“I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life.” -Jack Kerouac

Life can be super shitty and downright painful sometimes, especially in these extraordinary and distressing times. Popular media and social media make it look like your 20s and 30s are supposed to be a time when everything magically happens for you, maybe you even get famous, you find your place and your perfect life’s work and it all just falls into place. All of this externally-focused complete fakeness that you’re being bombarded with can actually deepen the pain of sitting with the fact that your life doesn’t look like these other plastic-y lives on the screen. Why? You make it mean something about you, probably. You make it mean that you’re not “this” enough or “that” enough, or that you’re uniquely cursed. (Did you see the 90s movie, Romeo + Juliet? Remember when Romeo shouts, “I am fortune’s foooooool!!!” after he kills Tybalt? That’s a 1500s version of the same kind of thought.) All of this artificial connection can make you wonder why you still feel so totally alone and lost. It feels sort of like you were supposed to get on a bus at age 21 that already left without you. That kind of feeling can lead to actual depression and anxiety.

The good news is, you’re tough, instinctive and smart enough to light your torch and see the next step, and then the next, even in the darkest and densest of woods. It starts with a level of self-love, self-compassion, radical acceptance, and deep purpose that no one taught you in school. You are going to find your way, and actually have fun creating a life that only you could create. You may even eventually decide it was all secretly perfect 🙂


You do not deserve to feel alone or to be in pain, and it does not have to be like this. You are not alone. I’m a holistic, very eclectic, EMDR-trained, licensed psychotherapist in Hayes Valley. Evening and weekend hours available. I have tea, art supplies, oracle cards, and can do your natal chart just for fun 🙂 Free 20-minute consultations offered.

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Annalise Oatman, MA, LCSW
45 Franklin Street, Suite 214, San Francisco, CA 94102 949-533-4651 annalise@awaketherapysf.com