My First Time

Photo by Eternal Happiness

I remember the details like it happened yesterday even though it happened over ten years ago. It’s crazy how we remember these events in such detail; I didn’t think about it in a while then all of a sudden the memory came centre stage.

I decided to leave about two hours earlier than I usually would for my graduation practice. I had to travel for an hour to get to school, so I thought it was best to beat the rush hour. When I entered the bus, it was empty, but as I got closer to my destination, the bus became full. I started feeling uncomfortable being on a crowded bus. This was a new feeling for me; I’m not sure if it was the addition of the speed, but I took in strides and bared through it.

While distracting myself, I realised that the window wasn’t open. I figured that this feeling came about from the lack of breeze. I always preferred to feel the wind on my face when travelling long distances to relax me. When I tried to open the window, I couldn’t. I tried again, and I fail. I tried one last time, and I just couldn’t budge the window. At this point, I started experiencing so much; dizzy, hot, hyperventilating, discomfort, chills.

I couldn’t control myself as the tears started running down my face while it became hard to breathe. The person next to me tried to calm me down, but my focus was on opening that window. All I could think about was why couldn’t I open the window? Other joined in to help, and the bus stopped to assess the situation thoroughly. The bus conductor told me the window couldn’t open and that calmed me just a bit, but this had open the gate to let whatever this thing out. The driver decided to continue this journey, but to get me to the hospital. When we got closer to the hospital, the driver informed as passing police about my case, and they drove me to the hospital.

I waited in the emergency room for the nurse. I was so cold; tears streamed down my face. I felt I was a visitor to this reality. I couldn’t understand this feeling, and I was genuinely scared. I didn’t know how long I waited but being in a trance calmed me. The nurse asked me the regular questions and all the answers were negative.

Then she asked about the events happening in my life. I told her about my grandmother transitioning, and it was the first time I experienced death so intimately. I told her about my graduation and the pursuit of a job. After I told her the major events, she told me I was overwhelmed and had a panic attack.

I was stunned; I never heard the term, let alone know someone who experienced it. Even if there were people who suffer from anxiety attacks, I can’t say as it wasn’t openly discussed. It would be nice to talk to someone with experience, but going around asking questions wouldn’t get me answers.

Here at 18, the beginning stage of adulthood, I now face this dilemma. I am figuring out how I would deal with this in my life. Now that I know it exists, I have to take the time to figure out my triggers and what I can do to reduce the effects.

Beatus Manifestationes,
Nomadic Free Spirit

Overcoming the Job Experience…

During my scroll on social media, I found a post which explained how to motivate yourself during your valley times. The post said to write all accomplishments and put them in a box then wait until the end of the year to read them. The first year I started it was mid-year, so I only was able to do six months. However, based on the stuff I accomplished, I was proud of myself. The following year, I did the same thing; I even wrote all the things I would take for granted. For instance, I wrote about how “I woke up today unharmed” or “I made someone smile today”.

One day I was feeling the worst, and I felt the need to read through them. It was the most exhilarating experience. I realised I was starting to take myself for granted and it was not a good thing. I always say “you never notice your growth because you are always with yourself, so everything appears to be gradual.” That’s why doing this exercise is essential; you are aware of all the moments in your life.

This is also an excellent way to build a relationship with yourself as you become your cheerleader. During these writing exercises, you are forced to dig within yourself to find the right things. Anything you think isn’t an accomplishment; you should write it down because I noticed that we always downplay ourselves. If you genuinely have no achievements to write, then you aren’t doing enough. You shouldn’t aim to live the same life for the rest of your life. Start creating waves to create a domino effect. Start doing little things to change your mindset then you will be able to handle the big stuff. It is so easy to say “I can’t”, but have you ever thought about thinking “can I?”

This will force you to figure out how to accomplish any task. Even if you weren’t successful, you tried. That counts towards something different you can write down. If this exercise isn’t enough, then you need to get friends “who got you!” They would be the one(s) who would tell you the truth no matter what. Who would continuously remind you of how amazing you are, because sometimes you need to see your life through someone else’s lens.

Always remember, don’t forget you shouldn’t be hard on yourself!! You don’t know everything, that’s why you are on the earth, so try to absorb everything. Try the exercise and let me know how it goes!

The Job Experience…(cont’d)

Example 4:

“Growing up, I wasn’t dreaming about the traditional life goals of getting married and having children. I did see myself as a forensic pathologist and have dog babies. However, lately, it seems as if my career goals are against me. I never wanted to end up here, but I had no choice to accept this job, and now I feel stuck. I remember being in the last year of my undergraduate program I got selected for this prestigious internship. I was so excited, but that was short-lived. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I lost the opportunity. Ironically, this happened around thanksgiving. How could I be thankful when I felt like a failure, this hurt more than any relationship I encountered. My one goal in life, shattered, I’m not sure what I can do from here.”

Example 5:

“I got the opportunity to come to another country to study. It was a dream to pursue my degree of choice. Moving here was great, but there were lots of things to adjust, coming from a small island. Having people not understand my accent, so I have to speak quite slow, not being able to get my comfort foods, not being able to meet up with my friends and dealing with an extremely fast-paced place. These things were nothing in comparison to the shock of the weather. Coming when it was summer was bearable, but when it came to winter, I was unable to fathom how the sun was out, and it was so cold. I got sick quite a lot because no matter how I dressed, I still felt cold. It was indeed a shock because I didn’t know anyone, so it was school and home. I scroll through social media to get an idea of what was going on at home, but that can’t help me with my loneliness. I see all my friends celebrating milestones, and I’m not there to share in the joy.”

The Job Experience…

The Job Experience is defined as anyone who feels their life is in a slump. It may be mental, emotional, or financial stagnation. You tend to find yourself uninspired and going through the motions.

Examples 1:

“I got up on the day, and it hit me that I was an adult. But what made it worse was that I was a single adult post 25. All my close friends were either in serious relationships or married, and here I was without even a prospect. I tried dating people, but it never felt right. All I encountered were men that not want to be in a relationship (with me) but wanted to use me. I prefer to be alone until I found someone compatible, but it gets so lonely. I feel this pressure daily that I need to keep up with my friends. Every time I see my family, they ask about my love life until one day it became an impromptu intervention. I know I feel like a failure, don’t need to be reminded constantly.”

Example 2:

“Nothing I do seem to do bears any clarity. I feel stuck, and no solution appears obvious to me. It’s so frustrating because sometimes I feel like no matter how much work I complete, I get no appreciation or no motivation. What’s more disheartening is because of my current situation, I can’t leave. In essence, I am frustrated, unmotivated and stuck. All of the people I speak to tell me I should be happy because I have a job, but I always think ‘what’s the point of having a job if you are unhappy’. I am ambitious, and I want to have my version of happiness, which means having a life where I am challenged on every level. Being in this job takes a lot out of me, and there is nothing I can do about it at the moment. I can only blame myself for I intentionally put myself here. When the opportunity first presented itself, I had a bad feeling, but the one good thing of security outweighed all the bad on that pro/con list. Should have I trusted the process and not proceeded, but that is no longer an option. Being mentally unmotivated does force you to get things done.”

Example 3:

“I was so excited to come home after completing my degree. It was an excellent opportunity to get a chance to live somewhere and learn new experiences. Coming back home was indeed a shock for me, I was no longer use to the temperature (I complained about the heat all the time), and people use to call me Miss America cause I no longer spoke like them. One of the most significant adjustments was dealing with my friends; we didn’t have that many things in common anymore. We would go out, and I would feel left out because they would have their inside jokes. Even though I was home, it felt like I was in an alternate reality. Finding a job was the hardest, I thought having a degree would give me an advantage, but it felt like people were scared to hire me because they would lose their jobs. It’s been months and nothing, I always think about what it would be like if I had just stayed. I know I would be teaching in a permanent position and possibly married. Sometimes I feel like a stranger in my home, and the worse thing is that no one I know seems to understand.”