When it comes to finding health care professionals, my family is very loyal to the ones we choose. For several years, I’ve been going to the same physician, dentist, and optometrist. Today, I realized that, within a span of a year, due to varying circumstances (from retirement to illness), I’ve transitioned away from all of them.
People change doctors frequently, but when you’ve been seeing a doctor for so long that they’ve seen you grow up, and you’ve built up a solid foundation of trust with them, and suddenly, that all changes, it’s… sad. And in that moment of realization, I felt really… old. With another birthday fast approaching next month, age has been at the top of my mind.
With this ticking clock nagging at me, I constantly feel compelled to make the most of my time at all times. Since this past January, I’ve committed myself to making this, as Shonda Rhimes would say, the Year of Yes. I pushed myself to be more open to trying new things, meeting new friends, and Making It Happen (my motto of 2015). By conquering my self-doubts and embracing new opportunities, I felt more connected with people and the world around me than I ever have before. For the most part, it’s been a rejuvenating and rewarding year.
But now comes the harsh truth… It seems as if by being the Yes! girl, I’ve opened myself up to the fear that is the fear of missing out (FOMO for all of you acronym fans). Thinking about FOMO always makes me think about Mindy Kaling’s first book, “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?” and how much Mindy nails it with that title alone. Growing up as the invisible girl, I was used to being left out, but lacked the self-esteem to do more about it, instead choosing to withdraw, because it was easier. Even though I am more visible now, have a stronger sense of self, and actually give a damn about being present, I continually struggle with feeling incredibly alone and inadequate. I don’t know why I thought this would be solved by my mid-twenties, but nope, adulthood is not spared!
When you get lost in your mind all the time (like I do), it can be self-destructive. Especially during this time of the year, the holidays, a cause for celebration, when the inner critic comes out in full force. I start to compare myself to those I consider to be “ahead”, in terms of accomplishments, travels, family, relationships, career, education, money, travel, and fitness, and see how lowly I measure up. Oh, what a festive time to feel like a ho-ho-horrible failure!
I’m prone to conjuring up self-deprecating thoughts, even when I know in the grander scope of things, that’s not the case at all. So, instead of wallowing in self-loathing and leaving it at that, I’ve willed myself to try these few things to get over my pity parties (for 1):
Challenge Myself to Self-Improvement
Take in the Bad Days Along with the Good Days
Stop Performing and Putting On a Fine Appearance
Stop. Sit Down. Relax.
Close Your Eyes. Clear Your Mind. Open Your Heart.
Accept Compliments When Given To Me
Be Thankful and Give Thanks
Remind Others That They Matter
Be Kind to Yourself
It’s that time of year
Leave all our hopelessness’s aside
If just for a little while
Tears stop right here
I know we’ve all had a bumpy ride
I’m secretly on your side
– Imogen Heap, “Just For Now”