New Experiences & Old Pains

I have a job that I like. The people are awesome, the tasks are interesting and exciting, and I feel like there is plenty of opportunities for me to grow professionally. Not to mention that it’s much better than the previous (short-lived) job I had, and a very good improvement over my first job. I’ve been given the opportunity to work here, and I don’t want to lose it.

And, I think, for most of my short time here, I have not been able to escape this anxious feeling that I am not doing enough. I realize that some of it is because until I pass around the six-month mark, and I finally feel secure, I will always be wondering if I’m actually filling the shows. Six months, I think, is about when I stop myself from thinking this is all a mistake, and I will be given the boot.

But while some of it is that fear that someone, somewhere, made a mistake, there is something more worrying happening: I see the gap of what I could be doing, and what I’m actually doing, and I feel myself lacking.

I’ve told myself that I felt like my short stint at my previous job broke me. Too many things felt wrong and I developed some bad habits as a way to make it through the day. So, while I was on the treadmill from my first job working remote, I fell off it on the second, and now I need to get back on it.

Being on the treadmill isn’t easy, you see, but I know I can do it. It takes time. If I saw myself get better at it over time, knowing that it’ll be a matter of time until I get up to speed, it’d be okay. It’s not great knowing you used to do better, but at least I could get my head down and keep on trying.

What I’m frustrated by is that getting on the treadmill is so tough. It feels like a constant battle with myself just to approach it. I try to trick myself, and it sometimes works, but I can tell that it’s only a temporary victory. I try to work from somewhere else in the house, and it works (despite some technical issues that come with it), but I can see that it will, eventually, stop working. Could maybe working from an office, with the pressure to at least pretend I’m working, help to do what I must? Probably. At this point, I’m open to the idea.

What I do know, however, is that I want to do a good job, live up to my own expectations and the standards of the team, and that I shouldn’t need to fight myself to do something I want.

And I know, there are plenty of suggestions and tricks to do a better job at that fight. I shouldn’t need to. If I want to do something, it’s not crazy to think that, barring some survival instinct or moral quandary, I shouldn’t just do it. But that’s not what happens internally, and I’m not sure it ever did.

University was an ebb and flow between taking advantage of classes where possible and the stress of cramming and all-nighters because finals were coming. If I go back far enough, the only time it hasn’t been like this was back when I still studied along with mom. She’d sit us down every day to do our homework and study if need be, and things were a breeze back then. But I certainly wasn’t the one setting the pace – I’d only keep it because I knew there wouldn’t be an escape from it. I’d have to do it, and I couldn’t run from it.

And I insist. Surely that isn’t where it should end. Surely, it stands to reason that if I want to do something, I could just do it. I’m not even talking about keeping at it or being good at it. Oh, no. I’m merely talking about getting on the treadmill and saying “I’m doing this” and then doing it.

Sometimes things end…

… and that’s fine.

For the second half of this week I had been entertaining the thought of giving up my Arma group for the sake of continuing the Dark Heresy role-playing group I have been playing with during this year. Both are enjoyable, although in different ways and I would have loved to keep both. But due to time constrains, one had to go. My initial inclination, when I thought of it, was to err on the side of the small group that wouldn’t be able to continue otherwise. Part of that was because I believe that it mattered a lot to everyone involved.

However, the more I thought about it, the more it felt wrong. I thought I would end up regretting it and resenting others for my decision to give up something that I had invested on so much. And during the train ride back home from classes, something clicked. Not only did I not want to even have a reason to resent this group, but if they were me, they wouldn’t give it up. I would be falling on the usual unhealthy pattern of giving more than what I receive, being willing to bend myself beyond what seems reasonable without paying attention to what I want.

Once that clicked (and further reinforced by a friend, although for other reasons), it was easy to accept that it wouldn’t be able to go on and that there was nothing I could reasonably do.

Getting there, however, was not easy. My first instinct is to attempt to please everyone, even if it is at my expense. And it is not about what others would do, after all. I shouldn’t rely on that for long. I’m not them and I cannot act like them.

Don’t worry about it.

“Don’t worry about it” must be one of the phrases I say the most to the people I care about. Part of that is that, to me, it is a privilege to spend time with them. Sometimes, life gets in the way and it is much more important to deal with it (such as illness) than whatever it is I am going through or was planned. I won’t take it for granted and will certainly not expect them to put me above anything else.

Another part is that… I recognize how I am. I’ll be in the dumps, feeling terrible… And I can’t hide anything. It’s very easy to tell how I am feeling by just looking at me. Sometimes, I am even asked if I’m fine because I look sad when I’m just in my natural, neutral mood. Thing is, sometimes “don’t worry about it” because I’ll be fine in a while, or tomorrow.

Sometimes, focusing about how those I care about are feeling is a key part of feeling better. I spend too much time with my thoughts and more often than not an echo chamber of negativity forms inside, slowly eating me away and stepping out of it is a very important part of being better.

Regardless, I won’t fault them or blame them for not having time for me. It happens. No matter how much I feel like I need them, or I believe I need them.

  • My well-being comes second to their well-being
  • I downplay my issues (or portray them accurately, depending on how you view it)
  • I’ll never fault you