As June drew to close, I once again kept checking my account for a bank alert of the arrival of my salary. This obviously was not the idea I had of adulthood as I raced from my teen years into my early twenties. Try as I may, under this economy and high cost of living, I mostly find myself living from paycheck to paycheck.
A casual scroll through Instagram that day left me feeling worse; was I failing at life? Perfectly curated pictures of friends having a good time, images indicating that life was good on the other side, glasses clinking and toasting to more of such days had me questioning if I had chosen the right path in my career and life choices that I had been presented with over the years.
I actually went as far as asking a friend to consider making me her house husband. Her response was simple although poignant enough. As if my week was not topsy-turvy enough with deadlines and bills piling up, my phone decided that was the opportune time to call it quits. My reaction: involuntary uncontrollable laughter.
No matter how hard you try, you can never avoid bad days or moments. Life has a way of blindsiding you when you least expect. For you it might be the loss of job, death of a relative or an inability to make ends meet, we have all had moments when we felt our ‘enough’ just was not enough.
There are several think pieces all over the internet on how to deal with those moments, and here is another one to add to the lot. My advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I would like to say ‘quit worrying’ but we are human and worrying comes along as with the product. So get a clock and set a timer for five minutes then worry. Think of all that could go wrong, think of ways you will mess up, feed all your jealousy, envy, anger into those minutes. When the timer goes off, stop, (go with me on this) then smile and if you can laugh at how ridiculous the whole situation is. Worrying is as effective as trying to fill your door to open with your mind. The real things that should cause you worry have probably not even crossed your mind.
There’s a lot to be anxious about. Our minds have a way of running with thoughts the second things start going haywire. I once actually convinced myself that bad things happen in threes. When one thing went wrong I expected two more in the same day; bad, worse and then worst. The only way to have some kind of control is to reel your mind in. pull it back from the rollercoaster of bad rumbling thoughts by focusing on the now.
Dance. Mary Schmich, former columnist for Chicago tribune summarizes finding solace with the line: Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room. If you can do it infront of a mirror. Dancing and movement can be an incredibly therapeutic practice for many. There are no hard and fast rules about which dances will improve your well-being. Physical movement to promote mental wellness is what’s paramount to this concept, and you can bring that into every area of your life.
You are here, living and breathing, returning back to your younger days is impossible and going forward is with great difficulty. You can choose to stay still but moving forward is the only way to see how it all turns out in the end. Let the pain be worth it when it’s all said and done.
By Yeayi Kobina
The writer has played multiple roles in broadcast journalism, news anchoring, branding and programming communications, scriptwriting, and content producing. He has worked as the lead producer of TV3’s flagship morning show, Newday.