“You can only do so much.” I never had a grasp of this expression until now that I am in my mid-20s. I rarely heard it growing up. As opposed to it, “You can do everything” was the resounding voice drilled into my head by the environment that I grew up in. While that positive reinforcement played a huge part in shaping the person that I am today and bringing me where I am in life right now, it is undeniable that the same motivation had a fair share of jeopardizing my health and well-being. I have come to know recently that as you age, the more it becomes evident that the truth of the latter is applicable mainly when you commit to your life choices.
It seems paradoxical that the last time I was writing here, my worries lie in the “uncertainty, instability”, and the “waiting game” of moving forward with what I have started already, and today, I am writing about handling that sudden pressure that comes with finally clinching the contracts, managing multiple tasks, and the struggle of building up positive working habits to do what’s required all the while keeping myself holistically healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I am very much grateful that I finally got the projects I have mentioned last time. However, it seems that my psyche wasn’t prepared for how well it turned out. Maybe because I just unconsciously but confidently throw myself at every opportunity that I can stumble upon and I don’t really expect a lot from it, that I get dazed when it’s finally in my hands. I surmised this is the downside of my tolerating being a glass-half-empty person that I never fully prepare sometimes. I can’t blame myself too. It has been so long since I have felt like I am winning at life that it takes time for me to make another stride. I have realized that at some point within the past ten years, I have stopped being the person who stubbornly commits to getting the things that I want out of life and shifted into survival mode, floating in this sea called life with my head always above water. I could have built my raft and steered it into the direction that I want but I was too lost to make any logical decisions. I have no regrets about my past though. I can only be grateful that I got out of it alive. The turbulent waters that drowned me and almost sucked the life out of me made me appreciate the struggles I am facing now more and strengthens my resolve to be at the top of my field. That being said, I have asked myself, “What’s the best thing for me to do with the overwhelming pressure?”
I have found that in confusing and anxious situations, grounding myself, in reality, is the key first step. In limbo — that’s the reality I am in now. Still deciding how to move forward with what’s given to me. Pondering somewhere in there if I am good enough to actually do it. There’s nothing wrong with being like this. No matter how hard I chastise myself for not being able to react faster and automatically put down the work, my current state just can’t magically transform into that ideal person within me that is needed for specific situations such as this. Right now, that is just not me and I accepted that truth. Instead, I choose to be kinder to myself and let that pressure dissipate on its own. I would rather ride the tides than swim against it.
Right now, I need to stop undervaluing myself and start trusting that I am really capable of making big moves or securing a step forward to my goals. At the same time, I have to keep in mind that as I slowly take each step, I would need help. As hard as that is for me to admit and — honestly — to do, these are the realities that I must adhere. “No man is an island,” they say. Somehow, somewhere out there, someone is willing to help.
“Fear and confusion come from what you don’t know.” Last week, I was attending an online class on designing malls and the instructor told us this specific line. It struck a chord in me immediately because I know she was right. With all the wins I have had in my life recently, I might have been overconfident and thought that everything is gonna go well from here on out. That I am destined for greatness, that I deserved it, that I am someone important to do any work that is below me. It was presumptuous and prideful of me to think things like that. Looking back to that day, I feel disgusted at myself. This much unnecessary pride within me hinders my learning by experience, and thus the root cause of my fear and confusion.