In Moderation and In Paces
“Let not our longing slay our appetite for living.”
— From Dayo, as she experiences and learns. Welcome to The Mind Palace!
I recently came out of a gloom phase that has everything to do with graduating and the things I should be doing now that I’ve graduated. A recipe for sullenness, and I’ll describe mine in phases. We’ll be alright though because the end strays from the beginning.
The feelings you have and thought patterns you spiral into because you’ve (just) graduated and now should be doing something productive. Except not just productive, it should be self-worth gratifying. These won’t be strange:
“I should be working or close to working.”
“I should be learning stuff at a fast (and unreasonably set) pace.”
“I should have life (vaguely) figured out and should be at least a milestone deep in my plan.”
“Jeez, what noteworthy thing do I have to say about my life right now or brag about on LinkedIn and Instagram?”
“Ugh, what am I doing with my life right now??”
Deeping that this is a problem.
As you know, acceptance is the first step to solving a problem.
Initially, I didn’t see this as a problem — typical, denial is the first stage of a gloom curve. Someone else had to make me see my situation for what it was. I had just finished a 5-year course for goodness sake and all I did was sit in front of my laptop all day applying for jobs, attending a meeting or doing something else that gradually made me gloomy.
You need rest.
Obviously, I crashed.
I went offline, sulked, didn’t do anything of “value”, and ended up reading three novels in four days. Clearly, I was deep in my shit. *takes a deep breathe*
Love, do you know you need to rest? Why mount undue pressure on yourself? To be what for who and at the expense of living? There really is a time for everything, and there is something else called wise planning. You need rest. I need rest. We all need rest.
Rest does not mean slacking off, rest does not mean unproductivity, and you are definitely not going through a mid-life crisis. Rest means reasonably pacing yourself. Rest means blocking out time to just live. Rest means doing things in reasonable proportions. Think about it, when exactly would you have the time to be as free as this or without as many responsibilities? Is it when you have a 9 to 5 or when you’re trying to raise something from the ground?
You need rest (II).
One thing Insecure (yes, Insecure) taught me is that there is no such thing as ‘should be’. You have your timeline and I have mine and they are not the same. You are your only competition (true, true and still true). And if your problem was never about comparisons, your future you is not running away. If anything, your future you will thank you for not bringing too-soon burnouts, whoops-this-is-not-what-I want to-do-with-my-life problems, and I’m-stuck-because-I-didn’t-think-better issues.
This period is a gift. Use it to learn about yourself. Use it to go ham on that thing that interests you. Learn how to be financially stable or something else. Try reading a book, and for Pete's sake read books that tickle your fancy not just to say ‘I’m reading a book.’ Finally, work and rest.
A boon for me is to repeat affirmations because, you know, repetition births conviction, and I know them to be “fixed realities in the universe that help navigate my environment”.
The most important ones:
- “I’ve prayed about it [everything ‘it’ means] so I will be alright.” (I’m God’s beloved like that.)
- “Being a pro is on the other side of being a tabula rasa.” (Salem King calls this being a pro-beginner.)
TLDR: “Let not our longing slay our appetite for living.”
I wish you peace and I wish you your very best,
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