Ever since I was a child, I have always felt a deep sense of dissatisfaction, a sense that new will ultimately get old, but still a constant search for change.

It started off as a child by comparing my school grades with my classmates, always being pushed to be the best and always ending up disappointed. Then teenage years hit me. I started comparing myself to others, and how confident, outgoing I thought they all felt. In retrospect I realise they didn’t feel that way, but it was my way of thinking.

How many times did I want to change my haircut drastically because I wanted to look like this person or this other person but it just didn’t suit my baby face? How many times did I wish I could be in a relationship? And how many times, when in a relationship, did I wish to be single?

I was always dissatisfied with what I owned, my relationships and my own self.

I always thought better things were to come, not enjoying the present moment, restless, looking for new things, and old things to replace. I thought I could finally feel confident and less introverted, I hoped for a better version of myself. I wished that one day, new just won’t get old, and I could finally feel content. It was a hopeless search, with too many choices to make.

When living at home, I was longing for a wilder lifestyle, something more exciting than the mundane. When finally living at university, the excitement got overwhelming and I longed for stillness, outside of the chaos of going out and hectic work.

But the more I think about it, the more I realize I am not the only one. Most people I know seem to be dissatisfied about their lives or their own selves. I see their frustration with their appearances, their growing indifference towards the people they’ve been with not being who they’ve expected. I see them perpetually changing their minds, as if there were so many possibilities to explore that they would always feel frustrated about the choices they’ve made. What if I had done this? What if I hadn’t worked there for so long? What if I had ended that relationship sooner? I see so many people getting so excited about the new changes in their lives, but then the routine comes into place and novelty slowly disappears. I see regrets in the choices they’ve made, a feeling that maybe there was a better choice to make? We all crave novelty, but once it’s over, what is left? What a great feeling to go on a first date with someone we barely know, our hearts pounding and hands shaking in excitement. But fast forward a few years, what remains of that excitement? Then we end everything and start over again. To finally be dissatisfied, once more.

Why are we looking forward to new things and not enjoy what we already have?

There are so many options that I feel overwhelmed by them. How can I be satisfied with myself, when there are so many other facets of myself and of my life to explore? How do I know if short hair doesn’t suit me better? How can I be certain to chose the right path or the right person when all these other choices keep popping up in my head. We’re all frightened to make decisions, scared to take the wrong path. How do you know if the old is good enough to stick with it?


Image by Lourdes Sanchez