history repeats itself.

I’ve been keeping a journal on and off for the last 10 years. It’s always been my way of keeping a written record of my past. I wrote about everything. Things I was going through, drama with friends, breakups, my transition from high school to college. Everything. It’s always been my safe space, where I can write and freely express myself. It’s the only time I really don’t hold back. It’s therapeutic. It’s helped me understand myself better.

I recently came across a binder full of old entries from my high school years, and all I have to say is that history sure has a way of repeating itself. When I started college, I was frustrated because things weren’t happening for me as quickly as I would have liked. I had a hard time making new friends. I lived on campus and my roommate and I didn’t get along. I was frustrated because I felt like my friends from high school had seemingly moved on with their lives and were fitting in well at their new colleges. They had no problems making friends and making that transition. I was hard on myself because I just wanted in, and my straight-edge lifestyle didn’t mesh with the college campus life. I found myself on the outside, desperate for acceptance.

There was one entry in particular I came across that talked about a conversation I had with my mom. I had told her how difficult this transition has been for me and she knew that I had a hard time adjusting. I know her heart was in the right place and she just wanted me to be happy, but she suggested that I drop out of my university, move back home, and enroll in a community college for a couple of years. I was a little shocked at my response (and so was she), but apparently I said something along the lines of, “If I move back home where it’s comfortable and safe, I won’t be able to grow. This is supposed to be hard. I need to go through these struggles…” Long story short, I ended up moving out of the dorms because that was an environment I knew I couldn’t live in for an entire year. However, I chose to stay at my university. I just opted to commute instead of living on campus (which ended up being one of the best decisions I ever made. Living on campus isn’t for everyone).

While I was happy I didn’t have to live on campus anymore, I was now worried about the next three and a half years because I thought that commuting would hinder my ability to get involved in the college life (as if I wasn’t struggling with that enough already). But, sure enough, when it came time for me to start my sophomore year, that’s when I met my core group of friends. Those were the people I hung out with and they were the ones who became my closest friends. And, guess what…NONE of them lived on campus. They all commuted.

The rest of my time at college was great. I had the best time. I met some great people and formed lasting friendships. Since graduating from college, I’ve found myself in a different, yet similar, situation. The transition from college to workforce. It hasn’t been easy for me. I haven’t been able to land a steady job yet, and it has me worried. I’ve been doubting the decisions I made in college. Maybe I should have picked a different major. Maybe I should have done this or that.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that I’m starting to overwhelm myself again. I’ve found myself in a situation where I’ve seen my friends graduate college and they’ve successfully found work and are doing fine. Meanwhile, I’ve been at a standstill and it doesn’t feel like I’ve made much progress. It’s similar to how I was feeling when I started college. The frustration of seeing everyone move ahead while I’m stuck. I want things to happen faster for me.

If there’s anything I can take away from my past, it’s that I just need to give it time. I need to also remember what the past version of myself once said…that I need to face these challenges and struggles so that I can grow. If anything, I think that going through these struggles now will make me appreciate things more later on down the road. No one said it would be easy, and if it was easy, what would we learn?

It’s been an interesting day reflecting on my past, and I’m going to use that information to help me move forward. My problems back then seemed like they were the end of the world. I didn’t see how things could get better. I need to realize that just because things aren’t happening for me right now, doesn’t mean they never will. Yes, it’s frustrating feeling like you’re the one falling behind. It’s easy to convince yourself you’re a failure because of that and you’ll never be successful. But sometimes we need to take a step back, breathe, and chill out. As long as I am trying my hardest, there’s no reason to have any doubts.

beautifuldarkmystery

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when one door closes.

As much as I wanted that job, I was fortunate to have been presented with a potential opportunity. One of my good friends from college recently started his own production company and wants me to be involved. Unfortunately, because they’re just starting, I would be working for free. Right now, my main priority is finding a job that pays, but I’m excited to be on board and help them out. This could turn into something great and I know it will. The two guys running this company are some of the smartest, most creative people I know. They’re passionate and committed to their work and I am honored that they asked me to be a part of this. Plus, it’s also very cool to see something from the very beginning and watch it grow over time.

Even though this isn’t a paying job, there are still many benefits to it. First, I’m in the field I’m most comfortable with, which is production. Looking for work in this industry has been very difficult for me and my internships have led to nothing. But I haven’t given up just yet. Second, I’m working with people I already know and trust, who have my best interests at heart. I know they won’t take advantage of me or anything like that. Third, it’s giving me experience with managing multiple projects at once, while also giving me the opportunity to expand my knowledge in digital media, which is kind of the direction I’m leaning towards at the moment.

There’s still a lot in the air at the moment, but like I said, I think this will lead to great things. I am hoping I will have a full time job by the end of this month. I’m still sticking with my October deadline, but the sooner, the better.

It’s been a frustrating couple of years trying to figure everything out and just feeling so lost. A part of me feels like I’m making this more difficult than it should be, but then the other half of me just doesn’t know what to do. Yes, the future freaks me out and I wish there was some way I could guarantee that I will be okay. But I can only live for now and do everything I can to ensure I will be okay. I know things have a way of working themselves out, and I feel like it’s happening right now. Everything happens for a reason and I think I need to have some faith and trust that this is all meant to be a part of my journey.

beautifuldarkmystery

rejection.

Last month, I interviewed with a company I really wanted to work for. At the time, she said there may be a position opening up in July. When July came around, I sent her a quick followup e-mail just to check in and see if it ever opened up, but I never heard from her.

I decided to try and reach out to her one last time so I sent another e-mail and she quickly responded and told me that there weren’t any positions open at the moment but that they would keep me in mind for the future.

This sucks. It’s been a long time since I’ve wanted something this badly and to be “let down” in the end hurts. But I won’t let it get me down. I firmly believe that things do happen for a reason. Oddly enough, earlier today, I was on a video conference with a good friend of mine. He just started a production company and wants me to help him. I always say when one door closes, another one opens….right? This could potentially lead to something, and if not, at the very least give me experience.

No one likes rejection and some people like myself even fear it. But it’s a part of life and unfortunately, there will be many more times I will be told “no” before I’m told “yes”. The most important thing to do is not allow myself to feel defeated by every “no”. I’d like to think there’s a plan for me and I’ll end up where I’m supposed to be, but figuring that out is the frustrating part. I don’t even know where to look and every job application I’ve sent I haven’t heard back from. As hopeless as the situation seems, I know that the only way I’ll be unsuccessful is if I stop trying.

One day, I want to be able to look back at these struggles and frustrations and say that it was all worth it. All the stress and anxiety….all of it. I’ve set a goal for myself to have a full time job by October. I’m beginning to think that aiming for this company was a bit ambitious, but I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t try, so that’s what I’m trying to focus on. It’s not about how many times you fall, it’s about how many times you get back up.

beautifuldarkmystery

you are your own worst enemy.

Self-doubt. I’m sure at some point in our lives, we’ve all dealt with this. I am someone who’s been struggling with it for a while, and unfortunately, as I grow older, it only seems to be getting worse. The same thoughts flood my mind every single day…

Am I good enough?
Will I ever be successful?
What am I doing with my life?
What is my purpose?
Why isn’t there one thing I excel at?
I feel mediocre.
Sometimes, I wish to cease to exist.
Why can’t I just be outgoing like everyone else?
Why is it that things that come naturally for others, are challenges for me?

But I’m not here to make myself the victim or complain about how much I suck at life. I just wish I could get over this irrational fear of failure because that’s essentially what this is. I think I’ve always been afraid to admit it, but I do, in fact, have a fear of failing. As a result of that, my life has been affected in so many different ways. I’ve missed out on opportunities. It’s prevented me from moving forward in life. It’s stinted my growth as an individual…and just reading that makes me cringe.

I know that there’s no such thing as perfection, yet I’ve somehow convinced myself that I need to be perfect. If I don’t, I feel like a failure (not to sound dramatic, but I don’t really know how else to explain it). Life’s supposed to be about challenging yourself…going beyond your comfort zone. My problem is that I’ve become too comfortable in my comfort zone and I don’t like change. I like routine. When I see or hear the word challenge, I automatically think of failure. The only way to grow in life is to make mistakes. So why is this so difficult for me? How did this get to be so bad that I’ve now become the only person standing in the way of myself?

The only answer I can think of is my shyness. I hate being described as shy, but it’s true. I’m not the most outgoing person. I get embarrassed very easily. I care way too much about what people think of me. I’m always monitoring what I say and how I act around people. I always knew I was the quiet one, but as I grow older, it seems to stand out more. I notice that in group settings I don’t say a word. If I have an idea, I don’t share it, because I’m afraid of rejection. But as long as I blend in to the background, how am I supposed to get anywhere in life.

Sometimes I feel like my life’s one big catch 22. I don’t want to appear stupid so I don’t speak up, but then my quietness is sometimes misinterpreted, therefore giving people the wrong impression of me, which leads me back to the point of caring what others think about me. I’m getting a headache just thinking about all of this…

It’s easy for someone to say, “Well, just speak up. The worst thing someone can say is ‘no.'” But those who can relate to my situation know that this is no easy feat. To be completely honest, I think most of this is genetics. It stems from personality traits. I can’t think of a situation I’ve ever been in that would have “traumatized” me and made me change my behavior.

I have my moments here and there. Sometimes I surprise myself. But it still takes me twice as much effort to talk to a stranger than it does for someone who’s more outgoing or extroverted. It’s a constant tug-of-war between wanting to push myself beyond my comfort zone but not actually following through with it.

I am my own worst enemy. I look at a lot of people and see how charismatic they are. They are great public speakers, exceptional team players, and embody all the right leadership qualities. Sometimes I feel like as much as I want to be the leader sometimes, I’m always going to be the follower and that makes me sad because what does that say about myself? I don’t want to continue living life with this negative image of myself. It’s easy for people to say, “Well, if you don’t like where you are in life, do something about it.” Well, that’s the problem. I don’t know what to do or where to even begin. Sometimes I feel like there’s something really wrong with me because of these thoughts I have and how much they consume me. It literally affects my everyday life, and, like I said, the older I get, the more pronounced it becomes and the more I notice it (which is bad because then I just focus on it more).

Again, I’m not writing this for the sake of complaining and victimizing myself. My hope is for other people to read this and know they are not alone…because sadly, sometimes I feel like I’m alone and that no one can relate to what I’m going through. So if anyone out there is struggling with self-doubt, I’m right there with you. I know life’s not supposed to be easy, but sometimes, I feel like it’s harder than it needs to be (and it’s my fault for making it that way). I just want to get to a point in my life where I’m happy with myself, the self-doubt is not a magnified issue, and I can just life my life. But I know that the only way for that to happen is if I make a change.

-beautifuldarkmystery

just about ready, or am i.

My room is packed. It’s finally beginning to sink in. Although my move won’t be very far, it’s still a drastic change for me. At first, I didn’t really know how to feel about all of this…I didn’t want to move. I wanted to stay where my friends are and where my network is. I wanted this summer to enjoy the fact I graduated college and be with the people who made it an unforgettable experience. However, now that I look at it, I NEED this. Whether I want to move or not, it’s time to spread my wings, make mistakes, and learn. I have to trust that my true friends will stay in touch with me and not completely forget about me once I leave. It’s just hard when I’ve said the same thing with my high school friends and I barely talk to them anymore. I want to believe that it’ll be different this time…that these people I’ve worked with and become friends with, I’ll be working with them after college. High school was tough because we were all going our separate ways. I want to believe it’ll be different this time. But I know that if I expect them to make the effort, I have to make the effort as well.

– beautifuldarkmystery

done with finals.

This semester couldn’t have ended any better. I went to school this morning and took my last “final.” All I had to do was turn in my final piece and complete a debriefing exercise. That ended up taking a grand total of 20 minutes. Best way to end finals week! It still hasn’t hit me that the school year is over. It seems like each one goes by faster.

Anyways, both “Tom” and I had finals today…same time too, and I wanted to see him so I stayed until noon. Sure enough, I was sitting outside near the parking garage and he came up to me and we hung out for a bit. He was dressed up because he had a presentation and he looked really good. I don’t know why I keep torturing myself because I know he doesn’t feel that way about me anymore. And I hate to make this sound even cheesier but the way the light hit him made him look even more handsome. I am so bad at hiding my nerves. I was very fidget-y and I’m sure he picked up on it, but I just tried to relax and have a normal conversation with him…and we did. I tried to avoid eye contact with him because it’s still kind of hard for me to be honest…but it’s getting better. I’ve accepted that this is for the best…I may not agree with it and have to fight my feelings at times, but I’m really glad we ended this semester on a good note.

We’re going to hang out in a couple of weeks because I started watching his favorite show and I suggested we should have a marathon. He agreed to it and…I know what you’re thinking and no, that’s not what I’l trying to do. I just want to hang out…as friends. You see, I think when there was that added pressure of knowing that we liked each other, it was as things were tense because all we wanted to do was impress each other. However, now that we don’t necessarily have that pressure, I’m interested to see how we interact.

I’m nervous to ask my mom because she knows everything. She knows he hurt me, she’s seen me cry because of him…but I’m hoping that despite what I said or how he’s made me feel, she’ll give him a chance. A part of me wishes I’d keep my mouth shut sometimes, but I can’t help it. Sometimes I’ll talk to anyone who’ll listen. But now I’m going off on another tangent.

I’m really anxious to see how this goes, but I’m going to try not to worry about it too much. We’re just friends hanging out. That’s it. So there’s nothing to worry about…right?

He had to leave so we walked to our cars together. Before we parted, we hugged…they feel different now because of all the feelings that have been involved, but it was nice. I got in my car and he walked to his. I had to get something out of my backpack so I got out of my car and when I looked up for a brief second and he was sitting there, looking at me. Then I drove home, listening to music that made my life feel like a movie. Great last day.

-beautifuldarkmystery