“You don’t stop living because bad things happen. You keep going.”—Gina Neely
It was during my community college years that I first began to experience anxiety. I thought I’d figure it all out, what I wanted to major in, which university to transfer to, where I’d work, and what I’d be doing for the rest of my life.
I got a degree in political science, a job as a paralegal at a law firm, and years later found myself experiencing a severe anxiety attack in my parents’ home—sitting against the washing machine with my legs curled up against my chest while grasping for breath.
I enjoy writing, but instead of becoming a writer, I chose to work in the legal field to make enough money to live an ample and comfortable life. Yet, I lost myself to constantly working toward a means to an end, wanting and expecting more and more, and trying to keep up to par with what I was surrounded by.
Many of us have a perception in mind about how our life will be like. We have dreams, hopes, aspirations, and goals. We go all in with a plan in motion and try our best to create a purposeful and meaningful life.
However, we’re not prepared for the many trials and errors we have to go through, the pain and suffering of unexpected and unfortunate events, trying to fit in with the constant new around us, and the never-ending mental battle with ourselves.
We then find ourselves at a halt, sulking, and giving up. We lose hope and become numb to even get up and try another way again.
When the Going Comes at A Halt, Keep Going
It took me a long time to realize that no matter how painful times were, how many challenges I’d faced, and how mentally and physically tiring it was to just get up and try again—it was the only way to bring my ambitions and passion to life.
Even through tough times, it’s so important to show up for yourself in the simplest of ways and to keep going. Trust me, I know it’s easier said than done. I still remember the day’s I chose to sit in the dark corners of my home only to experience anxiety attacks over taking a shower or eating a meal.
But it was the days that I chose to make my bed, eat breakfast, and spend even 10 to 15-minutes toward my goals without wanting or expecting anything in return that I felt true joy and peace.
When the Going Tries to Settle, Keep Going
The thing is, all of us have ambitions and passions, but instead of being with it and doing with love and joy—we put pressure on it, we want and expect from it, we put time stamps on, and ultimately have a means to an end associated with it.
Instead of becoming a creative writer, I figured I could work in the legal field to still be able to write and simultaneously make plenty of money.
But even though I made good money to live a decent and comfortable life, I was miserable working as a paralegal and despised legal writing, and soon lost myself to anxiety and depression. It wasn’t too long until I permanently left the legal field to pursue creative writing.
I know we must work to provide for ourselves and our families. But we don’t have to give up on our hopes and dreams and settle.
While pursuing creative writing, I made a list of what part-time work I could do that wasn’t high in pay but gave me joy. I knew that I enjoyed talking to people, helping others out, and hanging out at coffee shops and bookstores. So, I got part-time job at a coffee shop and in the medical caregiving field.
Don’t settle with anything that ignites your stresses, anxieties, and other forms of suffering. Keep going, to be with love and do with good toward creating a purposeful and meaningful life for yourself—without any wants and expectations because that’s when you truly experience a joyous and peaceful life.
When the Going Struggles with What Is, Keep Going
We lose ourselves because we’re either looking back into the past wishing things went different or into the future in hope to control and be certain of what’s next.
Amid losing ourselves, we also lose the experience we’re having right now in the present. We struggle with and resist what is. Yet, it’s the present moment experience that provides us with what we need to heal, learn, and grow.
Today, I can positively say that though I resisted many experiences at the time of, I’m grateful for them. The failures, painful anxiety attacks, physical health problems, unexpected unfortunate events, constant challenges and hurdles, and heartbreaking losses.
If it wasn’t for those experiences, I wouldn’t have met some wonderful people, strengthened my skillsets, show up for my long-term mental and physical health, and most importantly become and live with more consciousness, awareness, and presence.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and while we can’t see it right now, it’s a part of something that will make sense later. It’s when we’re present with our experiences, even through tough times, that we’re able to strengthen our mind, body, and soul for the next step.
The experience you’re having right now is a part of the universes plan that’s constantly in motion and is only a small unfolding piece pertinent to the overall puzzle, so keep going.