Is the human definition of “life” really worth it? Not the literal definition of course, as a scientist I understand the continuation of different species on earth and the evolution of our existence (although my field isn’t exactly pure biology so don’t quiz me too hard). I am more referring to the complex nuances that only binds human life.. the pressures we place on ourselves to achieve, to live a certain way, almost as if ticking boxes. At the end of the day we all will eventually be gone and none of us remembered (unless you’re famous), faded in time like so many before us. I have goals, ambitions, and expectations of myself that in all honesty are probably too high; I want to be a good person, be healthy, make my family happy, make my partner happy, contribute to society and I have so many different ideas of what I want for my life. So much so that I don’t know what I want… You see, growing up I thought I knew what I wanted: go to University, get a job, meet a guy, get married, buy a house, have kids, live happily ever after. Naive of me to think it was that straight forward? Yes. Throughout my entire life for as long as I can remember I have always based what I wanted for my life off other people, I found that I am always trying to fit in, to make others happy and will change my personality to fit with the people I am with. I am sure this stems from a need to be liked, however as an adult it has become somewhat of a problem… I don’t know who I am. An example of this, my music taste is vast, from classical to metal and everything in between, however I don’t fit into any stereotype associated with either. I see posts on social media and instantly think “oh I wish I could be like that” or “I will buy those clothes and then maybe I can be like her” or “Oh yes I’ll do that!”… getting somewhat obsessed with needed to post on social media, as if I need validation from others or to compete with my peers or relatives. I often don’t feel comfortable in my own skin or even know what I like, sometimes I am not even sure of what my hobbies are?! I view myself as a task that always needs to be improved, always looking to the future and never stopping to appreciate what I have in the present. In reality I am quite lucky, yes life isn’t the smoothest and definitely nowhere near as smooth as I thought it would be growing up; my parents don’t like my partner and therefore I don’t see them or my brother as much as I wish I could, I miss them terribly and it’s constant heartache; my partner is older and has children from a previous marriage which I never included in my “plan” growing up so that hasn’t been straightforward either. I am afflicted with bad anxiety heightened by experiences within my past, that constantly has me overthinking, “What will people think of me?”, re-running conversations, panicking, stressing ALL THE TIME and feeling down, it takes its toll, and as I have learnt the hard way can HURT other people you care about or PUSH them away. BUT I am quite lucky, I am healthy (for the most part, although I should go for checkups more), I have family who love me and would do anything for me, I have a loving partner (and his kids, the dogs, his family who love me too), I am smart (although I often second guess myself with this one), I have just been accepted into a PhD with Scholarship in Medical Research (hopefully my good contribution to the world and society), I have learnt who my real friends are (which I struggled with for a time vis a vis trying to fit in, feeling lonely and trying to cling to memories and friendships of days that have passed). I have to remind myself that I am only young, that people do like me, even if I feel that I don’t have many close to me. I have so many plans; to work in research, to travel the world and experience so many different cultures to add to the ones I have already experienced and the places I have been (which again is more that a lot of people so in that respect I am quite lucky too), to start a family of my own and devote myself to bringing up little humans that will themselves grow and do amazing things. I get stuck in the stress and unhappiness of every day life without realising that I have time, that almost everyone feels this way, and that unrealistic pressures and feeling like we have to comply to social rules and regulations are partly the source of our unhappiness. I shouldn’t always need to feel validated, I shouldn’t always need “likes” or “comments”, because after all once that photo or status has disappeared from the newsfeed it’s just me and my life, and whoever I choose to share it with in person. I need to believe in myself and what I can do, not stress about what I can’t or what others are better at than I. Ironically I’m writing a blog post, but I’m not famous, nobody is likely to see it and you know what… I think at least for now, I’m ok with that.