Dear Diary
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On Half-Existence

Does anyone else get those days or weeks or months when you just lose sight of what you want, where you’re heading and why you’re doing all this living and moving and learning? For days on end, you forget to self-reflect: you simply wake up begrudgingly, eat whatever if easiest to make, go to school or work or whatever commitment you’ve arranged for the day, make some polite but disengaged conversation, come home and just waste time watching Will & Grace re-runs on your bed until your body asks you to sleep. There’s nothing worth remembering about days like these – they simply steal your energy and use it unsustainably.

I entered into this sort of ennui at the start of this month, allowing myself to fall into a rut of negative energy and directionlessness. The happiness default I’d written about and prided myself at the start of year seemed to have escaped me – I felt sad and bored; I felt like I was moving along in some kind of half-existence. And it sucked!

So today, I cleared my diary and turned to my journal. I put all the assignments and commitments onto Sunday, turned off my Facebook chat and politely asked my family not to interrupt me. I needed time to carefully and honestly evaluate what exactly had happened in the past month to make me feel so blue.

As it turns out, this kind of rut is rarely prompted by one thing. Nothing particularly stressful or devastating has happened to me recently, but I realised today that the reason I was feeling so down was because I had somehow forgotten to check in with myself. At some point, I’d let my life get ahead of me, so that I was constantly catching up to yesterday. I had dropped the little things in my life because I didn’t have the time, didn’t have the energy, didn’t have the motivation. What resulted was a prevailing sense of irritation, restlessness and tiredness. And that isn’t healthy – it wasn’t healthy for my mind or my body, and it wasn’t healthy for my relationships.

Today, I discovered that there are little things I need to do for myself – and on face value they may seem irrelevant to getting higher grades or strengthening friendships, but it turns out they are so so so important. Yoga makes me feel stronger in more ways than one; clearing my desk clears my mind; painting my nails makes me concentrate more on what I’m doing with my hands. And feeding my mind? Oh man – that makes me feel like me. I hadn’t realised how important these things were in my life until I stopped doing them, and I need to work on reminding myself to always keep doing them even when life gets a bit heavy.

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