, and work hard. But make sure that you are working hard for a reason. Pin up photos of places you want to go. Save every spare dime. Remind yourself everyday why you are doing this. Never lose sight of the dream. You will explore the world. You will move to another country and start a life if that’s what you want to do. You will not settle for a life that you were never meant for. You will succeed. You will come out of this journey into adulthood as the same person you were before, maybe even a little better. You will always be a dreamer. You are going to go far in life.
With all of that said, I am determined not to lose myself in this new chapter in life. I will hold on to that innocence, that completely reckless optimism that I have inside me. I will keep dreaming, and keep believing that I will achieve those dreams, because in the end, I know that I am the only thing that can stand in my way. Here’s to hoping that we can all hold on to that piece of ourselves, and that the existential/quarter-life crisis that is inevitably heading my way in a couple years won’t break me, and won’t be too overly-dramatic. And here’s to hoping that said crisis will at least be a little entertaining to read about when I most assuredly post it on the internet for all of you to read.
I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.