I keep having this heavy feeling on my chest. I usually associate it with depression or anxiety. It definitely presents itself in anxiety attacks. Or some variation of pressure on the chest does. Usually when it feels like a thousand pound elephant is sitting on your chest, then you know you are in the throes of some sort of anxiety or panic attack. This pressure is not a health crisis. It feels more metaphysical, more like an existential crisis of who and what and where I am. I can obviously tell you that I am Stephanie, I am a twenty-something unemployed female, and I am sitting in a guest bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah. But who and what do I want to be? Where do I want to be? I can’t answer those questions. I always scoffed at the mid-twenties breakdown. I thought I would have at least twenty to thirty more years before the mid-life crisis emotions hit me, but apparently in this age of accelerated living, we are experiencing those similar feelings before our lives really begin.
I feel kind of lost. I do not feel like I have a place in Davis. I have already mentioned my feelings on it in an earlier post, so there is no need to recount that. But then I imagine what my life would be like somewhere else and I still cannot pin-point my place. I am not sure it is necessarily a matter of where I am, other than in age, but what I want to become. When I feel confident I know I want to write. I know I want to live through and with art. It is something that makes me happy and I enjoy it immensely. I feel like I have at least moderate talent and definitely wish to refine and reform it. But I am sitting here, in a guest bedroom, wondering if it’s possible. I am questioning my place in the scheme of things. What will I ever bring? Will this “it” be important? Some people have passion and direction, and when I get like this I really question if I have anything. No, this is not some veiled suicide attempt or note or anything of that matter. I am far from thinking along those lines. It is easy to fall into this kind of thought, though, when you are living with and seeing a man who is wasting away. It makes you think about regrets, about living and dying, about doing what you want versus doing what needs to be done. When driving out to Salt Lake I asked Jonathan about the idea of a bucket list. Did he have one? Did he believe in them? Wouldn’t it be depressing having that thought all the time? “I must do this before I die.” Almost bringing this eventuality into the every day. I know that is motivating for some people, but for me it just reminds me of the sad fact that I will one day die and so will everyone I love. He had an issue with the fact that you would do something solely to cross it off some list. He said that if he was going to perform an activity, it would be to experience it and not have the thought in the back of his head that it was one more thing done and gone.
The day is kind of cloudy. There is a shroud over all the light. It is still bright out, though. It feels like a perfect metaphor for how I am feeling. I am still shining, I am still projecting this vibrancy; I’m out doing things and smiling when I need to smile and laughing when I need to laugh, but a cloud hangs over it. There is a feeling of despair, of shame for not making more of my life, of sadness. I think that is the most apt description of my feelings. It is simply a sadness. It is sadness when reflecting on my life versus the potential I have. How the reason I am thinking these things is because I am watching someone I care about drift away from us through and in bad health. How these dark things are happening to this family. How even with all that I question how much further motivated I am to live life, I am wondering if I can, if I will ever be what I want or act how I want. What I mean by that is act on things I want, like going to Europe or having the strength to continue to pursue a certain life despite all the rejection it encompasses. How much rejection I have already gotten.
At the age of twenty-four I am questioning myself. My looks and attractiveness. My intelligence and my ability to make something of myself. If I can make friends. Keep friends. If someone looked at my life now would they consider me a success or a massive failure. I know it is wrong to base your life from someone else’s opinion. You set yourself up for disappointment and failure. But I see people’s faces when they find out I do not have a job. They may smile and put on a face, but I see the judgement in their eyes. I am writing, researching things and moving forward with proposals to send to publishes, and these are things I always dreamed of doing, but at the moment they are not yielding anything. Recently a friend of mine wrote: ” A day of job hunting really beats you up.” It does. It makes you hurt in a places you never thought you could hurt. And it is particularly bothersome when I am searching in a state that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States.
I know that these feelings will pass. I will get motivated and encouraged again. It is just bothersome that I hit this lull. And it is even harder to snap myself out of it while dealing with certain circumstances. Plus, isn’t it true that it is easier to think negatively than positively? Or at least it is for a self-acclaimed pessimist. And that, in and of itself, is not a good thing.