Mood.

Sometimes I feel like a caretaker of a museum; a huge, empty museum where no one ever comes and I am watching over it for no one but myself.- Haruki Murakami

I cannot rid myself of the feeling that I am not in the right place-Franz Kafka

I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question- Harun Yahya

I need days when I can be alone, to think, to daydream-Margarita Karapanou

I swear to you that to think too much is a disease, a real actual disease- Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

I don’t know who I am, where I am going- and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions.-Sylvia Plath

The other day, lying in bed, felt my heart beating for the first time in a long while. I realized how little I live in my body, how much in my mind. –Rodger Kamenetz

I desire very little, but the things I do consume me.-Beau Taplin

I want so much that is not here and do not know where to go- Charles Bukowski

What you seek is seeking you-Rumi

Why are you running?

When I watched the Nollywood film titled Pretty Liars (no relation to Pretty Little Liars), I had no way of knowing that that one scene (you know the one I’m talking about) would go on to become an iconic meme. Today when I sat to write this post, that is the first thing that came to my mind. Why are you running?

See I have been running for a long time now. Running even though no one was chasing. I have always been in a hurry to get through the stages of life. It may have started when I skipped grade 6 and went straight to secondary school at nine years old. I turned 16 in my first term at University, completed all my credits at 19, and by 22 I had my Master’s degree and was starting my career. At university I took summer classes every year to speed things up so I could graduate in three years instead of four. When it was all over, I sat with myself and asked the question “Now what? What’s next? Why were you in a hurry?

The sad truth is that I should have enjoyed the journey more, rather than rushing to the destination. It would have been nice to have taken the time to smell the petunias. At the end of it all I am grateful for everything, and I’m not going to dwell mindlessly on the past; still it is good (important even!) to reflect. Did it matter if I graduated at 19 instead of 21? By the grace of God, we all reached the destination, and it did not matter how long it took. I was so engrossed in just getting it all over with, that I never even stopped to consider what the point was, and what the plan was after everything was ticked off.

For so long it was just “on to the next”. I was ticking things off robotically like I was collecting infinity stones (I only know this reference thanks to social media. I have not watched the film), and when it was done I felt so terribly lost and confused. What now? I had not thought beyond the destination, forgetting that life is not one destination but one long never ending journey with some pitstops. After my final summer semester in which I got the final credits for my bachelor’s degree in summer school, I remember sitting in my room in University, completely overwhelmed by the rest of my life staring down at me. I had reached the end of the race in record time and there was still the rest of my life to deal with. For years I had known what the next step was-midterms, exams, summer school etc. That was the first time that all certainty was gone- there was nothing set for me to do next, the decision was all mine and I was petrified. I was technically an adult now and had to decide what to do next, yet I still felt like a child. After graduation I just laid around and waited for someone to tell me what to do next. That was one of the more depressing periods of my life. I remember one day my mother scolded me for loafing around saying “do you know you are a graduate now?But I’m still a child, I thought. How am I supposed to make all these decisions? In a way I am still that child, and I struggle sometimes with making serious life decisions because I’m just a baby haha.

For a long time now I have been in a rut. Well actually maybe for the past 2.5 years because before then I had professional exams that I was working towards (again rush rush get it all done in one go no resits hello anxiety). These exams were not fun by any means but the stress, anxiety, adrenaline provided something other than inertia. After those were done and dusted, life returned to this long monotonous bore as there was nothing I was working towards or looking forward to. It’s weird that in writing this, I have managed to partially diagnose myself; I need something to work towards and for the past couple of years I have not had that, hence the funk.

I have started implementing changes in my life, and the main one is that I have found a new job. For some people this is not a big deal, but for me it is the biggest of deals. I just could not deal with the monotony anymore and I wanted something fresh. Now I realise that even the new job by itself may not provide me with a completely new fresh lease on life. There are two reasons for this; the first is the feeling that while this is a change, it is still not my purpose. I may never truly feel light and happy with work until I am doing something that feeds my spirit. The second, which I literally just realised while writing this post, is that unless I am working towards something, life is dull and monotonous. So this new job is not going to automatically lift my spirits, because if care is not taken I risk falling into the same rut. Still it is a much needed change. I just have to be intentional about this.

Taking this leap feels scary, but also empowering and liberating. If this job does not work out, I will get another one. Now that I know better, I will try to be more mindful of my life. There is a thin line between doing too much and not doing enough. I want to get a promotion within a year of my new job, but I also want to chill and take everything in stride. The next big girl decision is to get a new place to stay, but with rising costs of everything the situation is dire, and it may be better to just stay put. Still I feel better than I have felt in a while, and for now that is enough.

Why are you running? Take the time to enjoy the journey, admire the scenery, smell the roses. You will get there in the end, there’s no need to rush.

Self-care

I have started this post so many times in my head, and it is not clear why exactly I find it difficult to sit down and write, given that this is all I want to do. Now that I have finally settled down to write, I don’t know what to write about.

I have been out and about lately; the days of working entirely from home seem to be over, and though at first I resisted this and was so aggrieved, I have to admit that my room had become an isolating prison which I needed to escape from. I spent three days last week in the office, and it was nice to be around other people. The introvert in me is shaken.

When I first thought about writing this post, it was because I was in a much better mood than I had been and was practicing self care (aka eating like a rabbit). I therefore wanted to write about the little acts of self-care that had made me happy.

I came across a BuzzFeed India video on YouTube and then went down a rabbit hole of their videos which largely centre around Indian food. Needless to say, I developed a severe craving for Indian food, particularly Parotta- a supposedly delicious South Indian bread. It looked so good (and stressful to make!) in the videos that I had to have it. I spent the weekend surfing through the food delivery apps searching for Parotta. I eventually found one place and placed an order. Of course I couldn’t just order the Parotta on its own, so I added some lamb biryani and butter chicken- which were also on my cravings list thanks to Buzzfeed India. Well I was on my way to pick up my order (I ain’t paying no delivery fees) when I received a call from the restaurant with the devastating news that they were out of Parotta and would I like some naan instead? Ugh. The only reason I made the order was because I wanted the parotta, now I was stuck with the rest of the order. I went to the supermarket and saw “Paranthas” which are the North Indian version of Parottas. Listen, I only found out about the South India/North India divide (?) a couple of years ago when an Indian colleague mentioned that she was staying with a South Indian family. India is a big country with a billion people so it should not be surprising that there is a vast level of diversity, but it was still interesting to learn about just how diverse India is, especially when it came to food. We are used to saying “Indian food” “Chinese food” without any thought that these popular food items are not representative of the whole country. Anyway I bought the paranthas and went back to pick up my order. There the man told me that I had to call 24 hours in advance if I wanted parotta. I am not surprised because it took an age on YouTube (it has to rest for 8 hours at some point). I went home and tried some of the biryani and found it to be so dry; I tried the butter chicken and did not like it at all. I chided myself for getting carried away by YouTube and now being stuck with food that I did not want. The naan was delicious though. The next day however, I decided to use some of the sauce and yoghurt that came with the rice, and eh voila that made all the difference. For the butter chicken I watched another buzzfeed India video, one of the girls ate a butter chicken wrap, which was the first time it occurred to me that it did not have to be eaten with rice. Just like that the order was saved. I enjoyed the rest of the biryani with the sauce and enjoyed the butter chicken with the parantha. That made me happy.

What else did I do that made me happy? Oh yeah, I went to see a play. I had to go into London for the first in person work training in over two years. I was not going to waste a trip into London so I also made arrangements to see a play and when I checked and saw that the National Gallery was just minutes away from the theatre I added that to my plans as well. The training was dull, but there were nice snacks and lunch was good (never thought I would enjoy tuna but the tuna croquette was excellent) so I was happy. The training ended early so I had time to explore- I spent some time at the National Gallery until it closed and then walked around taking in the sights and looking for somewhere to eat before the play. I settled on Chipotle because I like burritos and was running out of time to eat so just did not need any fuss. The burrito was alright, but the play? It was excellent. Muy bonito. I chose to see Dear Evan Hansen and will maybe do a separate post on it. All in all, I was happy. Happy that I chose to do something fun on a weekday. Happy that the play was so good and worthwhile. Happy that I got out of my room. I also really liked my hair and outfit that day so I was feeling myself all around.

This was maybe two weeks ago now. I should have written the post when the feelings were still fresh so as to capture the feelings. My spirits are still relatively high, but the familiar anxiety and irritation is creeping in. But that’s for another post.

Since you’ve been gone

I want so much that is not here and I don’t know where to go for it.

It has been over a month since I last posted anything, which is wild as I have been through a lot since then. Well not really. My emotions have been through a rollercoaster. One thing about me? I am going to be stressed out over the tiniest of things.

Let’s start at the beginning.

It was my birthday. Nuff said. What is it about one’s birthday to bring out the sadness and dismay in one’s life to the forefront? I realised some years back that birthday depression is a real thing and I think it’s because of the expectations that birthdays are fun and filled with love and presents, and when you’re not fully basking in goodness the whole day, depression creeps in. That is my theory. I also realised that it is solely my responsibility to make my birthday a good one, so I try to make plans. My birthday fell on a weekday this year so I had the option of doing something the weekend before or the weekend after. I chose to go into town to stay with my friend the weekend before; none of my other friends could make it but I didn’t mind. I spent the weekend with her, we ate, and went to the gallery, and saw a play and it was nice. Then my actual birthday came, and though I had technically celebrated my birthday, I still had the birthday blues. I had the day off and had fantasies of getting my nails done, a deep tissue massage, a facial, all the good relaxation things. Of course I did not actually book anything so it was all fantasy. I get anxious and stressed out over everything, and that includes not relaxing as much as I want (or wasting a day off). Though I didn’t make any spa booking, I had dreams of relaxing fully the whole day in bed, finishing up some of the items in my Netflix watchlist. Of course that was not to be. I had to respond to calls the whole day which yay! people care about me on my birthday but also nay! leave me be. Another thing about me? I hate being on a phone call longer than I want to (I hate being on a phone call period). It just annoys me when I cannot get off the phone, or when the other parties cannot take the hint- I have sighed twenty times and said “well I’m just going to go get ready now” thirty times, so why are you still talking? The trigger for my irrational irritation is that I could see the hours hurtling past which meant my day off would soon be over and I was not relaxed at all. My friends got me breakfast and snacks which was so kind of them. Still I was alone in my prison room so there were no festivities and no birthday vibe. I had miscalculated greatly.

The biggest source of my annoyance and stress came from the most unlikely source. A couple of weeks prior while walking to get food, I came across a food truck in town centre and decided to see what it was about. Turns out it was a vegan food subscription service. I am not vegan (or even vegetarian) but I have been in a food rut lately and also trying to be healthy. I thought this was a good opportunity to try vegan recipes so I signed up for this, and went on to get my beef burrito. I then promptly put this out of my mind and ordered some Nigerian food for the week. The first box arrived and of course I was not ready for this so I put away as much as I could in the fridge. Then I went away for my birthday weekend. Imagine my annoyance when I got a notification saying the next food parcel was due to be delivered in a couple of days. Arrrrghhhhh I’ve not even cooked the first one yet! Even more annoying is that given that I completely forgot about it, the company had gone ahead and chose the meal options for me. Now I started to panic; one it’s vegan food which I doubt I will like; two I live in house with other people and have limited fridge space; three I’m wasting food and money. To crown this, my friend decided to get me HelloFresh food subscription for my birthday. Now I was completely stressed. I have no space! I have not even cooked the food I have. This is all so hectic. The hellofresh delivery was not due until the weekend after my birthday so Again I decided to cook the vegan meals in the first package on my day off aka my birthday to free up space and soothe my fraying nerves.

The appeal of these food subscription services is the ease and convenience…allegedly. It took me thirty minutes to peel and dice the butternut squash, and an eternity to put the whole meal together. It was supposed to be a curry but I must have reduced it too much because it seemed too solid to eat with rice. As I cooked it I knew this was not a meal I was going to enjoy eating. I was only able to cook one meal and I was so bloody irritable by the end of it. It was my birthday and I had wasted it on nonsense. Now it was evening time and I had work in the morning and there goes my day off. I was so sad. It made no sense.

The foul mood persisted into the next day. I’m still working from home which is beginning to seem more like a curse, but that’s a story for another day. I was just so annoyed and sad. Was it really just birthday depression? My irritation boiled over when I was allocated a topic to present at a team meeting the following week. Whew. That pissed me off! I hate for someone to just allocate something to me, like I’m a child or a baby staff. I stewed for days off of this irritation, and did not even respond to the message. I vented to my friends and sister about this mood, and I managed to diagnose myself. I came to the realisation that my irritation may be because I am deeply unhappy with my current life. I have been in my current job and house for over five years now and I am just over it all. After years of complacency I finally want to move on. Another thing about me? I can stay in one spot for ages, and I have a high threshold for boredom, but the minute I choose to move on I am completely done and cannot stand it one second longer. I figured that was the cause of my angst- In my mind I had moved on from this job and this house; so every moment that I was “forced” to remain here is torture to my soul.

It is not that easy to move on. In my mind I was already done with this job- every time future plans were referenced all I thought was “I’m not going to be here.” In my mind I was going to get the first job I interviewed for, which of course also stressed me out worrying over whether it would be a good fit and whether I would be going from frying pan to fire. Do I wait until I get a new job before looking for a new place, or do I just decide where I want to live and search for jobs there? I was stressed. Now I know that I worry too much for no reason at all. Every time I worry it ends up being for nought. Still, I worry.

At the start of the month I had to go into the office for a team meeting; rather than being annoyed I was actually looking forward to it. I had just got my hair done so I was feeling myself. I went in twice that week, and enjoyed it. It was good to talk to people and laugh. This brought me to another realisation. Could it be that I, the queen of the introverted introverts, was actually getting sick of working from home? I looked back at the other times I had gone into the office since the pandemic, and it was always a nice time. The bulk of my intensely negative feelings about work started during the pandemic, which also coincided with increased responsibility at work (which is definitely another stress factor). Could it be that despite my constant profession of how much I love working from home, being at home 24/7 was akin to being in solitary confinement which was ruining my mind and spirit? I shudder to think so.

My already fragile mood took a nosedive yesterday when I got an email with my work allocation for the next few months. We were to work from the client site twice a week and one day in the office. See that ruined my mood immediately. Now this was a client that was just assigned to me with no prior discussion. I hate when they do that. Hate it. What’s the point of being in a senior role if I can be randomly assigned clients with no forewarning. Then I found out that a delivery I had been waiting for all day was returned because my flatmate did not recognise the name and told the delivery people that the owner of the package no longer lived at the property. I just could not.

As I laid awake from 2am-5am staring at my phone (terrible habit!), I decided to change my perspective about things. Sure, it’s annoying to have to start going back into the office regularly; having to get up early-ish and get dressed, but perhaps that’s what I need now? I have lived without structure for 2 years, surely that’s enough. Rather than seethe over this, why not look on the bright side? I might enjoy working with a big team again, rather than by myself in my room. I still have two days a week to work from home- it’s the best of both worlds. Like magic, my irritation lifted and I started to feel positive about the whole thing. The positivity must have dried the dark rainy cloud hanging over my head because the rest of my day went better than the day before. First off I went outside to stick a note to the door, asking the delivery driver to call my phone number; within five minutes both packages I was expecting from two different delivery companies arrived and I did not have to stress about this the rest of the day. Work went okay, and now I’m writing this post that I have been meaning to for weeks. Some times all it takes it a mindset shift.

The HelloFresh delivery arrived and of course I panicked a bit. I was on my way to get my hair done so I threw everything in the fridge…or so I thought. Turns out what I thought was the ice pack was actually a pouch for the protein and I did not realise until the following afternoon. Yikes. I threw everything in the freezer (note the coping mechanism?) When it came time to cook, I panicked again- defrosted everything and then put some back in the freezer. It was a mess. Long story short, the meals were delicious, and by the grace of God I did not suffer from any meat related poisoning. I could only cook two of the vegan meals (the second was a fajita that I thoroughly enjoyed because I love tortillas) but I saved the ingredients I could and threw away anything that had gone off. There ends the debacle of the food delivery crisis. I’m glad that’s over with, and I’m sure most people would not have been anywhere as dramatic as I was over nothing.

I cannot end this without mentioning Easter weekend. Everyone is excited about the four day Easter weekend right? So was I. I was going to chill and be productive- clean my room, declutter, apply for jobs, write and explore outside. I did none of these things. I started out bingeing on Netflix as usual, but as the days loomed ahead I got tired of watching tv and just turned it off. Wow. That is not me at all. Rather than enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing, I was so bored by the endless days. The days stretched into each other and I lowkey longed for work to resume. How pathetic.

It is official; I have become a prisoner of my room. I’ll end this with a quote from Sylvia Plath:

“Go out and do something. It isn’t your room that’s a prison, it’s yourself.”

Self reflection: It is the calls that I hate.

I live in eternal fear of being messaged on Microsoft Teams; the “can we have a quick call” request is enough to throw me into utter despair. Every workday I sneak online trying not to make any sudden movements lest the powers that be see me online and take that as a signal to message me.

Of course I have always known for a while that meetings and calls stress me out; I barely like receiving phone calls from my friends and family, let alone clients and co-workers. However the first two weeks of work have really cemented this. I have been complaining about being tired of work for aeons now, and the 2021 was particularly draining. I ended the year with nothing else to give and an utter desperation to find something new.

Typically I lead the team in the day to day, liaising with the client and reporting to the manager and partner. This means constant meetings; daily meetings twice a day with the team, regular scheduled meetings with the client, incessant messages from junior members asking questions, and managers checking on progress. All of this while trying to do my own work. It was exhausting.

In the first two weeks of 2022, I have been picking up on some final outstanding tasks from last year so I have been working relatively independently with no junior staff to tend to, and no client calls. The difference is clear. I’m still tired of the work, but it has become apparent that the main stressor is the meetings.

I still have anxiety about being messaged, and my heart starts thumping erratically once I see the Teams icon flashing or when the three dots appear in the manager’s message box. I would be much happier if everyone just left me alone! Unrealistic yes, but a girl can dream. I am already dreading the work in the coming weeks when I say goodbye to working independently and I’m back to leading a team. Every time one of the junior staff messages me, I feel like an overworked mother with a den of toddlers who are constantly asking her questions. It is even worse when it is the manager requesting a quick call.

This realisation has led to a further complication; there are not many corporate careers in which I can work independently with minimal contact with the client and co-workers. This, along with my general laziness, is stalling my search for new job; because what is the point of moving on to a new job if it does not make me feel better? I do need to get rid of this mentality.

They always say “when you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work“. I don’t believe this fully, but perhaps the real root of my irritation is that the work doesn’t fulfil me. If I loved the work, maybe I would happily have a hundred calls a day (probably not). I’m talking around in circles now.

My dream job is no job; I do not dream of labour or whatever it is that random person on the internet said. But seeing as I have to work, my dream occupation is one where I never have to set an alarm; I wake up naturally when my body wants and work to the my own schedule; I have only the barest minimum number of meetings and no one has immediate access to me on Teams; there are no urgent deadlines and I can go weeks with no one expecting things from me. Unrealistic yes, but a girl can dream.

It all comes back to writing, doesn’t it?

Twenty twenty too.

This time last year, we were gratefully exiting the wretched 2020, battered and exhausted by the unprecedented turn of events. Already people were commenting on how the new year sounds like “twenty twenty won“, and now this has changed to “twenty twenty too“. It does seem like we have never left the year 2020, and how could we have when Ms. Rona and her ever changing progeny are still around? In my mind 2019 is last year, not nearly three years ago! Time has flown by so quickly, even as the world grinded to a halt. I am dizzy and drained.

As we went into 2020, I was cautiously optimistic as one often is entering a new year. This was twenty twenty and it was everyone’s year. I had spent 2019 Christmas in Dubai with my family, and welcomed the new year surrounded by love, food, and fireworks. I was happy. I had also finished a highly stressful professional qualification in 2019, and I marched into 2020 with hope. Then it all went to shit, excuse my French. It is weird to think that another full year has passed since 2020 and I have to rack my brain to think of what exactly happened in 2021. What I do know is that I am tired, and the ever lingering feelings of unfulfillment have intensified and come to the surface so strongly that they can no longer be ignored. Dissatisfaction and exhaustion pervade every thought, every moment, every day.

One benefit of this blog is that I can look back on the year through my posts. By reviewing the posts I can jog my memory about what actually did happen. In summary, I was unhappy and burnt out.

Sad Girl: I wrote this post in February, and it is a sad summary of just how I was feeling early on a random Sunday. No need to sugar coat it; I was depressed.

Lunch at the Mediterranean: In this post I wrote yet again of my diet and exercise woes, this time my latest attempt at healthy eating by adopting a Mediterranean diet. I am happy to say that I did stick to a healthy-ish diet. For most of the year I greatly simplified my diet; oatmeal with oat milk, blueberries, chia seeds, boiled egg, honey for breakfast every weekday morning; then salmon, spinach, corn, and pancake waffles for dinner. C’est tout. I like routine, and this removes the stress of thinking of what to eat each day. I also enjoyed these meals and actually look forward to my breakfast each day. I also increased my water intake. I did this for months and did not even realise I had shed off the weight and bloat of the past couple of years (especially lockdown) until my friend pointed it out. Sure, I noticed some of my clothes fit better, and I no longer felt as if I was suffocating and my face was no longer a cesspit of pimples. It felt good to be able to do this, especially with no exercise as God knows I was not going to keep it up. I realised that my body does not like refined carbs (I think that’s what they are called) and will revolt viciously. All she wants is fibre and protein.

A new enemy: I was still on the healthy eating track, but I had a week of eating pasta and my skin paid dearly for it. I then realised with a heavy heart that I had to add pasta, rice and white bread to the no eat list (well, the no eat everyday list). At one point in my life, I was eating some combination of bread, rice, pasta, pastry, dough every single day! Wow. I realise now the havoc that wreaked on my waistline and skin.

Waiting for something to happen: One of my favourite quotes from the book-Madame Bovary. It so clearly encapsulates my feelings about life, and my constant longing for more.

Five years later: In this I took stock of my life, five years on from an earlier post. Of course I was disappointed.

Worry worry baby: Another post in which I complained about life, my job, and my propensity to worry. I remember the day I wrote this and the intense feeling of irritation and annoyance that led to this. I have spent ages complaining about my job. It’s time to move on.

el oo vee ee: I had a e-crush and it was nice to have someone to remotely fawn over and stalk on social media. Of course this didn’t last long but it was nice while it lasted.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?: I got vaccinated with no fuss.

It’s not enough!: Another post expressing my tiredness and dissatisfaction with the brevity of the weekend. I found this wonderful quote which definitely resonated with me.
“Your rest is not rest. You are resting so that you can work. You are working so that you can rest. You are caught up in a circle.”
― Shunya

Third time’s the charm?: A last baking hurrah, in which I confronted an arch nemesis (orange pound cake) and won…somewhat.

Outside is open and I am lonely again.: Lockdown was lifted, and while all the normal people celebrated, I felt the resurgence of my feelings of loneliness and FOMO. With lockdown, everyone was at home, and there as no pressure to socialise; it was not embarrassing to not have a response to “what did you do over the weekend?” Outside was open and everyone was in full social mode again (some people never stopped).

War on drugs: Just Stop.: I finally realised and admitted to myself I had an addiction to sugar which is as bad as any other addiction. As they say, the first step is realising you have a problem and this truly was a revelation.

Inertia: More complaint about my life and work; the suffocating stagnancy.

Woman in Black//Who Killed Alfred Oliver?: We outside!!!! I saw two plays for the first time since lockdown. The second one was cancelled after I saw it as half of the four cast members came down with covid. I also finally saw Phantom of the Opera but didn’t write a post on it. I didn’t write as much in 2021 (even though that was one of my goals); I did manage to write each month, but some months have only one/two posts.

Note to self: Final post of the year. I ordered some flowers for myself and included a message. I really liked it so I copied it out into a post for posterity.

My posts in 2021 have a sad depressing theme and they all revolve around loneliness and wanting more. I definitely need to switch careers because I am dead on the inside and cannot do this anymore.

My motto for 2022 is CHANGE. I need to leave my comfort zone and EVOLVE. Rather than making resolutions, I want to make proclamations. In 2022;
I will get a new job,
I will get a new place to live; one suitable to my needs
I will take care of myself more; eat healthy and exercise more
I will have regular trips to the salon
I will finish a draft of one of the many unfinished pieces of work in my computer
I will complete my application for permanent residency.
I will look feed my creative juices

I am too tired to be optimistic, but these things absolutely need to happen for my sanity. New Year New Me; I mean it this time. So help me God.

Note to self: Happiness is just around the corner. God is with you.

Happy new year!

Inertia

1. A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.
2. A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

One thing about me? I will remain in one position- a flat, a job, a city- for years on end until something forces me to change. I am a creature of habit and routine; I like what I like and it does not take much to keep me content (happy is a stretch). For a while I enjoy the normalcy but then life becomes stale and I become restless. I bear this restlessness with unease, wishing for a change but not actually taking any steps towards this. Change requires too much energy and it is easier to remain in the same spot, until it’s not.

While this has been my comfort zone for years, I now find myself stagnant in the later part of my twenties. Stagnant; like a body of water with no current or flow, my life has become dull, unmoving and unpleasant. Though I (claim to) enjoy my routine, the stagnancy has been eating away at my spirit for a while now. Deep down I am a social person whose social skills/desires have been blunted by years of solitude and inertia.

I moved into a flat-share back in almost five years ago and I have been here ever since. In this time I have seen probably twenty people move in and move out soon after to greener pastures. They have changed jobs, houses, even relationships and cities; and I am still here- in the same doggone flat watching as the house gets dirtier and dirtier with each new batch of tenants. I mostly stay in my room, avoiding the only communal area-the kitchen-as much as I can. I am not free here and my soul is not at rest. I have grown weary of welcoming new tenants- I don’t care to know any new people. I so badly long for a big cozy couch, and the freedom to have a house all to myself (or at the very least to not be with strangers). So why not just move out? That is what normal people would do right? Well I am highly abnormal. What’s the point of paying more money in rent when I could just buy my own place and pay mortgage. So I remain here, stagnant and unhappy.

My Job is another thing- I like it okay, and as I always say-things could be worse. Still everyone in my year group and most of the people in the year above have moved on to new jobs, and I’m still here. My mother recently suggested that I apply for new jobs just for a change, as this is what people typically do. A new job could mean higher pay and more opportunities, but as always the change frightens me and I really cannot be bothered to go through the stress of change. Do I really want to go through the stress of job application only to end up with a job which could be more stressful and less flexible than the one I currently have? A job is a job no? I don’t want to quit my job until I find my passion/raison d’etre and can do that. In addition to the effort, my fear with change is the possibility of regret-what if the grass is not greener on the other side and I start to wish I had stayed where I was?

Change happens when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.

Well, I have had enough. I have started looking for a new flat. What was the last straw? I’m tired of the revolving door of people, and there are two mouldy pots in the kitchen that no one is taking responsibility for (it could really only be one person). I have been casually searching for possible options but now I have put on my big girl pants and actually started organising viewings. Yes I will have to pay more each month, but what is the point of money if I cannot use it to make myself happy?

As for my job, I will stay on for a little bit longer. A steady income is nothing to take for granted, especially in these pandemic times. But rather than simply say things could be worse, I need to actively become aware of all my options, both in the corporate sphere and in the creative space. I am reminded of this quote:

Find something to work on, something that makes you excited, something you want to learn.

It’s not just the job that stifles me, it is the fact that I am doing nothing else. There is nothing that feeds my spirit and makes me excited, I am just existing day in day out. I would not be so bored, if I had something to look forward to after work. I met up with some people from work recently and one of my managers spent some time talking about her garden and all her babies-tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, even sunflowers. She is also planning her wedding so there is so much for her to look forward to in addition to work. Whereas I just roll out of bed, start working, and roll back in at night. Stagnant.

The sheer possibility of a change has brightened my day and lifted my spirits. I remember how excited I was when I first moved into this house; the joy of having my own space. I held on to that for five years too long. As stressful as it can be, change is so necessary from time to time. I hope I never forget this.

It’s not enough!

“Your rest is not rest. You are resting so that you can work. You are working so that you can rest. You are caught up in a circle.”
― Shunya

For five days a week we slave over a boring spreadsheet staring at screens until our retinas burn; painfully dragging ourselves through the week, completely tired and defeated, thirsty for a little bit of relief. Friday finally comes and we breathe a little; it’s the weekend, time to rest. We rest for a minute to catch our breath and wham! Monday slams us in the face like a wrecking ball. How is this acceptable? Five days on, two days off? It’s not enough!

To be completely honest, Saturday is the only true weekend-even though I spent it doing all my chores and worrying about not getting enough rest. Sunday for me is spent dreading Monday, my anxiety level rising to uncomfortable levels in anticipation of the chaos. The result of this is that I am barely able to relax and when Monday comes around I am exhausted rather than refreshed. I dislike it strongly. Who do I have to talk to about this?

At the very least I require a three day weekend-Saturday to recover from the stress of the week, Sunday to run errands, Monday to rest and mentally prepare for the new week. Hell, let’s have a four day weekend if we really care about our wellbeing. What is the point of all the technological advances if we cannot rest? There’s even talk in the sciencey circles that a two day weekend is literally ruining our health and consequently our lives, our future, and our destiny. Something to do with our circadian rhythm blah blah.

My days do not belong to me, and so I try to make up for it in the evenings and the weekends. Unfortunately for me, after work I have no motivation to do anything productive, so I just stay in bed and stare at my phone until my head hurts. Nighttime bedtime procrastination plays heavy into this. My day is not mine, so I’m going to stay up as long as I want,, doing nothing, even though it is ruining me.

The only silver lining with the weekend going by so quickly is that I know the week will go by as fast; though it does not seem that way at 9am Monday morning, the distance between Moody Monday and Fun Friday is just a twinkling. Of course this then taps into my existential fear of the passage of time and how it seems time is speeding by, leaving me in its wake. It’s Monday then it’s Friday and it’s Monday again, and I’m just here, sitting still in the midst of it all like a passenger in a bullet train. But I digress.

The world has seen quite a few movements in recent times, the next one has to be for work-life balance. #FreetheWeekend #IStandWiththeWeekend #Handsoffmyweekend

I desire nothing more than a deep restful sleep. I fear I’ll never get it.