I almost didn’t publish this article, because so far I’ve completely failed to follow the advice at the end of it. But that’s a pretty good reflection of where my head has been at this week, and maybe it will help someone feel better about where they’re at too. So here goes…
Now that I’m free from client work for a while, I should be working on my own products. (Watch out for the word ‘should’, it can tell you a lot about your thinking).
But I feel like an animal that’s just been released from captivity; unwilling to leave the security of its cage. For the past week or so I’ve merely sat at my desk, driving around the internet without any end destination or goal in sight.
The trick might be… or most definitely is… to acknowledge my towering self-doubt, and carry on with the work regardless. My excuses—the alternatives to doing my thing—seem to be growing in ridiculousness. I find myself wondering if I should finally pursue that career in singing/songwriting instead of writing my blog. Or maybe I should do that popup noodle restaurant idea. Or maybe I should sell my house and possessions to go travelling around the world and never come back.
Anything but do the work itself.
Even writing this feels like a huge strain. Its almost 5pm on a Friday and I’ve done nothing else today apart from sleep and peruse the internet. Why do I feel tired? What’s wrong with me? Am I depressed again? Something else?
I feel broken. Empty. Lifeless.
Last week, on something of a whim, I deleted the CycleLove Instagram account, and let the domain name expire too. Bye bye to 21,000 followers. Then I deleted the Twitter and Facebook accounts too, just for good measure. If I can’t figure out what I want from life at the moment, I can at least figure out the things I don’t want, and jettison them.
I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself like this. I’ve got so much… and I can afford to do whatever I want this month, and next month, and even beyond that after if I wanted. So why do I feel so lethargic? Why do I feel like I want to stay in bed all day?
I’ve read enough self-help books and blogs in my time to know better than this. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe it’s a good thing to be unproductive for a while.
We live in a world of work. We must work to feel worthy. We must work to have a purpose. We must work… they tell us.
What if work makes us sick? What if work just puts the blinkers on us so we keep consuming? What if work is the enemy?
I know, I know, I know. I can only ask such a question from my position of privilege. I’ve had such an easy, lucky life, born into a middle-class family as a white male, with every door open and available to me, and everything I wanted landing at my feet.
I just can’t seem to get excited about work at the moment. When I flick through the folders on my computer, nothing. When I look at a blank page, nothing. It’s weird having created a collection of life-advice and then failing to follow it yourself. Maybe that’s the hardest thing… to follow your own advice.
I’m not a robot. I’m not a factory. I’m just a messed up human trying to make sense of my mess, like everyone else.
For now, back to basics.
Close your eyes and breathe. I sat down with my legs crossed in the park yesterday and sucked in some oxygen, and life made a little more sense afterwards.
Feel your lungs pounding. Feel your muscles aching. Feel the sweat running down your skin.
Laugh about everything and nothing. What else can we do? (This video has been helping a lot in this respect).
Posted to life in 2017.