'I write because..."
I like it, it makes me happy.
I didn't come here to say much today. Only that I have decided to stop putting too much pressure on myself to be "Perfect", the perfect version of myself, to always be at the top. It's counterproductive. I can't handle the constant weight that puts on my shoulders. It stops me from ever stopping to breathe. It hinders me from knowing where the boundary exists between enjoying life and having a life that obligates more from you than you can give.
Lately I've been reading about workaholism and what the "traits" are that show an indication that one could be a workaholic. Not a nice feeling being able to map these traits to yourself and finally see that, maybe...maybe it's not just drive, ambition and unrelenting perseverance. Maybe sometimes, it's just a mere compulsion to work without any reason. Maybe I'm trying to avoid something. Maybe I'm trying not to think about something. Maybe I fear drowning. Maybe I fear not being seen as "competent".
Experiencing burnout is not a new thing to me and now, it has come to be something to even expect. It surprised me to learn that burnout could simply occur because you feel that the efforts you're putting in are not proportional to the reward you're receiving for these efforts. I found that this feeling happens when you're looking for the rewards on the short term. Sometimes, it could happen because you're struggling with navigating the ambiguity of life and struggling to see a clear direction.
Life has no structure, it's formless and constantly "happening". This is why institutions and expectations have been created to give life some type of meaning. We are thrust into education shortly after we're born. We are obligated to work in order to be rewarded with this "coloured paper" that supposedly is the key to unlock many opportunities in life. You're not even given the opportunity to learn how to think for yourself before society begins to mould you into a certain type of human being.
This is why it is so important to reflect very often. To know what part of your thoughts are yours and what parts are informed by environment you find yourself in. Write down the things you're trying to achieve on the long term. Write down the things you've done over the past few months that are taking you a few steps closer to that goal. Create something for yourself that allows you to remember your achievements as much as possible. That way, when you work, you can see your progress. You're no longer just working for the sake of it and you're able to bring structure into your life. Goal driven to-do listing.
One thing that I struggle with and which I'm on the route to healing from, is my never ending compulsion to work. I don't know why I have found myself to be this way but I will definitely find out soon. I had a conversation with someone in 2018, my final year of my Bachelor's degree. They were a very new and transient person in my life at the time. They said to me:
"I can see you doing so many things at once, videos today, writing tomorrow and still managing to balance your degree on top of it all...it almost feels like you're running away from something..."
At first, hearing this statement stunned me slightly. As I do with many seeds, I planted it in the sea of my mind and let it sit, to ponder upon at a later time. I really didn't know how to react to this statement and immediately my mind went into "defense" mode. My defensive self couldn't help but wonder who they thought they were to sit and judge my creations, reduce them to nothing but a mask, a charade...paint me out as an imposter. The audacity. However, I've come to realise that only people that find it hard to accept the truth revert to defensiveness when the truth hurts. "Could this actually be true?"...I thought.
My fearful self couldn't help but agree, succumb, compose imaginary fears and pain that would explain it all. "What if I am truly running away from myself?" And if I am, what exactly am I running from? Then again, why must it be a case of "running from" something, why can I not be running towards something?
I have always stood by the belief that we are born equipped with the traits and characteristics that end up coming together to allow us reach our life's mission. I'd rather see my creativity, diversity and flexibility as a blessing rather than a distraction. From the way my life continues to unfold, there's definitely something great, huge and massive that I must be running towards. I'll understand it when I get there.
In the meantime, I need to make sure I'm prioritising my health and my vitality. It would be a shame to get to where one is destined to be and not be strong enough to revel in it.
Why do I have this unrelenting certainty? I guess I'll only understand why I've always been so certain about it when I get there...when the time is right.