Each time we put our feet out of bed, each time we create something, each time we defend our rights, each time we remain silent when we know we should speak up, each time we ask for help, we are all battling our fears. Sometimes, even each breath we take is a battle, but society demands that we hide our fears and pretend our lives are perfect, or we risk being unworthy of love.
One day, I got tired of playing that game, so here is the bare naked truth: I am afraid but I refuse to let my fears defeat me. So, with each post like the one you’re about to read, I recognize those fears, and then I move on.
I am afraid of not having a structure. Yet, at the same time, it feels like structure is slowly driving me insane, with sleepless nights and binge eating going around almost daily. I’ve tried so many different styles of structure, but none seem to fit; and at the end of the day, although I may seem successful to others, I feel like I am being crushed by an invisible weight.
I seem to have a fixed idea of what I want my life to be, trying to fulfil my wishes and other’s expectations while managing not to satisfy anyone’s. Even if I am fulfiling them, I still feel stuck, not happy, dealing with the horrible feeling that I’m paddling on a sinking boat without a lifevest. I don’t feel like I’ve reached rock bottom but that I’m heading in that direction.
I’ve tried different styles of structures, all appearing promising in the beginning and backfiring on me in the end. Tracking the amount of time that I write, work on science, exercise, read, etc., pushed me to do more but at the end of the day, I felt like an exhausted hamster trying to take one more step at the wheel. If I set myself a list of things to do each day, I felt trapped and also like a failure. To be honest, I’ve even tried different types of lists, including the one recommended by the author Tonya Dalton, but I find it very hard to get myself to prioritize the right things when all careers strive for the first place inside my soul.
I want to sit down and enjoy myself, make all my duties a choice, not something I feel horrible about. It is my choice to be a researcher, a writer, and a teacher. What drags me down are the demands of each career and the heaviness I feel when I try to fit them all in a day, a week, a month. But I know that if I just keep trying, I’ll find the balance. It’s all a matter of trial and error.