Several times a week I find myself sitting down to work on the things I decided were my priorities for the day and all of a sudden unable to sit still. I start seeing something that needs to be washed or organized or another project idea that comes up that I should tackle. It’s a nervous energy that makes me both want to actually go running or just go to sleep. It’s anxiety. I know that. And if I sit still in the discomfort long enough, and take deep breaths, I’ll feel my eyes start to burn, feel the urge to cry.
But about what?
I have so many ideas coursing through my mind, things I want to try, places I want to go, I have so many doubts about what I am capable of, of what people will respect me for, so much internal conflict between what I enjoy doing and what I “should” do, I have so many voices in my head telling me that this or that idea is foolish, juvenile, how will you make money, why’d you even get that PhD if you’re not going to use it, what are you doing, who do you think you are, you’re in your 30s–you need to be settling down.
When I distill it all down, I fundamentally don’t trust myself, I don’t have the confidence of my projections, in some ways I resent the path I took because it didn’t feel like mine, but in other ways I resent the resentment, because I have a pretty great life that I’m not being present in, that I’m observing instead of inhabiting.
I want to deal with all of these thoughts, these hang ups, these insecurities, these hurts, be still and let it come up. But part of that anxiousness is that I’m not good enough and that I’m not doing enough, so what do I look like sitting on the floor of my living room spaced out, crying, coming to, and then laughing, when what I NEED to do is make revisions for my PhD prospectus, find a new job, plan this lecture, finish out the remainder of this contract,…?
It’s difficult to make sound forward movement when you’re making decisions from the same insecure, fear-based mentality you’ve carried for 30+ years. There are real things that I need to address right now, but then I worry, am I moving forward in a way that reinforces the same bad habits? All my programming tells me that I’m not doing enough and that I can do it all, but healing tells me that I need to rest.
I take deep breaths, I dance off the energy in the living room, and usually about an hour later I can do something, even if it’s not the thing that I wanted to do. I call it a win anyway, because I kept going.