“Rochelle, come on let’s go out tonight!”
“Nah, I can’t I have no money”
“Come on! Let’s go out to dinner!”
“Nah, I can’t I’m too fat, I have to go on a diet again”
And so the period of social isolation began.
Winter always hit me the worst. The cold, wet, miserable days followed by the freezing, dark and gloomy nights.
I was a creature of comfort. Bed, blankets, TV and food. That was all I needed.
Or so I told myself.
As the cold weather dragged on, it was harder to pull myself out of the winter blues. Sure, I wanted more out of my life in my early twenties. But the truth is I just couldn’t be bothered dealing with all that responsibility.
Future plans, forward thinking, sacrificing a bit of ‘pain’ now for a bigger and brighter future, later.
“No thanks, why on earth would I want to do that!?”.
All I wanted to do was wallow in self-pity and avoid my problems.
“Future Rochelle will just have to deal with it”
I told myself I followed all the golden rules. I studied hard, and worked hard as I studied, but I was still nowhere near where I wanted to be in life. It felt like nothing was going right.
Those days working in hospitality and retail were the worst. A good day could be undone by a miserable customer who just projected all their anger and unhappiness onto me.
All because I was wearing a “uniform” - did that make me less of a human all of a sudden!?
No. The truth is that most people go about their lives unhappy. I was one of them.
But as I navigated more of life and the world around me, I realised that happiness wasn’t magically granted to someone, it’s something that we have to earn.
And we earn that happiness by facing the things that we should do, but never want to do. Reassessing our priorities - that’s how we start making things go “right”.
“Adulting” is a challenging skill to acquire. It takes us 18 years to be a fully fledged adult - and even then it can feel like we’re unprepared for life.
No wonder we just turn to things that numb the daunting journey ahead. Sure it’s easier to turn a blind eye to the chaos that lies ahead, but that’s not very responsible or adult-like.
Sooner or later Life hits us. Often, it hits us when we have the most responsibilities: a career, a family, a mortgage - DEBT!
What then? How do we cope?
Usually, it’s reactively - paying attention to the things that matter the most at any given moment.
Deadlines...last minute errands....kid’s homework...that bake sale...it’s enough to leave anyone feeling flustered. It can also feel just about impossible to start that health kick you’ve been meaning to start for the last ten years. Perhaps that’s even why you tell yourself that you’re “fine” and that your health is “not an issue”...
...Avoiding your reflection in the mirror, avoiding social situations, avoiding outdoor activities, in exchange for lounging on the couch with your favourite bag of chips or a block of chocolate as you watch rom-coms and fantasise about the life of the lead character, wishing that it was your life too…
At least, that was me.
Yes, it’s easier to dream, and wish, and fantasise about the life that you want.
But you know what’s even better? Actually HAVING THE LIFE THAT YOU WANT!
So get your priorities in order. Be proactive, not reactive.
That list you’ve been avoiding? Take a deep breath, sit down, and look at it. Then the next step is just doing and ticking it off.
The life that you want won’t come overnight. But it definitely won’t come at all if you don’t start making a change today.
Excuses or results - not both.
I was once fat and broke, but now…
I don’t have a reason to tell myself that.