So, it's been a while. My life has been crazy these past few weeks, living in a different country while working in an editorial environment for the first time, being accepted into the Masters that I fought so hard for, preparing to move to a new city... It's been a whirlwind, but I've been able to learn a few things along the way that I thought I would write up into this week's column.
My first days in London were not what I expected at all. I was so happy to be in the city, about to take an important step in my career, I was so caught up in the happiness and joy of it all that that I forgot not everything is meant to be perfect all the time. I had a panic attack in the subway. And then in a museum. On the same day. I was so disheartened. I felt disappointed in myself. It was like everything I wanted was on fingertips and I wasn't reaching out hard enough to be able to grab them. I felt defeated. I had to regroup and take a step back. Remind myself that it's ok to take things slowly. That it is ok for things to not go as perfectly as you had pictured. I had really bad FOMO, thinking I should be out all day, doing everything that a person could possibly do in a new city. But the reality is, my limits and boundaries are different than those of someone who doesn't deal with a mental illness. I need to pace myself, rest, do things a bit slower. I have a different rhythm. And that's ok.
There is a need to balance doing things at your own pace and pushing yourself. I never thought I would be able to be alone in a completely different city. But, I did it and I should be proud of myself for it. I went to a play by myself, written by someone I had only spoken to on Instagram. I had so much fun. I went to a busy, crowded market by myself and didn't freak out. I went to work every day and did my best, met some really great writers and did loads of cool things. I went to a house viewing by myself and didn't get scared. I learned so much.
So why should I be so hard on myself? I shouldn't. Things weren't perfect and they definitely didn't go the way I planned them to, but that's life. That's what happens. I still didn't give up. I kept pushing and that's what matters. That you keep pushing. Even if it's little by little, small step by small step, you're still pushing and moving forward and you should be proud of yourself for that. There will be bumps along the way, but you're strong enough to ride them out, I promise.
Inês Mendonça is a regular contributor to Pink Things. You can send her your self-care questions via instagram for a chance to be featured in our bi-weekly column.