Why Bother? Because You Owe It To Yourself

Last Monday, I turned 25. There’s always something about birthdays (and leading up to it) that make me go through contemplative phases that lead to existential dread (which lasts for followed by an extreme desire for change. The only other times I’ve felt this way is during New Year’s at the start of the year and middle of the year (when it’s the end of the financial year in Australia and the start of a new one).

During these three symbolical ‘new’ years I get into what I like to call an existential deep clean rush. I get this feeling of not having done enough with my life as I should have, feel frustrated with myself that I haven’t done enough to the point of feeling depressed and then I counteract by gaining a huge pile of motivation to start making drastic life changes which end up fizzling down after a few days (sometimes if I’m lucky, it’ll last a few weeks).

I get rid of things that are bad for me – I get rid of Facebook on my phone, delete my Webtoon app (which I use to read webcomics), unfollow people and pages on instagram that I can’t learn anything from, do the same thing on Facebook including unfollowing sometimes unfriending people, including the obscure family member (sorry aunties and cousins, if you wanted to reach out you would have done so already!). I unfollow channels on YouTube that only contribute to a negative mood and outlook and I get rid of reddit communities that also don’t serve me any purpose any more.

Next, I start planning things that I want to change or start doing things that I know are good for me. After watching this video by thewizardliz (it was a hard slap in the face that I needed on my birthday) I decided to adopt a morning and evening routine on my phone (saved as my lock screen wallpaper). I started exercising in the morning by walking my dog (which she absolutely loves me more for it) and recently I tried yoga for the first time. It was absolutely painful and hurt like hell but I could see the immediate benefits afterwards because I felt taller and had better posture. It’s been four days since my first session and my back hasn’t hurt at all! (Which I complained about all throughout the first half of my twenties)

Does all of this sound familiar? Haven’t we all gone through something similar in our lives?

Now if you’ve read this far, keep reading. This isn’t about a ‘I turned my life around in one day’ story. Actually it’s far from it. I barely do my evening routine, I still wake up late (in my Asian household 7 am is considered late) I still suck at doing chores (don’t we all?). The truth is I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of trying so much to change and then being unable to keep up with it all. I think this is why I stopped blogging and doing the things I said I would set out to do when I started this blog.

So why should I bother? Why should I keep going? Because even though I’m afraid of change and afraid of being unable to maintain these new routines and habits, I’m even more of afraid of staying as the person I am now. I’m afraid of living a life of mediocrity, of becoming a person who’s a victim of their circumstances, a person who, by the end of my life, would always wonder about the life I could have lived. Because I owe it to myself, past, present and future, to take control of every moment and make a choice to change. Even if I fall down, even if I get lost along the way, while I’m still alive I will always keep trying. Even if it takes me five years, I’ll start again and keep going.

So, why should YOU bother? Why should you keep exercising, why should you keep blogging, why should you keep practicing the piano? Before you answer this question, you should answer this question first: would doing this lead to a better version of yourself? If the answer is no, you can always track back and find something else that sparks joy for you. We live in an abundant age where, if we really wanted to do it, we will find a way to do it!

If your answer is yes, then keep going. If you fall down, just dust yourself off and keep going. Don’t focus on thoughts like ‘oh it’s been so many days since I did this’, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’, ‘it’s too hard’, ‘other people have done it before’ and so on. Using blogging as an example, when you look back at all the posts you’ve made the gaps in between won’t matter in the long run. If you do it tomorrow, you’ll end up pushing it and pushing it and pushing it… until it’s been weeks and then other life stuff propped up to take up your energy (I know because I’ve done it too). Change is always hard but this is only in the beginning; once you stick to it, it gets easier and easier like when we were learning how to read and write. The fact that other people have done it before means that it’s in the realm of possibility! Isn’t that amazing? Just because other people have done it before doesn’t diminish your own efforts, your own voice as you go through your journey. As you change, there’s always someone around you that you may end up inspiring.

So why bother? Because you owe it to yourself. Because we, living in today’s digital age, have access to so much knowledge and to so many things that can help us achieve what we want to achieve. Because we owe it to ourselves to keep trying.


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Claire S.

A person trying to make it in life as I go through my 20's. Currently trying to get rid of bad habits and writing about getting rid of them. I invest my time way too much in art, books and my dog. Figuring out how to use WordPress one blog post at a time. I write about proactivity, self improvement and appreciating life based on my own life experiences and lessons.

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