I’m not doing much these days. I stay up late. I sleep in. I indulge in food. I listen to podcasts. I binge watch TV. I sit in bed and surf the web. I socialise when I feel like it. I only do what I enjoy most of the time.
It feels a bit self-indulgent. There’s a nagging voice inside my head saying ‘You should be more productive. You need to figure out what you want to do with your life.’ I guess in our world of constant hyperactivity rest is something that is frowned upon unless it’s neatly balanced with a hefty dose of work.
But I felt the need to pause and reset so not to fall into old habits again, not to get swept up by responsibilities, pressures and expectations. Not to have my vision clouded and my feelings obscured so I can have a go at this being happy and fulfilled lark.
In a way, I’m working more than ever. It’s just not the kind of work that pays the rent or is particularly valued by society. I’m working on being kinder to myself. I try hard to pay attention to my feelings, be open to difficult emotions and find a way of coping with them.
I meditate a few times a week. I work on staying present, reminding myself that I am okay right now. Hopefully by tuning in and not distracting myself constantly I’ll eventually figure out what it is I want to do. I take time to read, listen, watch. I draw inspiration from the creations of others.
Pressing pause has also allowed me to write more, keep this blog updated weekly and come up with ideas for various projects. It has enabled me to pluck up the courage to challenge myself and do things I’m not very comfortable with. (Like jumping around while doing tongue twisters at a writers’ workshop and entertaining the masses on stage in a nightclub.)
Being momentarily unburdened by outside responsibilities has also meant I can be there for friends when they need support. I can show up short notice to help out and make their lives a little bit easier.
Most importantly, though, I’m showing up for myself. And though it may not seem like much, it’s more than I have ever done before. The path is still obstructed but when I look up I can see flashes of light sparkling through the trees. I’ll just rest for a little while longer before I keep going.