I'M 37 AND STILL TRYING TO FIGURE LIFE OUT
'When we look at our life from the outside in, it can look and feel picture perfect. But when you stare at it from the inside looking out, that’s not always the case. And that’s exactly how it was for Brad. He'd climbed the corporate ladder and found himself in his dream job, in a happy relationship and felt like he had it all. Until bit by bit truths started to come out and everything was flipped on its head. It was at that moment he found himself staring at a crossroad with two options - stay exactly where you are or go right and see where the road takes you...'
At 37 if you look at what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve done both personally and professionally, you would probably say that I’m successful and kicking goals in life. Throughout all of the years of climbing the corporate ladder, I forgot about myself. I forgot how to love myself and do what makes me happy. I was stuck in a brutal routine where I went through life just cruising on auto pilot and not actually living in the moment or actively trying to have new experiences.
At the end of last year when I realised I was just cruising in life and doing what I felt society wanted me to do. I was unhappy and not living the life I wanted and that came from obsessing over what people thought of me or how I looked. Now, as long as I am happy with who I am, I really don’t care what other people have to say about me.
One piece of advice that’s changed me is a simple one. ‘Do you’ because as long as you’re happy doing you, that’s all that matters.
But sometimes doing you is hard, especially when you’re battling mild anxiety. Some days are good and others are incredibly challenging. And when you add in factors such as weight because you were chubby as a child and battled body image issues as well as being bullied, some days get real tiring.
One thing people might not know about me is that even though I might look well put together on the outside, I have no idea what I’m doing with my life. And right now, I’m unsure of what ‘success’ looks like for me.
My favourite quote is ‘Don’t be ashamed by your scars. They are just reminders that you are a survivor. You are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.’ What they don’t teach you as a kid's how to be solution focused. Because guaranteed shit will happen in like and how you deal with that will determine parts of your life, so if I could tell my 14 year old self one thing, I’d tell him that it’s all going to work out buddy, just live in the moment and don’t focus on the past or live in the future.
Failure or roadblocks are inevitable but I’ve realised that they set you up for future success. I was cheated on by a girl who I thought I would marry. It really got me down and gave me massive trust issues. It drove me into a minor bout of depression etc but I got to a point where I said to myself “I’m not going to let this get the better of me, everything happens for a reason and I’m going to use this as motivation’.
That breakup gave me so many new experiences as taught me what resilience and determination really meant.
So what’s one thing I think you should invest in the most? Self love. I don’t love myself enough and not comfortable in my skin, but that’s slowly improving.
So just live your life the way you want to live it, not the way someone tells you to. Be happy and fuck what everyone else things. Everyone has their version of happiness that is their own so do what makes you happy.
I feel that maybe I’ve lost 7 years of my life but I’m just glad I’ve been able to wake up and embrace the change. This year I’m taking quite a rocky, untravelled path that will present risks but I’m willing to take them in order to find those new experiences. Because nothing changes if nothing changes.