,

Why it’s ok not to be ok

 

I’ve had a tough week, a really tough week, and some things have happened in my personal life which have made me quite upset. Things happen every now and then which upset me, and what do I do when I’m upset? I write. I write and write until I’ve got everything off my chest, and until I start to feel better.

Some of you may think it’s odd to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard in my case, but writing is therapeutic for me and does wonders for helping me feel better about myself. This week I’ve realised that I haven’t felt truly happy for a long time, but I’ve realised that it’s ok not be be ok. Here’s something I wrote a few weeks back that might explain how I’ve been feeling lately…

Why it’s ok not to be ok

I’m writing this from my bed. I’m in bed on a Saturday afternoon. It’s almost 4pm, and I’ve achieved nothing today. I woke up in a bad mood; if I’m honest I went to sleep in a bad mood too, but I have no idea why. I went to do the food shop, had an argument with my mum, felt even worse than I did before, came home and got into bed. Got out my phone and started scrolling through social media, looking at everyone’s seemingly perfect lives. Wondering how that girl I went to school with was lucky enough to find a guy that dotes on her, gives her the world. Wondering how she was lucky enough to have a beautiful little boy. Wondering what I did wrong because I don’t have those things. Or wondering how couples that have been together seven years are still together and still just as loved up now than they were back then.

 

          Being alone, it’s what I’m good at

 

Everyone around me is settling down; they’re all in long term relationships, or they’re married. They’re having kids or buying houses. They’ve got their own dogs or cats or they’ve got jobs which they’ve been in for years and have built successful careers. Then I look at what I’ve got, and what I’ve not got, and I feel this overwhelming sense of not belonging. I don’t fit in with that life; I’m not married or going to be married any time soon. I don’t have a baby, as much as that’s all I’ve ever wanted. I don’t have a successful career or dress smart to go to work or wear heels whilst making the commute. I don’t have all of those things, but I’m starting to realise that that’s ok. It’s ok not to have your life figured out, it’s ok that I don’t have all those things my friends have. What I do have is opportunities, opportunities for things to change, and memories, lots of wonderful memories, lots which I’ve created all by myself, without the need for anyone else.

 

                    Being oh so reflective

 

I’ve travelled to 19 countries, many of them on my own. I’ve quit a secure, well paid job for a life of uncertainty and excitement, all because those are the things I thrive off. Future me is worried about things financially, wondering how I’m going to buy a house when the average property price in my local area is £300,000 and I’ve barely scraped together £5000 in savings. Future me is worried I’ll get to the age of 30 without finding love, and without finding love how can I have all those things I’ve dreamed about? Like becoming a mum, or buying my own place. Having a garden and playing with the dog. Future me is worried about all of those things, and sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball to peer into my life in 5 years time and see what it’s like, how things are going, and if I’ve achieved what I set out to achieve.

But then present me tells me to stop it. Tells me to stop thinking so far ahead, and to stop worrying that I’m not doing all the things my friends are doing. While they’re sat at home during the weekend I’m off gallivanting across the globe. I’m on one of my many European city breaks having the time of my life. Or if I’m home for a while and want to go on a spontaneous night out, I can do that too. I don’t have to arrange a babysitter or worry about money, I’m doing whatever I want and can enjoy myself as much as possible. Present me tells me it’s all going to be okay. She tells me to stop crying when I’m feeling down – I know I can’t help it sometimes, I do suffer with mild bouts of depression and when those days come, they’re so hard to get over. It’s like I can’t push past the darkness that consumes me, despite knowing that people all over the world are suffering with illnesses or dealing with tragedies, and then I try to get my life into perspective and realise that it’s not really that bad. Despite sometimes being far from happy, I’ve realised that it is ok not to be ok.

 

      Looking at what I have done, not what I        haven’t done, gives me my greatest sense of achievement

 

Before I started writing this post I was in bed at 4 o clock on a Saturday afternoon, as you know, and I’d just fallen asleep. I’m not sure why I fell asleep, although I have been exhausted lately. I’m working 2 jobs, 3 if you count my blog as a job (which it totally is). I’m doing long days, random shifts, and I go at a million miles an hour. Before I fell asleep I was bawling my eyes out, crying like a baby, sobbing into my mums arms while she lay on the bed next to me stroking my hair. And you know what the stupid thing is? I don’t even know WHY I WAS CRYING. I have nothing to be sad about, I couldn’t even give my mum an answer as to why I was upset. But she knows me, she knows I have my down days and she knows how to help me get through them. I love you mum, I don’t know what I would do without you, and I’m sorry I take things out on you.

Maybe I was upset because I’m wondering what the hell I should do with my life. I quit my job to travel and become a full time blogger. I set up my freelance business because I wanted to work from home, and because I wanted the flexibility to go on trips, travel more without being restricted to annual leave, and to take on new experiences that a 9-5 job wouldn’t allow me to have. It’s been just over a year since I made that choice, and I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I’ve had an amazing year, travelling to 10 new countries, exploring new cities and new destinations, something I would never have done if I had been at my old job. I’ve taken a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, hopped on a gondola ride in Venice, got to the top of one of the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, and spent 4th July partying in NYC. I’ve done all of these bucket list items, and it’s given me some incredible memories that will last a lifetime.

 

Sometimes I don’t realise how lucky I’ve been

 

I’ve done some amazing things, and visited some amazing places

 

Six months ago I got a part time job at a retail store to give me more money, and to meet new people, as well as to stop the loneliness that I was enduring after going freelance. That job has helped me so much, both financially and mentally, but I’ve got to a point where I’m now wondering what on earth I’m doing there. Why am I working night shifts, early shifts, doing overtime, moving boxes, piling bags onto shelves that I can’t reach, and for what? A measly £7 an hour. It’s minimum wage. I’m surely worth more than that? I thought by the age of 24 I’d have my whole life figured out…

But then I remember that it’s not going to be forever, that I’ll figure out what it is that I want to do. Whether that’s to get a new full time job, or to really make a go of turning my blog into an income. I don’t know what the future will hold. Looking back, I’ve come such a long way over the past year, even the past 2 years. Things have changed so much for me, and it’s a good thing, it really is. Most of the time I’m happy, and I really am happy, but sometimes I’m genuinely not ok. But that’s fine, I accept and understand that now. Today I am not ok, but tomorrow I will be, and suddenly I stop and realise that, every now and again. I truly believe that everything in our lives happens for a reason, and that’s how I know that, sometimes, it’s ok not to be ok.

Love Jess X

 

Having the summer of my life road tripping across the States

 

8 replies
  1. Chiera @ youngandundecided
    Chiera @ youngandundecided says:

    An absolutely wonderful, honest post! I can relate to so much of this! I’m 25, been in the same rubbish, minimum wage job for 5 years, watching all my friends get married and buy houses and I’m wondering how I got to 25 with such a lack of a life. But also, like you said, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. I recently decided to quit my job and I’m heading to Australia soon for a year. I am terrified about not knowing what my life will be like even a few months from now, but so excited to finally just embrace the fact that if travel is my passion, it’s what I should do. Life will happen when you least expect it, so might aswell just enjoy it while you can (easier said than done i know).
    Thank you again for your honesty, I can imagine this post will make a lot of people feel a little less lost, myself included ❤

    Reply
    • jessicalouise1601
      jessicalouise1601 says:

      Aww this is such an amazing comment thank you so much! I am so glad you’ve quit your job to travel – exactly like I did! Honestly it was the best decision I ever made because it enabled me to figure out exactly what I want from life, and exactly who I am (sounds cheesy, but it’s true). You’re not alone in feeling the way you’ve felt, and I hope my post has helped you to realise that! Good luck with the travels I am so excited for you!!! You go girl! Jess x

      Reply
  2. Kirstie
    Kirstie says:

    I can relate to this so much this week, so it came at a perfect time! I love your perspective on it, and I’m really glad I read it. Hope you can continue to stay positive! <3

    Reply
    • jessicalouise1601
      jessicalouise1601 says:

      Hi Kirstie, thanks so much for your lovely comment! I’m really glad you could relate to it and I hope its something that many others will be able to identify with too. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend 🙂 Jess x

      Reply
  3. Abi
    Abi says:

    What a heartfelt, honest and inspiring post. Much of it reminds me of a younger me! You are still so very young, there is plenty of time for your dreams to fall into place. Mind, someone said this to me, too, when I was younger and I’m not sure how much I listened then…

    Reply
    • jessicalouise1601
      jessicalouise1601 says:

      Hi Abi, thank you so much for your wonderful comment! This means such a lot, especially as I really admire your writing (and blog) and I’ve been to many of your talks at Traverse over the past couple of years! Apologies if the grammar isn’t perfect, I was writing through tears and sadly punctuation wasn’t my first thought! Really appreciate your lovely words though, I’m hopeful that one day everything will fall into place for me, it just isn’t the right time yet! Take care, Jess x

      Reply
  4. Lucy
    Lucy says:

    Your 20s are such a tough time, there are so many different ways your life could go and so many opportunities it can feel like you’re being pulled in multiple directions. Coming from the wrong end of my 30s (!) it’s easy to say that it does get better, that things start to come together and you’ve got so much time for the husband, cats, mortgage and kids (I’m only just getting there now) – now’s the time to be a bit selfish, do what you want, try things out and build up a good repertoire of crazy stories that you’ll still laugh to yourself about in 20 years time!

    Reply
    • jessicalouise1601
      jessicalouise1601 says:

      Thanks for your lovely comment Lucy, I so needed to hear that! Hoping that I’ll have many more crazy stories to come over the next few years, and maybe then everything will fall into place 🙂 Jess x

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *