Swimming without a lane

I am an ISTJ. Hence, on NYE when I still hadn’t decided on any New Year’s resolutions, I had all but accepted my status as a failure. I had lost the will to hope for anything, to work towards anything. New Year’s Day, I went out with friends and spent the night crying in a filthy public toilet. Yet, a few days later, I felt strangely at peace. Okay, I had no plans for the year, I had no real hopes or ambitions, but maybe that was a good thing. I like to plan because I like to be in control. I like to be able to anticipate change and not be shaken by it. But the last year or so had overwhelmed me with changes that were outside my control and had left me feeling defeated. And so, for the first time in my very organised, very goal driven life, I had one plan – not to plan – to just see how things would go.

Of course, there is much more frantically trying to meet deadlines, forgotten prescriptions, erratic church attendance. But it has also been kind of wonderful. I have had numerous opportunities come my way that I would never have dreamed of applying for, I have jumped on trains to all parts of the country and I have been reckless with love. I have been to protests, spoken on panels, attended film screenings and magazine launches.

And yes, I still have those times when I feel alone in the whirlwind.  The dark moments, when I am burnout and those thoughts take over. That part hasn’t changed. And those moments are less predictable – their waves drag me under before I have had a chance to take a breath. That part still scares me.

I am expecting that by the end of the year I would have found a happy medium. That I would have found a way to function in a busy, face-paced, unpredictable world, without being overwhelmed by it. That I leave enough room for spontaneity, be more open to flexibility, while also being responsible enough to put in place those safeguards that I need to stay afloat.

I still have 3/4 of the year to go. So in the words of my favourite Paracanthurus hepatus, I’ve got to just keep swimming.

– nathania

Featured image from Chronic Survivor


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