Putting It All Out There

girl

I’m approaching my 27th birthday and recently I’ve been considering what I’ve accomplished so far in life. I’m concerned that it isn’t significant.

I’ve read a couple of blog posts recently as I search for inspiration. Many urge you to “blog what you’re passionate about!” Honestly, I’m not sure I’m that passionate about anything. I’m definitely not an expert at anything. I don’t feel qualified to give advice about beauty, life, fashion, or well-being (so what the hell have I been blogging about here for nearly 3 years?). Everything I love doing is pretty average: Netflix, spending too much time on the internet, cuddling with my dog, etc. etc.

When I consider my hobbies, my only actual hobby is blogging. I bought a DSLR, learned a few things about photography, and while I feel much more confident in my photography skills, I don’t even know what to take pictures of (except Archie). So I don’t. I can knit, but I think it’s boring. I love to read, but I’m in a reading rut. I hate to exercise so I just don’t.

I’m just in a weird place, confidence wise. Sometimes in social situations I become convinced that people don’t actually like me that much. I feel like I’ve lost the ability to read people. I can’t tell if someone likes me or just tolerates me. My face gets really red. I can tell it’s happening while it’s happening but I can’t make it stop.

I can’t decide if this is 1. anxiety or 2. that I’ve gained some wisdom and now realize that it’s a real possibility that someone might just not like me and I no longer have the youthful arrogance that previously protected me from these feelings.

What’s also weird is that if you asked me, I’d also tell you that I’m the happiest I’ve been in a very long time. My home life is really wonderful. I love where I live and I love my job. My current confidence rollercoaster is nothing related to my physical appearance. I’m at a pretty content place with my body.

It’s more like, me. What have I done, seen, contributed? I worry that I’m wasting my life (and my youth). I worry that everything about my life is completely ordinary and I worry about what that means. And I’m anxious that I’m not contributing enough to the world. I feel personally responsible and strangely careless.

Sometimes I don’t feel it. And sometimes I do.

Linking up with Leslie

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  • I think this is a normal feeling to have. I’ve definitely been there myself and seen a lot of friends struggle with it as well. Whenever I start feeling this way I always remind myself that maybe it’s an opportunity to try a few new things and see how I like them 🙂

    • That’s definitely a good idea. I feel like moving to the city has brought me a lot of new opportunities but I do need to get out and seek more myself.

  • I’ve been feeling this exact way lately– almost like I’m having some sort of early mid-life crisis. I am happier than I’ve been in a long time too, but I also have the exact same doubts you’ve mentioned– that people don’t really like me, that what I’ve been doing is insignificant, and just general confidence about what I am doing on a daily basis. Your second to last sentence sums it up for me. “I feel personally responsible and strangely careless.” I know that I’m probably responsible for all of these feelings, but I’m not sure that I 100% care or want to do anything about it. Reflecting on this sort of thing lately, I’m beginning to wonder if it’s due to the oversharing our society seems to take part in these days. Everyone is doing something amazing with their lives and shouting it from the roof tops, so if you’re not in that same boat, you begin to compare what you are doing in your life to whatever everyone else is doing.

    • Laurel S

      Yes. And the worst thing we do to ourselves is to compare ourselves to others. As a survivor of such, I’d love to give you some advice. STOP. You sound EXACTLY like I did at your age. I think most of it is the idea that you will soon be 30 and you want to know you did all the stuff you wanted to do before you start having to be a boring grown up and be responsible, yaddah, yaddah. Well, I loved my 30’s. I was my most social, energetic, bold, brave and willing to try new things. A friend had warned me that when I turned 30, I’d go a little crazy. I don’t know if there is some science behind that or if I just let her get into my head, but I’m glad I did.
      I hated it when my older friends used to say I was just a baby and had plenty of time to do all the stuff I want to do and that I should just chill, but they were right. You have plenty of time to figure it all out. Cut yourself a brake. Never mind what everyone else is “supposedly” doing. People pad their lifestyles, just like they pad their resumes. Just enjoy your puppy and your blogging and whatever else you feel like doing. You only get one life, you should do what you feel like doing with it and forget about what anybody else thinks. Good luck. I think you’re fine, just the way you are.

      • That was a super wonderful pep talk that I really really needed. Thank you.

    • I feel like that definitely could be a huge contributer. I read a lot of blogs and a lot of people my age (it seems like) are quitting their jobs and traveling the world and doing all these amazing things. Not only am I not doing those things, I also don’t have any desire too. It’s challenging though to not compare yourself to others and I know that is a huge contributing factor to these feelings.

  • I feel you on this. A lot. In fact, I was actually saying very similar things to this to my sister this past Sunday at brunch. She gave me a really great perspective on it when she said something along the lines of, “You’re happy. You’re working a job in the field that you studied for and enjoying it. You’re financially independent. You’re healthy. And you have people in your life that love you (even if it only seems like you have just a handful – that’s really all you need). I’d say you’re doing better than most. And you should be proud of yourself.”

    With all of the “look at my travel! look at my startup! look at all the things I’m doing!” going on on the Internet and such, it’s definitely easy to forget about how well you’ve built your own life to actually serve you and make you happy.

    And hey! Your blog is one of my absolute favorites – you’re very good at writing and sharing your life – very relatable while still interesting and grounded. In blogging, that’s not an easy thing to do! 🙂

    • That’s definitely good perspective. I do tend to be a little hard on myself and I also am guilty of comparing myself to others. I have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be proud of.

      Thank you also for your sweet comments about my blog. It reassures me that maybe I’m doing something right on this little corner of the internet.

  • I think that this is a completely normal rut to be in. I was in a rut very similar to this about a year ago and I sometimes fall back into it. For the most part, I honestly take the words “fake it until you make it” very seriously. That’s how I was able to gain some confidence after being completely stripped of it. I also think that you’re being too hard on yourself when it comes to worrying about if you’re doing enough in your youth. I think you’re a smart lady and if knitting is boring but it makes you happy … so what? You’re an expert on being you, no matter what that is.

    And, if it means anything, you’ve been one of my favorite bloggers to follow for awhile now and I usually relate to a lot of things you’re saying. Plus, I obviously love Archie … I have an obsession with goldens. 🙂

    • The comments from this blog post have made me feel a lot more normal. Isn’t it amazing what putting yourself out there can do? I’m totally shocked by how many others feel this way so thank you so much for taking the time to share that you were in a similar place. It’s hard to think you are alone with your feelings and it’s good to know I’m not.

  • I totally agree with Erika and the other comments. You seem to have all the bases covered: health, job, love, house, dog.
    I sometimes think that when we surround ourselves with positive, uplifting, and driven people, it can skew our world view so that it seems everyone has their shit together but us.
    I read back through probably 8-9 pages in your blog yesterday, not because it was groundbreaking stuff, but because I thoroughly enjoy reading what you have to say! (And I kinda feel like we would be bff irl.) I think its fascinating to hear about moving to a city as (unknowingly to me) interesting as Philly, and I adore your thoughts on marriage and weddings and traditions and soul mates!

    You are definitely one of my favorite blogs, and I love hearing your voice out there in the internet world.

    • I do need to give myself more credit and be happy that I’ve got all the basics covered. Thank you also for your kind words about my blog. I try to put a lot out there and I try to be myself and I do sometimes worry if it comes across the way I want it to. I’m happy you enjoy this space.

  • I clearly remember feeling this way when I was your age and think it’s pretty normal. I could repeat what the others have said above, but do hate to be redundant (although I agree with them).

    But I’ll tell you something that took me along time to realize, your small interactions/actions might feel little or inconsequential to you, but more often than not, you’re touching people’s lives and hearts in ways you don’t even know. It might be the person you smile at in the elevator or front desk is used to people being unkind to them, it might be the little bit of worry you take away from your bosses desk knowing that you can handle the situations that pop up, it could be any little thing to you, but not to them.

    If I can offer some unsolicited advice (which you should feel absolutely free to ignore) if you’re feeling “unfulfilled” find something to volunteer even just a few hours a month. I prefer to choose something unrelated to any of my jobs, but hey that’s your call. There’s any number of organizations that would love an extra set of helping hands and you never know, it might help you find your next hobby.

  • Girl, you are not alone. I think that I’m so boring, so average every single day it’s disgusting. Back in college I was so much more motivated, I think because I had an end goal (graduate, get a job). Now that I just have to wake up each day, I’ve gotten lazy, in all aspects of my life. I hate it. In college I worked 3 jobs, was in a sorority, did my bachelors AND masters at the same time my senior year. I managed it all and loved my life.

    Now I almost cry if I have to get off the couch and step away from Netflix. I see so many friends working these insanely fun, incredible jobs. Not like my job sucks, sometimes I don’t think I challenge myself/I’m not being challenged enough, but it’s a solid company and I make good money.

    And don’t even get me started on the whole ‘I’m going to be 25 in June and haven’t been on a date in 2 years’ rant. That’s an entirely different can of worms. 🙁

    As far as blogging goes, I’m with you too. I’m not a fashion/beauty blogger, I don’t think I ever could be. I guess I’m “lifestyle”, but what does that even mean? If it was socially acceptable, I’d post pictures of food and cats just all damn day. But some people may call me insane. So I feel like I have to talk about ‘normal’ stuff. Sigh.

  • Everything you’re saying really hit the spot with me. Thanks for taking the time to articulate a feeling so universal – I’m sure this will make a lot of people feel less alone.

  • I think this is perfectly normal and something I can totally relate to. I find myself thinking the same thing often. Like “I’m 28 and I’ve done like what, nothing?” Except I know I have accomplished a lot. I think our generation is stuck somewhere between doing what we want (what will make us happy) and what is expected of us that we end up confused.

    I could go on and on. I think this is part of why we are the “Peter Pan” generation to a lot of people – AKA, we don’t want to grow up!

  • I am going on 29 next week, and I completely understand how you are feeling. Thanks for expressing because I believe this was ME. I think the years from 27-30 are the years that you start realizing who you are and what you are confident in. You start to realize what exactly makes you, you. Regardless if it is just being in love, living, or accomplishing something or nothing at all. You start to become more okay with your life decisions instead of question everything. I make a decision and I am done. No more second guessing.

    I think these are the years you get tired of the world telling you who you should be and what you should become. I know I am feeling that way, at least.

    I am not sure that I blog about anything particular I like to dabble in a little bit of it all. I am no expert in anything in life.

    And I actually can’t wait to turn 30. Weird, right?

    Vashti
    http://www.herestotakingchances.com
    http://www.vashti.co (photography)

  • I believe we have all been there, I know I have for most of my twenties. I had this feeling of being behind “schedule” because everyone else was going to school, then graduating and starting their careers and I was over here like what am I doing? For me, I had to get to a point that I had to be okay with my own “schedule” in life and my very mundane and ordinary life. But I think we can learn something from these downtimes in our lives if we want. Maybe you are craving something new to do or possibly really wanting to learn something.
    Just remember your life is beautiful. You have a job you love, a home that you love and family that supports you. Remind yourself of these things each morning and that you have something of worth to share to the world.

  • I haven’t read the above comments because I didn’t want to feel influenced in any way by what others have said to you but I plan to read them after I post this because this is exactly how I have been feeling and I will take all the encouragement I can get! Thank you for being so candid about all of this. You are certainly not alone in your thoughts and feelings.

    I will be 25 in May and I started blogging to keep up with friends and family back home since I just moved last October. I won’t lie and say that after realizing how deep the blogging world goes I wasn’t completely discouraged at the lack of accomplishment in my own life. What was worse was that realized I haven’t even nailed down exactly what I want to be accomplished at. I haven’t even finished school yet because I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to spend money (or seemingly endless years paying off debt) to get educated in. No passion, as you said. In fact, my hobbies include Netflix, reading and taking pictures of my cats. I guess I’m passionate about my cats but you won’t see me rushing off to vet school. It’s just not me. I’ve got some ideas now but overall I’ve been coming to the conclusion that I want to be accomplished in kindness and in love, compassion for others, joy, unwavering positivity and the ability to allow the universe to flow and to just roll with it.

    That’s one of my favorite things about your blog. You’re raw, real, honest, you just go with the flow. Whatever life is bringing to you at that present moment, you share it, or you don’t, but it’s clear that you’re taking it one step at a time and that’s refreshing. I can’t help but be reminded of the post you published right before your engagement about not having a “niche”. After the news of your engagement I thought, “wow, the universe just totally dropped lots of happiness and pathway for her journey right when she was feeling at a loss of direction.” I think it’s funny how it works that way.

    I think that happens at multiple times and at totally different times for everyone. And I think that as long as you’re confident in your own self, you like who you are, I think you’ll attract the exact kind of people that should be in your life who like you just fine and think your contributions to the world are immeasurable.

    Thank you for your contribution of encouragement in my life today. Love to you!

    x
    Jlynn

  • I think is called #3: turning 27. It’s a weird age. Time starts to feel like it’s tick tick ticking away.

  • I think the fact that you love to blog and love taking photos of Archie is passion in itself! And you are successful, so it just goes to show you’re far more than ordinary. And I can completely relate in social situations – I think it’s a mix of both anxiety and knowledge, honestly. I’m sorry you’re going through a rough period confidence-wise, but please know that you are a pretty extraordinary person and people really DO like you (I’m one of them)!

  • At 25 I already feel this way sometimes so you’re def not alone. It’s hard not to play the comparing game but I stop myself and realize, I’m happy! And that’s what matters.

  • like many others have said, i think it’s normal to feel this way and as i approach 28- i definitely have these feelings.

    i’ve struggled with what i’m super passionate about too. someone once said instead of thinking about what you’re passionate about, think about what really pisses you off or upsets you. this has been helpful for me because it pisses me off when women are treated less than men and when people are in unhealthy and unhappy relationships!

  • I felt like I was reading out of my own diary when reading this. I often feel like I don’t connect well in social situations and people only decide to spent time with me because I reached out. Sometimes I don’t exactly feel passionate either and that makes me struggle to write, which saddens me. I hope you find your way! I do enjoy your blog regardless 🙂

    Trish
    http://www.thetrishlist.com

  • I feel like this a lot as well. It comes in waves. I do think that it can be a pretty universal state of mind for twenty, thirty-somethings… at least, I fool myself into thinking so!

  • I love that you wrote this post and put yourself out there! I am right here with you. Before I picked up blogging again (just recently) if anyone asked what my hobby was I would probably say “Netflix”. It is hard when media portrays a person who has gained and done so much in their early twenties but I’m pretty sure the rest of the population are right there with us! P.S. Cuddling with our doggies are huge contributions to the world!

  • Virginia

    This is my favorite post you’ve ever written.

  • I’ve been feeling this, too, lately – I’m still young and I have so much time, but I hear other people tell stories about their life and their experiences and I feel like I have catching up to do. I feel good most days. I love what I do, I love the form of my days and the schedule I have. But it’s weird to realize that sometimes another person will lead a more interesting life than you. It’s scary, because at one point we were all on the same plane.

    Thanks for writing this.

  • I think the late twenties are a weird age. You’re not young but you’re not old and (especially if you don’t have kids) you feel like you’re supposed to be DOING SOMETHING with your life but you just can’t figure out exactly what that “something” is supposed to be. If you figure it out, let me know.

  • JC

    You are not alone. I’m constantly asking myself, what is my thing? What am i good at? Shouldn’t I work towards something. Other times I think I’m doing well. I guess I don’t have anything really to add to this other than I feel ya. Maybe we can start a club or something.

  • I can 100% relate to this post. I think your 20’s is a weird time. I feel like my friends are either having babies or going on grand adventures doing grand things and here I am sitting home with my boyfriend and dog. It’s a happy place to be yet I also feel like maybe I am missing out on something. Not doing enough or taking advantage of being young and having so many possibility.

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