It’s 3:00am. I am laying in my bed staring up at the ceiling. My chest is heavy.
My head is spinning. I can’t sleep. I open up my phone and start scrolling through social media hoping that it will distract me and eventually make me tired – it doesn’t. Funny how something that was created to make you feel connected just makes you feel distant from everyone, including yourself. I procrastinated writing this blog post for so long (sorry, Wear Your Label). I think it’s time to be honest and raw so here it goes.
Lately, in fact more than lately, I have been feeling as though I lack potential. Forgive the vulgar language but I continuously play these lyrics in my head:
“I could rule this f*cking world and you’d still think I’m sh*t.”
That’s how I feel. Recently, despite all of the great things that I have achieved, I feel as though I could win a Nobel Peace Prize and people would still think that I am worthless. It’s even harder when these opinions are coming from people who are close to you. I keep playing it over and over in my head that I am not good enough, or I should be more like this person, or that person, or maybe if I do it like this, and not that way then a specific person will acknowledge me.
So, what did I do? I changed the person that I was. I shaped someone that I thought everyone else wanted me to be. I began to act in ways that were out of character to the point where I was in too deep and felt that I couldn’t go back. I constructed a person that I wasn’t necessarily happy with, doing things that the old Josh would never do. Reality eventually got slapped back into me when I was in a meeting with one of my professors about a recent project I had completed.
Professor: “So, want to tell me what happened?”
Me: “I don’t know.”
Professor: “Don’t give me attitude.”
Me: “I’m not giving you attitude, I just genuinely don’t know what happened.” Professor: “You’ve changed. You used to be more happy and positive.”
I left that meeting with “you’ve changed” playing over and over again in my head. It resonated with me. My professor made me realize that maybe I have changed and this version of me wasn’t the greatest.
So what did I do next? I took a look back at the events leading up to this point and tried to pin point where I went wrong. What caused me to change into this bitter, negative person that my teacher claimed I was being? And while I type blog post, I still do not have a definite answer. I think that it has to do with many things; the struggle to balance school, a social life, and then my mental health on top of that is a lot. It’s hard to maintain good grades, pay for rent, pay for tuition, all the while hoping to have a little bit of fun. But it’s hard to have fun when your mental health weighs you down to your bed each and every morning.
I also suddenly felt that I had to force myself to have a specific body type, which is incredibly difficult to obtain. I forced myself onto a meal plan, I dragged my ass to the gym, and I stressed and stressed when I wouldn’t see the results I wanted fast enough. I would look around and see all these Beach Body Gods and I would beat myself up about it because I was not them.
I also felt pressure to find a significant other. I wanted to fill this imaginary void that I felt was in my life. So now what did I do? I tried to force it. And let me tell you: forcing relationships makes them end faster than you can even comprehend.
Let’s recount, shall we, Josh’s list of the reasons why he has turned into a different person:
Trying to complete school work on time
Stressing about tuition costs
Stressing about rent costs
Not having a job
Trying to maintain a social life
Struggling with mental health
The unrealistic body image
The first step is admitting and recognizing that you have a problem. Then reaching out to the people close to you and be willing and open to their advice in order to make that change to becoming a better person. It’s hard not to, but you shouldn’t compare yourself to other people. You shouldn’t try to chase after people that don’t give a shit about you. Do not let them waste your time. You should be happy with the skin you are in and know that it is the unedited and flaw-filled person you are that makes you genuine, authentic, raw and magnificent. I want to make others happy. I want to create content that not only I will love, but also other people will love too. I want to laugh. I want to be happy. I want to make this world a slightly better place each and every single day. But I needed to realize that in the process of doing that I will always have bad days. I will lose my way. I will change. I will grow and evolve and that is okay.
It’s now 3:33am. I’m laying here in my bed staring up at the ceiling. My chest isn’t quite as heavy as it was. My head is no longer spinning. I’m going to try and sleep now. But I will leave you with this quote one of my beautiful best friend’s gave me:
“You can change who you are becoming whenever you want to, and just because you don’t like what you see today, doesn’t mean you can’t change yourself into someone you do like. It’s like we’re clay before it gets put into the kiln... just keep molding and shaping yourself the way that you think is right, and know that it is okay to take pieces off and move things around a bit. You are an unfinished work of art.”
Hopefully this blog post can help you even slightly. I know it helped me.
Written by Campus Rep, Josh Clapp