I'm Financially Independent, Living My Passion, and Unhappy: Here's Why

I’d never thought that I would buy that flight ticket to Bali and left all my deadlines behind. Yes, I had a severe stress and I’m just 23 years old.

I’m working in a unicorn-startup-company and I shouldn’t have anything to be complained about. The office is awesome, I’m working as a content writer- which is my passion, they don’t have any working hours, they give me permission to work remotely, I’m financially independent, my leaders are inspiring, and my colleagues are extremely supportive towards my self-development.

Yet, I had a burnout and impulsively decided to take an impulsive short-escape to Bali. So, what was happening to me? What could’ve gone wrong?

Out of my long walk through the Kuta beach, I tried to reconnect with myself and googled some cliché-self-help articles about chronic stress and burnout. Some of the articles were telling me about the tips on how to be more motivated and productive again, some gave me the steps of meditation and Yoga, but most of it said that I need to pause for a moment and be present. And I was thinking, “I’m still in my early 20s and I need to pause? Does the quarter-life crisis hit me too early?”

Instead of exploring Bali, I ended up writing a self-reflection journal in my hotel room and started to ask myself some questions about life. I didn’t expect that it was quite difficult to answer it as I realized that my heart and my brain weren’t exactly in synch; I was denying many things about myself. I couldn’t even truly answer the question about my own feeling at the moment. As cliché as it sounds, I felt so lost in my ‘perfect’ life. 

I didn’t truly feel better after I got back from Bali. My job performance was declining as I missed some deadlines and I didn’t show up for some important meetings. I came home early every day as it was extremely difficult to hold my tears during the day when I was working. My colleagues were concerned, yet I couldn’t tell them what happened as I was still figuring out myself.

I reached out to my closest friends and family, I tried to seek help from a professional therapist, I decided to be closer to God and I wrote a self-reflection journal every single day. I minimized the used of social media as subconsciously comparing myself to my friends from their IG stories would make my well-being worse. I did everything to find myself as I was in a crisis and I did nothing but soul-searching.

One day, I stumbled upon an article about the destination addiction. It is a state of mind which makes us believe that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or even with the next partner. Robert Holden said that people who have the destination addiction are psychologically absent and disregard everything they have. Destination addiction is a journey for searching happiness and I was having it.

I realized that I was trapped in the idea of my future instead of being present. I refused to accept my present moment and decided to live with the idea of being successful in the future of my current company. I was trapped in the idea of something which hasn’t happened yet; I refused to accept the process to achieve my long-term goals.

Turns out that the destination addiction led me in a toxic cycle of denial as well. These past months, I denied many things which happened in my life. I refused to feel the emotions as I repressed all my disappointment, anger, sadness, and assumed that I was doing just fine. I declared to everyone that I was truly happy, yet I suffered from being busy to chase the happiness itself. Yes, I was such an ironic human-being.

After that, I started to grasp the idea of being an adult. I noticed that growing up is all about being honest with yourself as you truly accept your present moment. 

Growing up is not only about achieving your long-term goals and doing all of your new year’s resolutions. Being an adult means that you’re accepting where you are, what you need, and what you want in life. It’s about accepting the process of growing up. It’s about being present and being the whole you, for you.

The destination addiction made me hate my current job, but I pretend to like it because I knew that this startup company is truly promising in the future. I knew that this company will bring me countless new opportunities ahead as it’s expanding globally, but the truth is, I never truly feel belong in it. I lived with the idea of my future company which hasn’t happened yet and I denied the fact that I actually never truly happy to be part of them.

Truthfully, the more I stay within the company, the more I feel so stuck. The destination addiction made me too scared of leaving my comfort zone as I don't want to leave the company, to take a leap of faith, even though I know for sure that I could explore and learn many new things if  I go outside of it. 

Those confessions, which I said to myself, made me feel better. I came to understand the fact that I’m not where I want to be right now, and it takes a long journey ahead to reach my goals. There are countless questions about my life which haven’t been answered yet, but maybe I shouldn’t have to figure everything out by now. I’m in the process of accepting the fact that I’m lost and I’m messy at its finest- but that’s okay.

Indeed, growing up taught me that this life is all about the art of acceptance. As Robert Holden said, “Unless you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are.”

While I’m currently reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, I’m trying not to overthink everything and just go with what life has to offer. I figured out that when I didn’t give a f*ck about something, I actually did, but I accepted the f*ck as it is. Not giving a f*ck means that you truly accept your circumstance and able to differentiate the things which you could control or otherwise.

Over time, I’ve come to accept my life as it is. I stop being obsessed with the future and try to be present in my daily basis. I try to recognize my emotions toward everything, truly pay attention to what my body says, and focus on my intuition instead of ignoring it. From now on, I will stay true and honest with myself, whether I like the situation or otherwise. 

But, the journey of finding myself doesn’t stop here as I realize that it’s the journey of a lifetime. Right now, I'm in the process of accepting my current situation as it is while trying to find a new place to learn, new problems that I do enjoy to solve, and new challenges which I want to tackle, instead of feeling stuck. 

I still need to figure everything out by myself one step at a time. But, one thing for sure, now I know that my happiness is not in Bali, in my long-term goal as a writer, nor within my current company, it’s on myself through the process of accepting the life as it is.

Are you feeling stuck and lost as well? Leave a comment below and let's discuss :)

Featured image via Ella Jardim


  1. Great text Rayi. I felt inside your story in many parts, mainly because I work in a company that is very good and I have an independence in my life, but today, after almost four years doing a graduate in college, I realized that it's not what I would do as a professional or continue more in this path.
    It's complicated, and I feel that I do not accept the moment as a whole, trying to live a little bit more than I really try, while continuing to make things to change soon.
    In short, is great reading some of your texts, brings me something good. I happy also to know that you feel or find the path to accepting the life as it is :)

    See ya,

    1. Gabe! Your words always comforting me, as always. Thank you for your endless support, it's really glad to know that I'm not alone to go through this. I hope you'll always doing fine as well. Take care!