The Challenge of Being Too Much
For as long as I can remember, I've been terrified of one word: lazy. I've brought to the definition my connotations of negligence and lethargy, scaring myself from spending anything close to idle time and naming it selfish and indulgent.
While overcoming this fear would look like me identifying its irrationality, I instead strive to evade it, separating myself from any possibility that the word could be associated with how I live my life. The result? I'm frantic, constantly clawing at the ways I can exert energy, whether it be in social contexts, physical engagements, or even tests of my intellectual and emotional limits. I don't know how to vacation, instead often sending myself down an existential rabbit hole, wondering what the point of all of it is if I am not creating something, working at something, building something.
But now, I want to get at the root of what's happening inside of me. Why do I want this, why am I scared of a pause, fearful that if I stop piling engagements and obligations atop one another, that I'll cease to exist, moving without direction and living without purpose.
A recent reconsideration of the word's exact definition led to some insight on these questions. The majority of the tasks I fill my time with are self-imposed obligations. They've been ways to to make myself feel important, to make myself feel capable and confident. And really, none of these are bad qualities or objectively bad things to strive for, but I've come to discover the true depth of their positioning in my life: I use these tasks and commitments simply to say that I'm busy.
But really, it may even be more than my adherence to our society's glorification of the word "busy." Instead, I may have fallen into this habit of over-scheduling myself to save me from time I can spend with myself.
It seems strange to be scared of yourself, to be anxious about what you'll discover when you let yourself enter the mind, body, and spirit you inhabit and take with you each day. But I've been patient with myself, understanding that this fear is not without validity. In recent years, journalists have exhausted the topic of increasing human loneliness, writing that as we become more dependent upon technology to guide our lives, we step away from the other beings who enrich and enhance the quality of our lives.
So with that, I've established two goals for myself, two intentions that I believe will set me on the path of developing comfort with who Isa is, learning to meet her with curiosity, compassion and empathy. I will not be afraid of time spent with myself, understanding that time alone doesn't automatically translate to an abyss, nor does it equal laziness or apathy.
I want to couple this as well with an embracing of true community. I want to seek people who make me feel alive and who welcome me as I am, both in my accomplishments and my much-needed, much-deserved, states of rest.