There’s a constant war in my head. Imagine it like an annoyingly catchy, mainstream, overplayed song on the radio; an endless cycle of thoughts like comparing myself to others, wishing I was smarter for big universities, wondering how my peers view me, and telling myself not to overthink everything.
I never like settling and I’m always striving to be better than I was the day before. This mentality has gotten me through a lot of challenges, but as I take grueling steps into the world of adulthood, it has given me this ceaseless need to always be perfect; to always keep up with my peers to have a successful future. I see myself being surrounded by those who get lines of 9, those who got into their dream schools, and those excelling in their interests at very early ages. Although this serves as inspiration for me to push myself to be better, my mind easily twists it into adding a longer list of insecurities.
We are always given a choice on how we see and respond to sticky circumstances. But how exactly can we turn things around when everything seems like a dead end?
It’s not easy to consistently love yourself. It’s easier to give up, accept things for the way they are, and be submissive. No matter how hard I try, when I feel like I’m not progressing, I get easily defeated. This usually ends up in me curling into a ball on my bed and listening to senti music.
Despite all of the down times, I still choose to leave the comfort of my blanket and pillows and exit those playlists of ballads. We are always given a choice on how we see and respond to sticky circumstances. But how exactly can we turn things around when everything seems like a dead end?
Remember that you’re still human
It’s still a common belief that faltering can’t be an option if you’re aiming to be the best. We become overly conscious of every single thing that we forget that fallbacks are what make us human. We aren’t robots that are programmed to do things perfectly. The beautiful thing about being human is that we can do things our own way; we succeed and we fail differently, but it never stops there. What’s common is that we try and we learn. What matters is not the mistakes we make, but how we rise up from them, remembering that there will be more opportunities to grow from.
The only time is now, but don’t rush
Like what Constantine P. Cavafy said in his poem Ithaca: “Pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.”
One thing that a dance teacher told me that always sticks with me is that no one is better than anybody, they’re just more experienced. What this means is that no one’s journeys are the same; each are various mixes of being quicker, slower, shorter, longer.
One thing that a dance teacher told me that always sticks with me is that no one is better than anybody, they’re just more experienced.
Now, almost everything is instant and quick, which makes people want to be in full control of their lives. Sometimes I wish I could just fast forward to that part of my life where I’ve got it all figured out, but I’d miss out on all those stopovers of special moments. The journey to the future is scary, but it’s the stopovers that make it worthwhile, and they’re the kinds that we’ll never get to go back to. Make every day count, because as much as we all want to fast forward, we can’t rewind either.
Find the positive in the negative
It’s easier to spot the negative things than the positive, and it’s normal to dwell in what you did wrong. But it’s possible to escape that state of pessimism because even in the worst of situations, there will always be something good that can outweigh the bad.
I started by trying to find at least one good event that happened in the whole day, and if something didn’t go my way, I do my best to derive the positive by seeing what I can learn from it and how I can go up from there. Try doing this every day. You’ll notice the more you do it, the more habitual it’ll become, and you’ll realize that no matter how many pros or cons there’ll be, life is what you make of it.
It’s not the end of the road
Like what I mentioned earlier, there will always be opportunities out there. Whenever I miss out on them or they don’t meet my expectations, I remind myself of another quote from one of my favorite choreographers: things happen for you, not to you. Everything happens for a reason. Know that some things are not meant to be because there will be bigger, greater opportunities that will further lead you to your goals. Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world; I promise that things will always look up.
things happen for you, not to you.
I know these practices aren’t something I religiously do. I tend to forget every now and then, and by now, my brain would’ve literally exploded with all the dejected concepts, but as long as I try my best in what I do, I know that brighter and happier days aren’t far away. Remember that you are loved, you are enough, and you can live your dreams. You may be crumbling, suffocated, or fed up, but keep on the grind. Keep an attitude of gratitude towards the pain, because it’ll only make you stronger.
by Bernice de Gracia
art by Isabel Drilon
Bernice de Gracia is a Grade 12 senior high school student at Assumption College.. She is currently undergoing work immersion at Scout Magazine.