Today I enter into the last year of my twenties. I’ve slowly been approaching my thirties crisis over these past few years. It’s been like a labor; it started with Braxton-Hicks at the age of 25, now I’m having the contractions, and when I’m turning 30 I guess we’re at full labor!
Here is the thing; I have been very sick for many years. We talk so much about mental health in the wrong way, and we put diagnoses on a lot of normal behavior; nervousness becomes anxiety, feeling bad for a few days becomes depression, and so on. It is vital that we do focus on mental health, that is precisely what I want to do as well. But the way we talk about it is crucial for those that have severe mental health issues. Sometimes we do those that are suffering a great disservice by the way we talk about these things. I don’t want to dwell more on that right now, but it is important to mention this to understand the rest of this blogpost.
I have been so affected by panic attacks, crippling anxiety and a few times severe depression, that I have not been able to do a lot of simple tasks like getting out of bed in the morning, take a shower, go to school, be at work, walking outside and so on. I will mention that I’m long past most of these issues today. I’m still not free of everything, and I do need to be conscious about how I live my life – probable for as long as I live. And I’m okay with that.
Because I have been sick for most of my twenties, I feel like I have missed out on a lot of time and opportunities, hence the thirties crisis! I’ve been working hard to get to a place where I can be able to work without losing my health again. That is why Dreaming up North means so much to me. I experience peace and healing when I’m outside, and when I’m creating. I used to be scared of simple things like walking outside of car-roads, hiking up mountains, getting out of breath, being outside at certain times of the day, and the list goes on. Only a few people know this, and this is the first time I’m sharing how bad it has been. I’m going to post a blog series about how I overcame these challenges for those that are interested. I will also explain into greater detail about why I was scared of these things, so that it may be easier to understand why such problems even arise.
But now I’m getting to the point of this blogpost! I feel like I’ve gotten so far in the last couple of years. I’ve even got to graduate from graphic design school, and now soon from digital marketing as well. I never thought that I would ever get to do that, to be honest. I have one major issue that I still have to get past, though. And that is what I’m going to do this year. You see, I’m scared of being alone with my anxiety. I always have to have people around me or in the same house as me. As an independent person, it has been difficult, and I’ve dealt with a lot of shame because of it. So this year, because I want to get the most out of my last year in my twenties, I want to challenge myself on my biggest fear. Again, I want to mention that this isn’t a slight nervousness; this is a severe anxiety problem. I don’t know how I will do, but I do know that I will go all-in on this one. So I’m doing this “Bucket List Year,” which I will document in here as I move along.
So how will this look like?
Without getting into much detail at this point, the main thing that will be happening later this year is that I will be living out of a car all by myself. I love being on the road, and I want to do this challenge in a way that is motivating to me. I have wanted to do this for years, and I want to experience what impact it will have on my mental health when I get to live outside for most of the day, living with less and without a lot of distractions around. There is a lot of things that have to fall into place, and I’m currently looking for the perfect car. Hopefully, everything’s ready sometime during the summer. I will be living out of my car for probably a year, with maybe a slight break during the coldest months.
Other things on my bucket list for this year:
- Sleeping outside for at least a hundred nights
- Do something challenging each month
- Do a hike I have wanted to do each month
- Travel to a new place at least every other month
- Cook a meal outside each month with at least one ingredient coming directly from nature
So here it goes! My Bucket List Year!
If you know someone that could find encouragement in this blog series, please feel free to share it with them. Thanks for the support and kind words!