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Brain on the Back Burner

I am still not ready for “back to work”. What I want is to extend my break for maybe a couple more weeks. I spent most of late November and all of December catching up on life backlogs. I only started getting a little extra sleep on Christmas week but waking hours were still on chores and other responsible tasks.

What I need is pure time for what my soul needs. Time to follow the long trails of my thoughts. Time to just make art without watching the clock. Time to read untethered from the routines of the hours. Time to just play.

I want to drop the chain of “productivity” as it has been driving and making demands of my days. I don’t want to go back to the old defaults. I want a new way of doing things that will yield the results I need. Last year I gave in to the defaults because surely that’s the sure way to go. But even the defaults failed. And now nothing much is really holding me back from just creating new paths and possibilities. Create alternative narratives. Alternative ways to earn a living. Alternative ways to live.

Today I did tasks closer to the life I hope to live as normal rather than an exception. Tasks relating to my dream job. I mostly need my heart for these so as I performed those tasks my brain is on the back burner plotting out possible solutions to change the course of my everyday. My well-being has come to depend now on the flow of my days, especially as the quarantine has imposed so many limitations on movements.

This is how I feel: like I am pressed thin and dry between the requirements of adulthood. Fear and anxiety are constant, particularly about money. I constantly worry about my parents’ health. I worry about food and about getting the rent paid soon. And at the same time, I feel a debilitating dread about having to do the same old work that saps my strength and drains my spirit. It has come to the point that I get physically sick to have to do the work that I used to love but now have come to hate.

I want to write about that hate and how it came to be. And maybe if I am clear on what it really is and where it is coming from then I can find some way to endure having to do it just a little bit more while I grow myself and my skills for work that is more attuned with my values.

I need to harvest and harness the strength of my years and experience. I have to learn how to do that. For the longest time, I’ve downplayed the advantages of my age and often I only saw and felt the disadvantages of it. Perhaps it is way overdue to shift my own perspective.

My clarity should serve me not weaken me. I must not be ashamed of how I feel, what I want, and what I need. I should not be apologetic for insisting that I can create a life out of a dream. I should not feel guilty for trying what everyone says is impossible.

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