Our society praises busyness. It equates being busy with being successful. If you are busy, then you are important, admirable and in high demand of others. Busy bees buzzing around here and there, chasing perfection, constantly working to meet and exceed expectations.
Is this not a totally biased perspective? To be a busy workaholic will certainly bring about results, but what’s the cost? Of course, doing nothing at all would not be correct.
Busyness can be guise for those who find discomfort in stillness. Sometimes we cannot fathom what would become of our lives if we just… didn’t. If we just stopped. Perhaps, we’d find ourselves feeling anxious and guilty in this state of being. Busyness can mask the emptiness we fear to find within ourselves because, of course, our lives cannot be meaningless is we are busy.
We must be careful of the difference here. A balance can be established between sitting idle and being constantly on the go. That balance is where we can be most effective. Most satisfied. We flourish.
I am capable of many things. I live independently. I am a responsible kitty-owner. I have managed work and study, even outside of unexpected second jobs that come along with recovery life. People describe me as mature and responsible. They say, you seem much older than that.
Yes, I am so adult in so many respects.
In times of stress and pressure, it seems my very existence requires a great deal of planning. Basic needs. I mean, they’re basic for a reason. There is a total logical disconnect of which I have no control. I blindly follow along, moving myself through the motions like a puppet on a string.
It takes immense courage and effort to treat myself gently, to nourish inside and out. Don’t get me wrong, if that’s the price of freedom – I’ll take two. But how can something so innately natural and human be so.. complex?
It wasn’t long ago that I thought I had myself all figured out. I knew I was a daughter, a sister, a dancer, a student, a friend, a girlfriend – and my roles told me what I wanted. Or rather, my society knew what it wanted me to want, which made it easy for me to fit where I was supposed to. I had clear, quantifiable parameters I knew I could satisfy.
The reality is much more intricate. Like all things worthwhile, it requires hardwork and bravery to discover what you want. You get everyone’s ideas, but in the absence of your own, you begin chasing things. You cannot learn until you actually experience what you want. Taking risks and challenging your beliefs hasten it. Denial, inaction, and avoiding failure stifle it.
I may not know exactly what I want, but I’m learning what I don’t want…
– I don’t want to read more than one book at a time.
– I don’t want to always have to earn things that I like.
– I don’t want to be thinking about other things when someone is speaking to me.
– I don’t want to eat the same things everyday.
– I don’t want to tolerate when someone has hurt me.
– I don’t want to downplay things that I’m excited about.
– I don’t want to be embarrassed when my attitudes differ from someone else’s.
– I don’t want to care about being overdressed.
– I don’t want to be afraid of things that are not a threat to me.
– I don’t want to have excuses for not doing my nails, not having a bubble-bath, or not eating breakfast.
– I don’t want to look down when I walk, or a few paces behind.
– I don’t want to have a small family, or a home without pets.
The three things that change the trajectory of life and we have control of only one. Reality happens, feelings occur, successes and failures emerge. Wishing and acting otherwise never make it go away.
Somewhere between grabbing my morning coffees, turning over work deadlines, bouncing around the city nightlife and meeting beautiful strangers – I see her. Grey. Withered. And I am reminded of life’s intense fragility and humbled again. The thought alone puts me in a place of absolute fear and total appreciation for my well-being.
Having lost it all has led me on a more honest path. It occurs to me now less like a liability and more like an asset, which just so happens to make me feel a little more like a bad-ass. Authenticity pushes me out of my comfort zone. Humble reminders give me the courage to live without fear and regret.