Hi readers! It seems that I have taken an impromptu break from writing. Let’s be frank here, blogging has been the last thing on my mind recently and I just haven’t had the energy. We all have those days, but the important thing is that I am back, so I hope the wait was worth it.
I’m assuming this post will have some grander, albeit inadvertent, point at its end even though I haven’t really thought this one through. I’m not sure if it will but bear with me and hopefully the fragments will fall into place.
I would like to start by giving an update on how things have been with me, an unusual departure from my previous posts. If truth be told, I’ve been feeling a little broken recently. You might be wondering, broken in what way? I would like to have some elaborate answer to that question, but I don’t. I don’t have the foggiest idea why; I just know that I’ve been a million miles away from my ‘normal’ self without the faintest clue of how to get back to that person.
From an objective standpoint, I shouldn’t be feeling anything remotely close to the guilt, anxiety, and sheer terror that I’ve experienced these past months. Things have truly never been better. So, what really is all the fuss about? For a long time, I thought that what I was feeling was just my own tendency to be over dramatic, that somehow I was causing and perpetuating these problems. It’s quite possible that this is still is the case, but not without reason.
I have done much to be proud of these last few months, even years, and I know this somewhere deep, deep, deep down: I achieved a first-class for the second year running at university; I set up The Hema Life and started writing for the university magazine; and I’ve even taken a stab at getting my academic work published in a literary journal, along with applying for an internship. I would have never guessed I would do any of these things.
I am definitely not ungrateful for my good fortune, although it seems that way much of the time. I’ve excelled in many ways this summer, but more importantly, I have pushed myself to take new opportunities, despite how much it has terrified me.
Yet, there is still a problem. There is always a part of me that is never quite satisfied with the progress, that yearns for more, even obsesses over it. You’re not good enough. You’re not progressing enough. You’re not doing enough. Funnily enough, I have never had the courage to question why it is never enough. I don’t think I have the answer to that either. I take it as the truth and run with it.
There is a reason I used this particular photograph as my cover picture for this post. It is the first picture that I had taken of myself when I arrived at university, the little bird leaving the nest at last. The road to university was not without its hurdles, but, in that moment, I realised that I had finally made it. I was so happy …
A few years ago, someone told me that I was something of a role model for them. I had overcome hurdle after hurdle and still managed to succeed, they thought. Surely, if I could do it, then they would have no trouble at all. At the time, I took it as a massive compliment; I felt so proud because what I had achieved was being recognised. I didn’t know people thought of me that way. I didn’t know they thought of me at all. Looking back at it now, I feel quite different.
What that experience highlighted was how people really viewed me. If I could do it, then they could do it too, but better. I would always be one step behind, inadequate, an underachiever, despite my efforts. But this was still good enough for me apparently.
It’s as if I am standing on a train platform, waiting. A train arrives, along with carriage upon carriage filled with my loved ones and countless, faceless strangers. But the train is moving too fast, or at least I think it is, and I start to slip away. I adjust my pace, run harder and faster, anything I can to not be left behind. But I trip and fall, always just short of reaching the train carriage. The train doesn’t stop for anyone and I’m left floundering on the floor, alone. It’s quite an unsettling feeling to say the least, more so as I move into the next chapter of my life. It terrifies me to know that this could potentially happen, that I might actually get left behind.
Much of what has taken place in the last two years has done anything but to quell that fear. I never had the chance to prove that I was better, that I had the potential to excel further because, in all honesty, I could have ended up in a worser situation. I was just lucky that it didn’t pan out that way.
In all of this mess, I actually have forgotten to feel happy for myself, for the things I have done. My achievements and successes thus far don’t have significance because I am always looking for the next thing. My perception on matters have become so distorted that I think I believe I’m not good enough. I trust more in what I perceive as others’ strengths rather than my proven ability. I think it’s time that I learn to appreciate what I already have rather than what I think I should have because that is never going to be enough. Maybe then, I might just catch the train.
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