The language we use has power, more power than we realize. Words can easily change the perspective on how we see something. Everyone is always upset about how other people talk to them but what they should really be concerned about is the way that we talk to ourselves. How we think about ourselves on the daily greatly affects our perspective on life and therefore often, our mood.
Meet Amy. Amy is a young woman juggling a few balls in the air. She is pursuing a dream of hers by studying her passion of horses and making the most of the learning experience that is higher education. Amy does this while balancing no less than two part time jobs that both hold her in high esteem. Both workplaces allow her to take lengthy time off as a casual employee but also welcome her back with open arms. Amy puts 110% into her work and never misses a task. Both customers and co-workers enjoy seeing her face as she is always a bright spark with a quirky story to tell. Amy supports herself mostly independently financially and has done so for many years. She has a very supportive family who speak highly of her and believe that she will go far. They are excited to see where she will take her career and life. Amy has made many meaningful friends in her journey of life so far and she doesn’t often lose them. Once a friend to Amy, always a friend to Amy. And she sure knows how to pick some good ones and makes a consistent effort to message, email, call or even write letters to them. And when she can manage to find the time she visits them too. Even when she doesn’t agree with their decisions she tried her hardest to be supportive and empathetic, as she knows that she might now understand the full extent of what any individual will be coping with at any one time. She understands that she has no right to judge or criticise others.
As well as her busy life of working, studying and general day to day self-care and chores: Amy also pursues several soul feeding activities. Amy is a relentless consumer of content, consuming books, audio books, podcasts and tv shows as if they are air that she needs to breathe to live. Amy is a dreamer, and, in her heart, she wishes to be a content creator. But wait, she already is. She publishes irregularly on a blog and is working on many side projects including a full-length novel for young adults. She is also a consistent content producer for an Instagram account featuring the love of her life, her dog, Gumbo. She trains Gumbo, takes him to gorgeous settings and adventures, and then posts them with honest heartfelt captions. Amy is truly passionate about animal behaviour and even without the Instagram page she is obsessed with training anything on four legs. Alongside the many dogs, she has experimented on with training she has also done some work with horses, cats and even rabbits. She understands learning more than most. Amy looks forward to the day when she can attempt to apply learning theory on her potential children. Moreover, Amy also participates in singing, hiking, scrapbooking, giving out wisdom to friends who did or didn’t ask for it, travelling, scuba diving, baking, thinking she is a comedic act, gardening, camping and puzzling with or without a puzzle club.
Amy one day dreams of getting back to nature and owning her own horses one day on a peaceful property far away from a city. She hopes to have a community around her that loves and supports her in a similar way that her current community does. She hopes to write a book at some point and make enough money to live by. Amy is eternally grateful for all the amazing things she gets to do in her life.
Now let’s meet Lou. Lou is also a young girl. Lou is struggling with on and off again depression and anxiety. She is chronically fatigued and lately Lou feels as though she can’t even leave the house. And she certainly doesn’t want to leave bed not even when it’s 12pm and the day is half over already. When Lou does begrudgingly go to work because she has to every little thing that she overthinks threatens to set off a waterfall of tears that may never stop. She doesn’t let them see her pain, she must be tough all the time. Lou dreams of being home where she can cry alone. She finishes her shift and does exactly that. She goes home and cries alone, she feels sad, so she calls her mother to cry to her. Her mother tries hard to support Lou, but it just makes her cry harder. She feels as though she can’t do anything right, not even take support and advice. Lou is under significant financial strain and knows she will soon run out of money and isn’t sure what she will be able to do about it. She is working lots but not enough to offset the costs of living out of home. She wants to work more but already her studies have been affected by the time she spends at work. Lou can’t sleep at night because she is so worried about money, she can’t focus on anything. Lou is repeating a subject for the 4th time and wonders if she even deserves to be at uni anymore anyway. When she graduates will she even have earned it? Why is she such a failure? Why can’t she seem to stop lying down moping? Why doesn’t she study for her midterm exam? She feels lost.
Day in and day out Lou goes to work and comes home and watches tv, she eats too much because she is sad. She cries about it because food is too expensive, and she has no money, why can’t she stop eating altogether? Lou goes for walks to clear her head but sometimes she just feels too out of breath to even walk up a simple hill. She does it anyway, but her knees hurt, she needs physio but can’t afford it, she can’t afford anything. Lou is so tired now, she thinks she will just have a nap, she wonders if she should go to the doctor seeing as she always feels exhausted even in the morning. She knows that it will probably end with no more answers, just like every other time. She wonders what is wrong with her, can’t she just be normal like everyone else? Lou knows that normal isn’t even a thing, but it haunts her regardless.
Lou feels alone, she has always felt alone in a way, she is so different from her peers and even her family. But right now, she is so alone, she has so very little social contact, sometimes the only people she talks to are her work colleagues, her housemate and her dog. Do they even like her or is she just annoying? Lou is single, she knows she is happy being single but is anyone ever going to believe her? And deep down is anyone ever happy when they are always alone? The lies of the lonely as they say. Lou doesn’t feel as though she is pursuing what she truly wishes to be doing, she feels as though the hamster wheel of life is holding her back and keeping her from getting to where she needs to go because she must survive. Wasn’t she meant to be moving back to the country she calls home by now? Why is it so hot over here all the time?
Lou is scared because she can’t stop overthinking everything and can’t feel any joy. She knows she needs therapy, she can’t afford therapy right now. Lou is scared she does not have what it takes to finish this degree. She is scared she doesn’t have what it takes to finish this day, this week, this month, this year.
Here’s the thing. Amy and Lou, they are both the exact same person. The difference. Amy is having a good day. And Lou is having a bad day. It is all about perspective.
Perspective is powerful.
As the Beatles once said: “Try to see it my way”