Before I dive in, I just wanted to mention that this is my first time opening up about a very personal aspect of my life. Opening up can be very frightening, but I want to give it a try and I truly hope that I can help someone out there by sharing my experience. Also as I promised you all, I want to be more open and genuine moving forward, meaning I want to be brave enough where I allowed myself to be vulnerable – because I am a believer that vulnerability is courage and not a weakness.
Alright, here it goes…
The entire year of 2017 was such a successful year for me and my platforms. Everything seems to be going extremely well and my schedule was filled with partnerships and new opportunities. I got to build my dream team, graduated from my dream school (NYU) and met numerous incredible people at events. What more could I ask for, right?
However, towards the last quarter of 2017, I started to notice a huge dent on my happiness level and suddenly I became very depressed and had unhealthy thoughts. What bothered me the most was that I didn’t know why I felt so unhappy when I have so many great things going for me. I would constantly blame myself for being ungrateful and would often cry alone when no one was watching.
I remember one morning in September, I woke up at 3am with a major panic attack. I didn’t know what to do nor how to ask for help. I pulled out my phone and started to browse through hundreds and hundreds of people on my contact list, but couldn’t find a single person on that list that I thought would care enough to talk to me.
The next day, I didn’t want my emotional state to stop my team nor my platform’s progress and use work as an excuse to distract myself. The last thing that I want is to let my team members down because they truly deserve the best and I want to be a strong leader for them.
I kept thinking naively that my worries would disappear on their own…until December 11, 2017. The night I got hit by a car. It was one of the scariest moments of my life – everything could have ended there. Nothing fully registered until the following day, when I started to reflect on what had happened to me over the past few months and come face to face with my feelings for the first time.
Two major things I believe contributed to my depression. I wasn’t focusing on the right things. And by that I mean, I chased for quantity rather than quality, both professionally and socially last year. Another factor was the lack of self-care.
Point one, professionally, I was involved with an endless amount of projects, but due to time constraints with school, I couldn’t fully engage with any of them wholeheartedly. Therefore, it lead me to feel unfulfilled. I couldn’t devote enough time to each task and the meaning behind the projects decreased along with my overall happiness. Socially, I meet a lot of people, but very few of them are my close friends. I spent so much of my time mingling and having basic conversations when I could be spending with people that I could have meaningful conversations with. Once again, I was only focusing on the numbers and not the quality…
Point two, I was in and out of ER about five times within the month of December. I was having problems with my kidney, getting hit by a car, undergoing medical procedures and experiencing burn out. I used all my energy towards my career and my team, I forgot that there are also other aspects of life such as picking up a hobby, spending time with family, traveling around the world or simply reading for self-enjoyment. I didn’t stop along the way to care about what I wanted or needed, but I kept giving up my time for other things until I became completely exhausted.
The car accident to me was truly a blessing in disguise because it was when I finally felt the need to take some time off for the first time in years. I spent a whole month focusing on what I truly want in life – things that are meaningful to me on a much deeper level than just a hedonic effect. I also thought about who I aspired to be – someone that I can be proud of, someone who is a good role model for young people. The time off for self-reflection was extremely crucial for me to better myself and to become a happier person.
Today is January 2, 2017, and at this current time, I can say confidently that my overall mental health has gotten a lot better; I feel a lot more energized and hopeful about what the future has in store for me.
Which brings me to my New Year’s resolution. I’ve probably dropped a couple of hints throughout this blog piece. I don’t have a grand long list of resolutions, but rather I want to continue to improve on some of the characteristics that I lacked in 2017.
#1: I want to focus on QUALITY and less on quantity across all spectrums of my life. I want to spend more time with people that can help me grow into a better person and give more to people that I love – meaning smaller friend groups but more meaningful relationships. I want to take on fewer projects, but give my all to the few that I have.
#2: I want to take better care of myself – something that I learned the hard way. But I do believe that by taking care of myself, not only can I prevent my family and friends from worrying about me, but I will also be able to give so much more. I want to eat better, sleep better and learn to take breaks!
Woah, I didn’t mean to write such a long post, I hope I didn’t bore you all. And to those of you who stayed until the end, thank you shout out to you! And of course, thank you for giving me the courage to write this piece. I am forever grateful for all the support that I receive.
I can’t wait to grow, learn and show a better version of myself this year.
Until next time!
With all my love,