Do you ever wake up in the morning and know exactly how your day is going to go?
You wake up and do a live exercise class taught by an extremely driven personal trainer, then shower and take on the bright, beautiful day. You are productive at work, you go on a short jog and you breathe in the fresh air. Your evening is spent doing a new yoga class, then completed by cooking up a new recipe you found online that, of course, turns out excellent and you share it on your Insta story that night. The day was a success.
Or maybe you roll out of bed with a permanent frown on your face, upset with the world and showering only if you are feeling ambitious. The 3-foot distance between your bed and your work desk is hardly the space you need between your personal and professional life. Then you nap, get takeout and binge on your favorite show before bed. It is hard not to feel like a failure when you had the whole day to achieve something and you hardly did anything. You made a list of things in life that you are grateful for, but you are not able to feel happy.
Once in a while I am that person bursting with enthusiasm ready to achieve my fitness goals, ready to take on the world. Majority of my days, I am not. Instead, I turn the shower on to see if the water is still running. But if I know exactly how my day is going to go, why do I feel a little bit lost?
Truthfully, there is nothing too bad in my life. Although I live in a country where disparities in the healthcare system affect the disadvantaged more so than their affluent counterparts, the other day my mom told me that many people in India who worked in cities and lost their jobs had to walk hundreds of kilometers to get back to their villages because none of the public buses were running due to COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown. Those displaced workers said they would die of hunger before they caught the virus, while I stand here staring at my full freezer.
I worry about the security of my job.
Before all of this started, I kept my mind busy. I think my hardest challenge now is that I have too much time to think. With all that excess time, my mind fixates on the important as well as the most insignificant things in my life. I have a hard time controlling my thoughts and I wish there was a medication I could take to make them stop. I keep thinking of all the things I do not have in my life and that I am missing, instead of everything I do have in my life. What scares me the most is that I worry that I will never change.
I wonder how many more people are finding a friend in a glass of wine, instead of being that friend to themselves. I have been struggling to put things in perspective despite my desperately trying, and then, when I feel like I have failed, I spiral, and feel even more sorry for myself for not doing more in life with all the opportunities I have had.
If I know all the things I can do and could do, why do I feel so lost? Some have told me I just need stronger will power to get things done, and that if I really wanted to do something, I would have, but they do not understand that just because something is easy for them, does not mean it is easy for others.
I can definitely say one thing for sure, and that is watching other people share their lives on social media has been more harmful to me than helpful. Watching other people use this time to be more creative and share their achievements has made me realize how little I have managed to get done. The rational part of me is aware that what we see online is not the whole truth, and that everyone who shares a part of their happiness is also struggling, though some more than others. Everyone is fighting their own battle and when I am so engrossed in my own life, it is hard for me to consider that.
I feel lost because I thought I could use all this extra time to learn something new or to write more but most of the time I feel stuck and my mind is in a fog. I am missing that sense of clarity that I hoped I would have now. I make lists of all the grand things I should achieve now but unless I can snap out of this, I feel like I am increasingly drowning in my own misery.
I know I have to make an effort and choose the right path, but I do not know which path is right.
These are difficult times. We are all struggling, and compounding that struggle by putting the pressure on ourselves to do more, despite being unable to do it all. I am desperately looking for answers and trying to find that one push that will get me up to be that zealous person who can achieve all her goals.
I spoke to a close friend yesterday whom I have always looked up to her for her positive energy and drive in life. She is the type who, when she wants to do something, she just does it, and that inspires me to know that it might be possible to be that way myself. And I heard that she, too, was struggling.
She told me things have been harder than normal. She told me life has been more challenging, but that it is normal to feel that way now. We are going thought a time that no one could have predicted. She said this is when we must do the best that we can, and not beat ourselves up for what we cannot accomplish, because while focusing on being kind to others, a lot of us have forgotten to be kind to ourselves.
Be your own friend. Tell yourself what you would tell a friend who is having a hard time. It is not important to have all the answers, especially not right now. Maybe right now you’re supposed to be a little bit lost.
Do not give up on yourself because you know you would never give up on your friend. Always remember that at a time like this–you are striving, not struggling. It is only a matter of time.