This is a First, I’m Calling a Time-Out

For the first time in my life that I don’t feel the need to prove myself.

I’m out of a (traditional) job, attempting a start-up tutoring service, doing odd jobs to keep productive in the mean time, writing a blog at my leisure, eating junk food when I feel like it and…I don’t feel like I need to justify myself, my actions, my decision or my state of mind to anyone. My world (and worth) does not revolve around my CV, I’m trying to keep my thoughts healthy and productive, I’m waking up early without my alarm and not forcing myself to fall asleep quickly. I’m happy when I hear the rain fall, I’m not paranoid about sweating in my a/c-less car, I’m speaking often with my friends and most importantly, I’m not spending each day wishing time would move faster just so I can get it all over with.

Ever since I realized that academic tasks were a priority and test-taking was the measure of intelligence, I’ve been caught in a never ending, mind numbing, emotionally toxic struggle to prove myself in that regard. I was like a junkie who had built up too high a tolerance for his/her drug of choice. Not only could I never be satisfied, but I was dangerously close to overdosing, self destructing, imploding. I needed to plan for the future, I needed to know the path ahead of me, make informed decisions, not skip class and read tons more than everyone else so I could stay ahead. What comfort that was to me when I realized that I, and my peers who I thought I was better than in school because I was more organized, neurotic and studious, were in the exact same spot in life – still trying to find our way. It’s funny how these things turn out.

I’ve had two major dilemmas for a while now.

  • Figuring out the difference between being great by the standards of others, and growing by your own personal standards.
  • Coming to terms with the fact that most people in life will not understand your decisions and will probably never be able to appreciate your thought processes.

I still struggle with both of these daily, now more so than ever because for the first time in my life I’m not conforming to the standard path set out by those before me that ensures financial security, purposeful living and..happiness? At least from the outside, after the smoke clears, that’s what it seems to lead to. I feel turned around in general, because I did what I thought was right, what I thought would allow me to reach my end goal – success, greatness, prosperity. But when it came down to the final result, all my hard work, the long hours spent planning and contemplating, carving each and every detail into the clay, my masterpiece came into the light and alas everyone around me was blind. All I had worked for seemed null and void as I seemed to miss opportunity after opportunity.

So now I think I’ve had enough. I’d like to just…”not”, anymore. I’d like to enjoy my life and not keep thinking about what my duty is. I’d like to give my brain a rest, I’d like to not be so accustomed to anxiety that I feel anxious about not feeling anxious. I’m tapping out. No, not forfeiting my responsibilities or pretending that my problems don’t exist. Just lightening my load, the load I put on myself.

This is me saying, “time out”.

(photo credit)

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