It’s been two years since my first blog.
I still have no fucking idea what I’m doing.
No limitless savings, no smashing love life or career promotion, but I know what I want.
Am I doing life all wrong? No, maybe differently, but certainly not wrong.
Imagine a young Heath Ledger character in Two Hands and his constant facial expression of ‘What the fuck have I got myself into?’.
He finally knew it was time to walk away, alive. The vicious circle revolved for the last time and the people who put power over him eventually came to an end with the song of Powderfinger ‘These Days’ playing to the credits.
The past two years I have been dealt more lessons than I’ve anticipated. I’ve had a life of self-isolating weeks, I’ve worked for frauds, been involved with a criminal or two, on and off heavy anti depressants, received the occasional empty death threat and even had a sex tape leaked.
Not even kidding you.
Killin’ it Dakota, absolutely killin’ it.
My life has become the punch line for every joke that comes out of my mouth and while it wasn’t always pleasant, no one can steal my sense of humour.
The challenges kept making their way into my life and the lessons got harder and harder. I slowly lost the person I was. I didn’t think at 27 I would be here. I have left every town since I was 17 out of fear of getting ‘stuck’. At times I haven’t wanted to be anywhere. I’ve gone from my healthiest to my unhealthiest.
The degradation of my mental health was insidious and caused by triggers of disappointment, bullying, humiliation and hurt, nearly becoming the end. My mind has been flipped upside down more times than I can remember. I was influenced enough to lose the person I was. The little girl that was always outside in a tree daydreaming, the teenager that would never say no to sport, the grown bubbly personality that was quick witted and wasn’t afraid to ask the stupid questions or laugh at herself.
Depression won’t let you get out of bed, it will disassociate you and stop you from feeling, it will stop any motivation you have with your work and drag you down the path of hopelessness. The dark cloud choked the life out of me. It had me breaking down in my managers office, locking myself in my room and laying curled up under the shower crying for hours. When someone would ask if I was ok, a quick response rolled off my tongue “I’m fine, all good”, forcing a smile, though the truth is, I was giving up. I barely woke up happy, wishing I hadn’t woke up at all and my phone was forever on flight mode. To the point friends were worried to leave me alone, people stop and question the food I’m eating, or not eating, the person I was dating or associated with and what bones they can see.
One positive thing is, today, I am 100% more myself than I ever have been. That includes all the laughter, smiles and days where I curl up into bed, daydream, read to avoid the world. While I’m not posting photos of myself with a full face of make up and a box of pizza while wearing lacy Peter Alexander pyjamas in bed hashtagging #sleepovers, I certainly am eating the pizza. Actually, I can’t afford Peter Alexander, because I’m trying to decide whether my money should be spent on a sky-diving ticket, a stand up comedy course or more bottles of wine. Maybe that one way ticket to the Pacific Islands where I can dream of doing more good than at any office.
I’m finally taking time with my girlfriends to dance ridiculously until 2am, talking to family every day and very slowly welcoming new and the right people into my life and completely disappearing from the wrong.
I’m surrounded by family and friends full of love whether they are a suburb away or on the other side of the state and even when I take time out for myself, I still have a face of hurt from laughter and a smile ear to ear.
I’ve came to realise that regardless of who will bring you down, it will never dictate your future. I have promised myself that I won’t lower myself to standards of disrespect because of any actions that have been shown to me. That isn’t me. I will never have such an ugly personality.
I will also take no shit.
Moving forward, and not taking a glimpse into the past, what pressures will I now face in the world outside of my past experiences? I’m 27, I’m single, I’m focusing fully on my career in the environmental and humanitarian industry for the love of helping people. I’m not exactly where I want to be, but I’m where I need to be.
The only pressures I will have for now, and what you will have, regardless of how your life has shaped, or is shaping to, are the pressures we put on ourselves. I think I’ll choose not to.
There is no pressure to be successful before the year is out, or to fall in love again, have a white picket fence or a dog. The only choice I will be making is to be happy and healthy.
I would often say to friends in exasperation, this is not my fucking life…
But what I now realise, this is my life. It has been my reality for over a year.
The best thing I can do, is write it out. Hopefully I have learnt some lessons that other people won’t have to.
Irrespective of what keeps knocking me back. I will always persevere to come out on top better than ever.
3 steps back, 10 steps forward.
Everybody leads different lives and mine was never meant to be lived by anyone else, nor will yours be.
In the big bad world of everyone wanting to be lions, I refuse to run in the circus. We’re all just another species, it’s about survival of the fittest.
So welcome to my god damn animal kingdom.