By Yako and Krystal

October 6, 2015, 9:46 am

 

My last column was on finding your passion. Now, I don’t want to take away from what I wrote there, but what if you have no hope for the future in the first place. You’re out of a job, you’re struggling in your relationship, you don’t have any friends, you’re deep in debt, etc. Who has the luxury of indulging in the quest for passion when you’re dealing with all of that?

I think that a lot of people here border on depression, because of the stuff they are dealing with on a constant basis. I don’t have any facts and figures (nor the patience to research that now), but I looked up the definition of depression and many will probably recognize themselves in this.

Depression: noun | de·pres·sion | di-ˈpre-shən: (1) a state of feeling sad (2) a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

We’ll leave the second definition to the therapists, but the first one seems very common to me. Although most people will not find themselves in a continuous state of depression, many will feel sad from time to time. And when you are sad and low, it will impact the people around you and everything you do.

These feelings are hard to overcome and work like a vicious circle. If you don’t have work, you worry about not having any income. The stress and depression that result from will impact your ability to find work. For example: your state of mind shows during a job interview. You will not get the job which will make you even more depressed.

Same when you are single and in desperate need of a loving partner. You will start looking for potential candidates and perhaps even develop a whole strategy on how to meet and engage suitors. It’s not working, because you will have too many expectations that will not be fulfilled.

So just forget about it and YOLO yourself through life? No, that’s not what I’m saying. You need to do something about it, but not necessarily in the area that you are struggling with. I would like to illustrate this with something that I went through very recently.

I was unhappy, stressed, and depressed for a brief period of time not so long ago. It was mostly related to work pressure. Too much to do and too little time to do it. I was having all these thoughts: “Perhaps this job is not for me anymore because I can’t get done what I need to get done.” I ran the risk of spiraling down and started to think that no one cared and that I was all alone in this.

Not a very pleasant feeling and I did not see any light at the end of the tunnel. However, at the same time I realized that it was not others that were the cause of this. People live their lives and do what they do. For all the things they do or don’t do, they have perfectly logical reasons (in their minds). You cannot control them no matter how hard you try.

So I cannot blame it on someone else, the work load did not get any less, and last time I checked all seven days of the week had only 24 hours each. What then? Perhaps, it was something in myself that needed changing. I still didn’t know what to do exactly, but the realization alone helped create an opening and I saw a glimmer of hope.

Apparently, this was what I needed to take action and to start improving myself. Immediately it dawned upon me that in order to face the struggles in daily life, you need an outlet. Something that can reset your mind. A good night rest would do that, but if you are not careful, your feelings of unhappiness could eventually prevent you from getting up altogether and lead you to laying in bed all day. That gets boring.

Or you could start drinking lots of liquor or doing drugs. That will definitely bring your mind to other planes of awareness! Nah, not a real solution, especially in times of severe gloominess. I decided to try something different.

So the realization that I have to search in myself was the first step. The second step is to come up with something that will divert my mind. Preferably something that boosts adrenaline, because that’s when you have a singular focus and when you leave all your other worries behind. At least for a brief period.

That’s where I’d like to connect back to my previous column in which a share my feeble attempts to overcome my struggle on finding passion in life. You see? It’s all connected.

Yako


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About The Author

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

Yako: Born on a farm in The Netherlands, Europe, I was always on quest for adventure. As a small boy, I was already interested in learning about other cultures and pretended I was fluent in American (I later learned that Americans speak English). At the age of 23, I traveled to South Africa where I lived for seven months to finalize my thesis for my master's in Business Administration. After that, I worked for eight years for a bank in Amsterdam, but I became restless and decided to quit my job and make the big leap across the ocean to New York. Studying arts and culture management at Pratt Institute helped me eradicate some of the prejudices I had of Americans. I never thought I would stay this long. But now eight years later, I'm still here. I live in Central Brooklyn and work for Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation with great satisfaction. So far, my life feels as if I’m on one big adventure. | Krystal: As a native of Michigan, I moved to New York with a limited perspective of the depth and importance of social differences. Having a passion for creativity, I accepted the various ideas behind expression and equality that poured out from this beautiful, diverse place called Brooklyn. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2006 with a degree in Communications Design and barely surviving the effects of forced independence, I started an open relationship with the nonprofit world and began to willingly become my own person. Since then, I have been employed and freelance as a graphic designer, with tons of exposure to the things that fascinated me as a child. Living in two culturally different environments has granted me a faceted understanding of social norms and injustices that I feel compelled to speak on. Though visual art and design have been my concentrations since grade school, writing and sharing thoughts socially has been my core calling. In keeping my promise to my parents, I have finally decided to write for social impact. Standing up for my truth while seeking and discovering the truths of others is the way in which I've chosen to take that on. So far, I've discovered that the most direct route to societal improvements begins with the coupling of self-awareness and humility.

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