My name is Louise Clancy. I will be 21 years old on August 1st. I hope to study English and Sociology in my second year of college. I have autism and had it my whole life. As a result, I ended up with anxiety, particularly with stressful situations, meeting people for the first time, and the biggest one of all, fear of being left behind.
I will explain the last one, as that is what this is all about.
I live in the country. I can’t drive. I have a lack of work experience in the short term. I have terrible eating and sleeping habits. I like watching TV and going on the Internet. (Lately I watch TV on the Internet. Dragonball Z is a current favourite). I haven’t seen my friends in weeks (some of them, months) I’m afraid of contacting them online for fear of bothering them. I have some small hobbies, but I never get around to doing them properly. Even with my best talent which is writing, I fear I’m not as good as I should be.
In short, I’m scared of wasting my life.
I’ve noticed gradually for around 10 years, the feeling that kids are living richer lives. Not in terms of financial means, but with with time. I know people my age who go to cool parties, have achieved great things, go to amazing places. Of course, I have done these things as a teenager and a student. I am grateful for these things. I am blessed with amazing family and friends. I have done great things (not just “look not autistic”).
However I get this feeling I could do so much more.
I know where a lot of this anxiety comes from. The first source is from death. I saw two films about dying young lately: Third Star and The Fault in Our Stars. Both address protagonists with terminal cancer and know they don’t have much time left. In Third Star, 29 year old James (played by Benedict Cumberbatch) has cancer knowing he won’t live to see his 30th birthday. He decides to go on trip with his friends to the coast in Wales. We learn that he didn’t have the chance to advance in his career as a writer or have a family. In The Fault In Our Stars, 16 year old Hazel had her life extended by a few years due to revolutionary drugs. She becomes reclusive by only watching TV and reading her favourite book over and over. Her life changes after she reluctantly goes to support group and meets Augustus.
In both cases, James and Hazel learn to make the most of the time they have left. But for the healthy like me, what’s our excuse?
The second comes from life. It feels like as a society, we pressure ourselves to live every day as if it was our last. The bucket lists from blog like websites such as HelloGiggles and CollegeTimes, YouTube vloggers such as Louis Cole living a life your ideal self could only dream of, and worst of all, people you know showing their lovely photos of their respective adventures. That if all I do is watch TV and eat more than one should, is my life less than those who meet their friends, go to concerts, travel to interesting places, etc. Is this pressure to do this and see that making people feel bad about themselves? My answer is yes.
Seemingly, it’s no longer a matter of how long do you live, but how well do you live.
The questions I have for you readers are these:
How do you overcome your anxieties?
Do you fear of wasting your time?
What do you think makes your life worth living?
Let me know your opinions readers in the comments below.
Live long and prosper.