What does “I made it” mean? Well in context, I’m referring to achieving that milestone that for many years you thought would be impossible. You know what I’m talking about, that dream you have in your head that makes you super happy, but whenever you look at your current reality it makes you sad. It’s interesting isn’t it, how an aspiration for your future can make you instantly so unsatisfied with your present. Why is that? We compare something we want to something we have, it’s what a lot of us do, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
I’ve been in that place, many times. The deep dark parts of your mind that no person ever wants to visit. The place that tells you that you’re stuck, that you’ll never amount to anything, and that life is just going to be terrible. It sucks and is incredibly annoying. I’ve told myself I’d never achieve my dreams, that I’d struggle and that I was just completely lost. I told myself my body was disgusting, that I had to be ripped to be desirable, and even when I achieved it, I still hated myself. I told myself I’d never find love, and no one would accept me for who I am.
Now, I am the happiest and most content I have ever been in my life. To look at myself in the mirror and see body for what it is and just smile is the most spiritually enlightening feelings I’ve ever had. To sit in the apartment that I’ve furnished and that I’ve worked for, with my cat and just smile with pure gratitude is indescribable.
This article isn’t meant to be a “haha, look at me!”, so if it’s coming across like that, I’m sorry, but please stay with it, there’s a point I promise. To have gone from a place of sheer hopelessness, self-hatred and just wanting to give up, to be experiencing feelings I’ve never experienced in my life is something I think worth sharing:
I hated my appearance and focussed all of my attention on being liked.
Now I love my body for what it is, and I feel completely liberated.
I told myself I’d never amount to anything and had many other people tell me the same.
Now I’m working creatively every single day, working my dream job.
I told myself I would never find a management agency that wanted to help me with my career.
I’m now signed to Sixteenth, an agency that specialises in positive influencers and am being managed by someone I now consider a close friend.
I was worried that I’d struggle financially.
I’m now living by myself in London, in my dream apartment.
I told myself I’d never find love and that I’d spend all my dating life being ghosted.
I’ve now found someone who never fails to give me butterflies and am in a long-term committed relationship.
I told myself university was too much for me, I went through 2 rounds of therapy throughout the course of my degree and was close to dropping out multiple times - I have now just graduated with a first and look back with pride that I got through it.
So, what does “I made it” really mean? It doesn’t mean I’m done. It doesn’t mean I’m stopping here, hopping off the train of life and just staying put. It means that the things that I once told myself were impossible are now very much a reality. The time that I spent doubting myself and telling myself I wasn’t enough, was energy I could have used instead to grant myself some kindness and patience.
My point is it will be ok in the end. You may not be where you want to be right now, you may feel the furthest from it you’ve ever felt. You’re allowed to feel a little stressed and overwhelmed by this. But don’t let it consume you. If you trust the process and keep going, good things will happen. It’s easy to give up, but you will never know what could’ve been if you kept going. You would just be resigning yourself to the ‘reality’ that you’ve created in your head and telling yourself it’s true.
So, what can you do instead? Try these:
Practice Gratitude - This is an easy yet surprisingly powerful method. When we focus on our future, we forget our present. Something we once wanted, we now have. Writing down 3 things every morning and every evening means that each day you are reminding yourself of what you have, what you’ve achieved and how far you’ve come.
Don’t Compare Your Progress to Others - It’s super easy for us to start to compare our journey to others. There are people my age that are billionaires. It’s easy for us to start the “why them and not me” cycle, but what does that achieve apart from making us feel worse? Every single person is unique and so is their journey. So, what’s the point in comparing your journey to someone else when their experience is completely different? Focus on your own path.
Look At the Timeline of Your Life - This is an interesting one, and I was taught this in therapy. Look at the top of one of your walls in your room. The entire length of the part where the wall meets the ceiling, this line is your life. The far-left side being your birth and the far-right being your last day on earth. Now, with life expectancy increasing, it’s becoming closer to us seeing our age as our percentage of life completed. No matter your age, there is still a percentage of your life that is unknown and yet to be completed. So, we still have no idea what could happen next. So, for me, at 22 years old, my life is probably between 20-30% completed. That means there’s over 70% of my life that is completely unknown. You may not be where you want to be, but there’s still a long way to go.
As Always, Just Be Kind to Yourself - Life can be hard enough as it is, and people can be mean. So why spend your own energy making your life even harder. You’ll meet difficult people, and you’ll go through difficult times. The one person who can make this a little easier for you, is you. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.
I hope this in some way helps. Take it from someone who’s been to some of the darkest places of their mind, it gets better, trust me. Just don’t give up.