Life Lately

Every time I feel the impulse to blog about my personal life, I always feel a counter-impulse not to, because it feels unnecessary, tiresome, and self-indulgent. Like, who cares, right? The world has enough problems and riffraff without my adding to it. It’s the same way I often keep silent even when my brain is running through a gazillion thoughts and responses. In my book, silence is always better than a response I will regret. In the blogosphere, this translates to: No post is always better than a post I will regret putting up.

A lot of my would-have-been-posts have thus evaporated to thin air, and every time that happened, a part of me breathed a sigh of relief for having overcome a whim of the id. But frankly, it hasn’t been all that helpful. I feel restricted by my own doing; like being in a straitjacket I put on myself. This blog is a place I’ve carved out and staked a claim to as my own, and not having courage enough to post freely here feels like a betrayal. I remember a friend of mine saying that blogging should be something we do for ourselves. Others might benefit from one or several of our posts, maybe, but that shouldn’t be our main concern. We should, first and foremost, write for ourselves.

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”—Cyril Connolly

Over the past couple of days, I’ve been rereading posts I’ve put up here under the category “Personal.” And I have to admit, I do like them. Many times, I was surprised by what I wrote in them and had completely forgotten how I came around to constructing the exact sentences in those posts. Several times while reading, I reacted with, “Wait, I wrote that?? Where did that come from?”

But in rereading those posts, I did appreciate the insight my younger self offered. You know, lately I’ve been reading the book “What I Know Now: Letters to My Younger Self,” in which women shared their wisdom to their younger selves through a letter. The letters were obviously meant to go backwards in time, carrying with them the wisdom of hindsight and a more mature perspective in life. Now in my case, what I’ve written in the past works the opposite way—they contain the insight and perspective of my younger self, which frankly, I found to be helpful reminders to my current self. See, growing old may bring us wisdom and maturity in perspective, but sometimes it may also cause us to grow disillusioned, hopeless, and just plain gray. Youth, on the other hand, has such vibrancy, candidness and sense of hope it’s refreshing to come in contact with that younger self of ours reminding us what it was like to have the fire burning. Saying to us, we didn’t come this far to just give up. Telling us, we’ve got this.

So now this post really is just me talking about life, from my corner of the universe. Maybe this will help my future self, maybe not. Nonetheless, I want this on record. This is my 26-year-old self speaking, and this, is how life has been lately.

Of late, I have been restless again. Things I have expected to be accomplished by now—mainly, getting my RP (Registered Psychologist) license—still remain undone. I have passed up on taking the board exam last year and will pass up on it again this year, partly because I am unprepared for it, but mostly because I am so damn terrified of taking a chance on it. From a day-to-day view, this transition thing from nurse to psychologist feels like it’s going at a slower rate than I would prefer. From a big-picture view, however, the current place I’m in is admittedly more favorable than I expected, given that I am already teaching in this very field I am still a student of. Nonetheless, I know I won’t ever feel that the transition is complete unless I finally get my RP license.

The most difficult thing is keeping patient and trusting the process. On the one hand, I do understand and am willing to accept this process. But on the other hand, some days things just feel too slow-moving and I fear I may just be stalling instead of taking more risks.

I keep trying to remind myself that I should not rush; after all, I have been in psychology for a time shorter than that I spent in nursing school. Calm your heart, my sweet. Transition takes time.

On other news—I am considerably happier these days. Not gleefully happy, but as happy as can be aspired to given the current state of things. I keep relearning that it really is all about purpose—the pursuit of fulfilling it, the satisfaction of accomplishing it, and the setting out to a new one next. It’s tempting to think that total freedom from things-to-do and from cares related to the future is the main thing that will make us happy, but it’s not. The state of having absolutely nothing to do and having no cares for the future is blissful for a brief period, but utterly maddening when prolonged. As Viktor Frankl best put it–

What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

These days I continue to work, albeit very slowly, towards fulfilling that ‘potential meaning.’ It doesn’t always feel that way, of course. Most days, the drudgery and monotony of this life get to me. But it is my hope that someday time will reveal to me the overarching purpose of my life, the reason why I was brought here in the first place.

In the meantime, I continue to live my life day after day, with this flicker of hope that maybe one day I am going to encounter something life-changing and then life won’t feel so day-to-day anymore. It is this hope, this small hope, that is one of the things that’s keeping me going. I refuse to blow it up to a blazing expectation, but I do wish to keep this hope alive.

No matter how small, this flicker should be kept alight. ♦

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10 thoughts on “Life Lately

  1. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now. I admire your writing as well as your optimism in life. This post of yours is such a spot on– I’ve been feeling the same way, too, for quite some time now. I’d like to share with you this prayer I stumbled upon, from the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I hope it gives you sunshine on otherwise gloomy days; or perhaps gives you a bit more hope when you need it most, as it did to me.

    http://brightside.me/inspiration-psychology/this-tender-prayer-by-antoine-de-saint-exupery-will-touch-your-soul-148655/

  2. There is something a bit exciting yet nerve wracking putting yourself out there with writing (or whatever medium it may be) comes straight from the heart. It is a good process to undergo at times because it gets the mind moving in a direction, even if not the direction you thought it would go. It may never be an immediate life-changing event, but it can take you on a path that is just different enough so life won’t feel so day-to-day anymore. I enjoy such posts at times – both writing and reading – and you’ve got a great writing style to make it enjoyable. Cheers to a good day.

    • Yes indeed. What you said reminds me of this CS Lewis quote: “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different…” Maybe one day I’ll look back at everything I’ve written during ‘plain’ days and see that they were exactly what defined that path that you mentioned. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  3. First your writing is a beautiful flow of courage and vulnerability, lovely. Second I too think the same thing and have been asked, oh d you write about your day, your struggles, my reply is ‘no I live it, I don’t want to revisit it’. But I find myself craving to write about my experiences more and as I read blogs like yours I am beginning to find myself wanting to take that step, to be vulnerable, because it is vulnerability you are showing when you write about your true self. Thank you for the reminder that it is helpful.
    Third, as if often the case it is easier to give advice than to follow it, go for your dream. Take the test. Often we build up something in our mind, storytelling many reasons why we shouldn’t do something that it becomes so big we simply can’t see beyond it. Ask yourself this, ‘how will you feel after you take it?’ I was like this, not on the same scale but with completing a course, were I stalled, finally after months went back to it and realized it was not even close to being as bad as I feared. You are stronger than you think. 🙂

    • I’m glad to know you’ve been inspired to get in touch more with your vulnerability as you write. I think it’s essential to achieve authenticity in writing, and I look forward to reading more of your posts that venture into that.

      Thank you for the thoughtful reply and the encouragement. 🙂

  4. I feel the same way. I always think of what the others might think when I write posts that i feel too personal when in reality, i first put up a blog for myself, as a place to carve out my thoughts! What an irony right? I’m still learning how to stop censoring myself and just write what the heck i want. Hopefully, we get there. And some amazing writers or even bloggers I’ve seen are those who just write whatever they want and feel. 🙂

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