Happy holidays! What have you been up to this season? Aside from eating, sleeping, and just enjoying not having to rush anywhere, I’ve been thinking I should get a blog post up.
You ever stay away from something so long that even getting started becomes really intimidating? I needed willpower for Christmas. Santa was late as all hell, but at least he delivered. We’ve got a post!
Fun fact: Driftyness has been around since I was in high school, around 7 or 8 years ago. It’s been through many iterations over the years, first starting out as a place for an unhappy girl to vent her unhappy thoughts, then a place to document and share my healthy hair journey, then a fashion blog, then this.
I’ve struggled to define what this is. Is this a lifestyle blog if I don’t write about things like fashion and makeup? What’s my niche? What’s my brand? Despite the courses I’ve taken and the reading I’ve done, I’ve tried and failed to answer these questions because nothing seems to feel right.
How do you encapsulate “likes to write and hopes that people take something positive away from writing” in a brand? Do you turn it into an unpalatably long acronym, LTWAHTPTSPAFW?
I’ve been struggling to figure out who I am as writer of this blog. What should I say? How do I say it? What kind of message am I trying to get across?
Interestingly, these are the same kinds of questions I’ve been asking of myself as I become an adult-adult–the kind that doesn’t even need to announce she’s grown for people to know.
There is something that drives and motivates each of us in life. We may know what lies underneath our pull toward a purpose–one that’s designed specifically for us. Or we may just make the conscious decision to chase after the pull on our lives; knowing that it will lead us to the very things we want and need the most. Fulfillment.
I was curious about this idea when I first read about it on millenial wisdom blog Let’s Build Futures. LBF put a name to this feeling I’d been having of being drawn towards something else in life, even though my life was going fine. How could it be possible to feel like something’s off even when there’s nothing wrong? LBF called that feeling the Pull and describes it as our calling. Interested in talking more about this idea, LBF and I agreed to chat about our Pull and the things we’re doing to chase it.
Anxiety is something I’ve been dealing with since I was a teenager. It’s that overwhelming sense that things have gone wrong, are going wrong, and will go wrong and that I will suffer the terrible consequences. As a teenager, I was convinced that I was always making some grave social misstep when I interacted with people, and as a result, I felt that I was constantly being judged. I didn’t think anybody liked me and I isolated myself. I watched people’s interest in me dwindle, hemorrhaging friends every year. Devastating words like “failure” and “loser” and “alone” reverberated around my mind, chipping away at something inside me every time they collided with my insides. No one really called me these things to my face, but in my experience of anxiety, I was my own bully.
Fortunately, once high school was over and I went off to university, things slowly got better. I didn’t leave high school without scars and tattered self-esteem, but experiencing the freedom to take care of myself for the first time helped me begin to heal. If I was feeling overwhelmed, I could have alone time to get myself together. I could try to face social situations that intimidated me slowly, in a way that didn’t provoke a breakdown.
So when I left undergrad a few years ago, my anxiety came with me, but it was controlled. Instead of a wild, ravaging wolf, I had an unruly retriever on my hands. I could put it on a leash.
I thought that was the end of that, until last week, when I found myself awake at 5 am, on the verge of tears, and quickly spiralling. What?
Fact: I’m a dreamer. Growing up, I was your stereotypical introvert kid with a love of reading, writing, and drawing. I spent my weekends with my nose buried in a novel, and I lined up outside the bookstore to get my hands on the last Harry Potter book. Like many young introverts, I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. I spent my days daydreaming, or “catching gapsie” as my Caribbean parents called it, and I wrote a lot: plays, stories, journal entries, and when I got older, blog posts.
I had a lot of grand ideas, like how I would one day steal away to Paris in the middle of the night and embark on a fantastic adventure. Or how I would go to university and study archaeology so I could spend my work days traipsing through the desert and my days off sandboarding down the windswept dunes, my long, glossy ponytail flowing freely behind me.
At some point during my young adult life, I realized that while I never wanted to stop being a dreamer, I could no longer be only a dreamer. I had to get ish done. And so, I came up with the idea of “active dreaming,” or making the wonderful ideas in my head a reality.
Sometimes, I get really anxious at night. My mind starts wandering to all the things I’m uncertain and insecure about: by the time I’m ready to enter the housing market will I be priced out? What if I never find a job I actually like? Does the fact that I’m a late bloomer mean that it’s too late for me to find a relationship?
Last night, as I not-so-gracefully gave myself over to the anxiety spiral, I read about a man who had his mugshot held for ransom. It basically ruined his life for a bit. Now, I don’t have a mugshot, but I do have a name twin. She has the same uncommon first and last name as me, and she’s made it her username all over the internet. So I googled my own name, as I sometimes do, just to make sure that nothing shady was going on.
I clicked a Facebook link, curious to see what my name doppelganger looked like, only to find that the Facebook profile was actually mine. It was a page from the hormonal, angst-filled cringefest of my early teens, and I had long ago abandoned it. “Abandoned” meaning that I logged out one day and never signed in again, leaving it up for the whole world to find on Google.
Naturally, I logged in to change my privacy settings, because no future employer or date needs to see how awkward I was at age 13. Curious about this time in my life that I try not to think about, I started clicking through my old photos. Was my hair really that healthy? And was I really that cute?