Like many young people, I’ve recently been struggling with understanding myself.

I’m the type of person who always seems to be in the midst of a midlife crisis, constantly fearing the future and everything that it entails. It wasn’t until recently when my father picked me up from work and asked me the typical “how was your day?” that I really began to spiral. I haven’t felt truly fulfilled in a while, so I started wondering “am I making the right decisions with my life?” and “is this really how I want to live?” When people ask me about myself, the most exciting things I have to say are “I go to Queen’s” and “I love dogs.” When I’m at school I’m often faced with the choice to work at home or go out with friends, to which I almost always choose staying in becoming plagued with FOMO in the process.

Like many, I lust after the idea of not being in school, not having a job, and just living my life traveling abroad. Unfortunately, the reality is I’d probably be in the same position I am now: worried and frustrated about what’s to come and if what I’m doing in the present is worth it in the long run. As exciting as living off the land and travelling sounds, I probably wouldn’t be entirely fulfilled doing that either.

Feeling so stagnant has caused me to lack motivation, lacking motivation has made me miss deadlines (which I have never done before), and as a result I feel isolated and tired. The term stagnant is literally defined as “showing little or no activity or vitality; inactive or sluggish.” Truthfully, being stagnant has made me feel worse about everything. I was making excuses for my actions and questioning my choices, until yesterday.

Yesterday, someone that I’m not very close with called me out on my behaviour in the nicest way possible. She told me that the work I was producing was below standard and it really made me think about how being stuck in this funk was only hurting myself.

Sometimes thinking about everything we wish we were doing, or how great life would be if we ditched school and went touring North America, won’t get us anywhere. The hardest lesson I’m continuing to learn is that making sacrifices today, no matter how small, is usually followed by many moments of fear and self-doubt. There is fear that you’re making the wrong decision and wasting time on something that might not be important in the future. There is also worry of missing out on feelings of  instant gratification from this work that makes us doubt if it’s worth doing at all. Consider how it feels to write one paragraph of an upcoming assignment instead of sulking and watching Netflix.

In sum, no one is going to tell you that the path you’re on is worthwhile, only you can decide that. Sometimes someone will come along and give you a wake-up call, or maybe this your wake-up call. Keep pushing and make the choices that will make you happier, what you do today matters.

Header Image Credit: Blue (1112 cover) on Soundcloud