I’ve been working hard these past few weeks since I got home. It seems for me work mode is a default setting. Except for visits to the therapist or walks with my parents I have spent my time at home, reading, writing and editing. It really takes a lot out of a person. When the tunnel vision began setting in, I decided this would not do. My friends were asking me why I was working so much and I couldn’t come up with a better reason than the fact that I had to.
So I decided to go somewhere, meet my best friend who can make the worst days seem better just by being there. I felt a little bit of my OCD creep in when the plans changed, and I had to remind myself that spontaneity even if I am still struggling with it is something I need to adopt for my own peace of mind.
As I rode on the bus on a sunny Sunday, it all came back, the enjoyment, the sense of being me not glued to the screen like I am now. They say too much screen time is bad for you, I agree. Today, we can’t get rid of it, we all need the screen to get by. But, it doesn’t mean that we can’t give our minds and eyes a break. I realised I needed this change and it came at the right time.
It feels good to be writing regularly again. Today, as I walked through the shelves of the bookstore after so long, I missed the feeling of the fiction section, were reality becomes those stories in alternative universes, written by people like me who’ve created worlds in their heads that feel more real than the one they live in. Those stories in which I can go on adventures on with its grey protagonists, whose challenges still feel easier than my own. Readers will get this, every time you open a book doesn’t it feel like you’re setting a story free? I want to set my own free.
Luckily for me, my best friend is as crazy as me and she too loves books, just to be around them. We couldn’t get enough, although our chocies are different, because bookstores (good ones) have something for everyone, you won’t walk out of there disappointed.
My best friend found a post card tucked between the pages dating back to 1973-1974 and that’s what avid readers leave the next generation of readers, a vote of confidence. And today, these handwritten messages are a rare sight soon to be extinct. A digital imprint just doesn’t feel the same, I feel.
A change of place is simple, you only need to move. Just make up your mind and go for it. Sometimes a destination isn’t important just the distance can change so much. It made me feel good about myself, like a human being. Now that I am back home, I feel rejuvenated, better about myself and the world. Life is not simple so I am making it simpler for myself. I’ve let the worries wait till tomorrow, and not putting off work and fun till tomorrow, I’ll let the stress be on standby.
I’m preparing myself for employment, pulling out my resume from the bottom of my old folders, and trying to sound smart once again. It’s in moments like this that I realise that self-esteem must always be high. Some people sell themselves well, even if that’s the only thing they’re good at they can at least do that well. People like me who can’t sell themselves always feel apologetic about sounding confident. I know it’s not good, but I can’t let it come through in my applications.
If this is the impact that one day out can make on me, I can’t imagine how much good a few more days like this might do for me. There was a part of me that felt guilty about putting work aside for fun, but instead of burning myself out I took a step back to rethink and get back to it with energy. If you think your frustration or your lack of energy doesn’t come through in your academic writing, you’re probably kidding yourself. No matter how much you try if your mind isn’t relaxed, the jumble of thoughts in your head will appear on screen.
I am ready to work once again, and I am making good time. But, had I spent today at the desk I might not have realised why I am friends with my best friend, I might not have read that post card or picked up books for my own leisure and not simply for work or even felt the sun on my skin. If my life was a book I wish this lion would be on my cover. Since I want a similar book cover I hope I have a life that represents it.
Everyone’s background setting needs to change, imagine watching a movie with the same background the entire time, just a person staring at you, while the light is the only thing changing. Imagine if the only music was the sound of fingers on a keyboard, and every once in a while there’ll be food in front of her. Apart from some stretching and yawning you see no change in body language. Would you watch that film? If you don’t feel like watching it, then why live it?