By Jimmy Warden
Have you ever felt anxious or disappointed because you feel that you don’t have your life all figured out or put together? Is this a constant feeling that runs through your mind every day, multiple times a day? Is it also causing you distress? Despite all of the potential negativity that surrounds all of these questions, there is good news about these questions too. The first piece of good news is that you are not alone. A lot of people have these thoughts on a consistent basis and these thoughts result in a lot of angst and worry in their lives, just like yours. Another good piece of news is that there are people of many different ages that are going through this on a consistent basis. Whether you’re a teenager, mid-20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, it doesn’t matter. It is a shared experience between many different people around the world, no matter their age. Therefore, it’s okay to take a deep breath, and know that it is all going to be okay in the end.
I had a great conversation with a dear friend of mine about this specific idea yesterday. It came up in our conversation because we were talking about my birthday, specifically about how I hadn’t really been looking forward to it because of this underlying angst and anxiety about not having my life figured out by the age of twenty-seven. Upon reflection, I came to accept the fact that I’m not supposed to have it all figured out by age twenty-seven because life is going to be an everlasting amoeba that will constantly mold into many different forms over the course of time. My friend, who is forty-four, reassured this idea because he willingly stated that he still feels like he doesn’t have it all figured out, and he has seventeen more years of life experience than I do. At that moment, my reflection really sunk in, because of that affirmation from my friend. Here is someone who is a bit older, still going through that similar experience. It was so refreshing to hear this because it really solidifed the fact that I don’t know if I’ll ever have it all figured out, but more importantly, that that’s okay.
He went on to mention how if he had to give me any advice, it would be to “roll with the punches” of life. A takeaway I had from that, is to keep moving forward despite the setbacks that life will inevitably bring. No matter how big or small the setback(s), we need to keep fighting, just like fighters, when they roll with punches amidst a match. It also affirmed to me that despite my constant desire to feel like I need to have it all together, that’s not always going to be the full reality, because of the punches that life is always throwing. In these cases, we need to do what we do best. Adapt and overcome. No matter the situation, tend to its needs, and move forward. Life will continue to test us in ways that we are not ready for, and the way that we respond, determines our outlook. When the angst and worry start to take us over, we are not able to adapt the way that we need to. This is why it is essential to take a deep breath, to try to relax, and know that it is going to be okay.
These challenges usually seem to be more daunting than they actually end up being because of our fear of not doing what we’re supposed to be doing and feeling the need we need to be doing the right thing in the situation. However, if given the opportunity, we should try to take a deep breath, and think about the situation. Specifically, think to ourselves, “what is this situation trying to teach me?”, and “what do I need to do in order to create something positive out of this situation?”. Unfortunately, there are times where the negative outcome is the only outcome, but those moments can also teach us something. Life is really a process in which we should try to keep learning about the world around us, as well as learn more about ourselves. Part of this means that we too are always changing like an amoeba. We need to learn about the world and ourselves, in order to act in accordance to each situation that life throws at us. More importantly, when things go awry, think about what could be done differently in a similar situation that may arise in the near future. Most importantly, though, hindsight is always 20/20, so accept the fact that we tend to do our best with the knowledge that we had in that moment. The more that we can accept these facts, the less angst and worry we can have about life itself because at the end of the day, nobody has it all figured out.