When you wake up every morning feeling hopeless and restless and stuck in a vicious circle, it is time to pause. Rewind. Re-evaluate.
I think that it is easy to get tied up in the golden handcuffs of relative success, to float along the path of academia that one chose for themselves at the ripe old age of 16. I was doing just that, and admitting to no one, least of all myself, the fact that something wasn’t right. What does it take to jump through that hoop, to finally surrender to truth and acknowledge that latent feeling of discontent?
Take a look at the sorry mess lying on the floor, sobbing and unable to speak, clinging to the cold hard tiles because they are the only thing that remind her she is real, and you’ll get an idea.
My life has been full of shoulds. I was fighting with every iota of my being for a dream that wasn’t even mine. For years I have done what I felt everyone else would expect. When I deviated from this even slightly and chose to study Social Sciences instead of “hard” sciences, the harsh reaction from those who told me I was wasting my talent for Chemistry scared me enough to pretend I was passionate about my program, ready to tackle the world of International Development one 700 page textbook at a time. Change my mind after that? Forget it.
Somewhere along the gilded path to government employment, I lost a sense of who I was. I spent two years convincing myself that I was doing the “right thing”. To numb any doubts that crept into my consciousness, I literally began to run away from my fear. Many injuries, several friends, all sense of normalcy around food, and a chemical imbalance later, I wound up where I am now. And I say- enough.
Tackling the fear of uncertainty will undoubtedly begin the most rewarding journey I could embark upon. As I waver from ready to take on the world one moment and unable to stop the treadmill the next, I remind myself that it will be worth it.
I’m taking away the “should” and introducing myself to the possibility of doing something because I want to, because it would make me happy, because it feels right. And I will be enough.