A Cluttered Mind #3

Today is the last day of the year, and I know it won’t actually change my state of mind, but I do reckon that it has given me a fresh perspective. My week long absence from work (I did log in today, but only to make a note of my tasks for Monday), has helped me recuperate. I was able to think more deeply, decide what my goals this year look like and what I need to say to various people, and most of all I was able to catch up on my sleep.

Just a day ago I had been wanting to visit the nursery to buy some herbs for my terrace garden and also buy some ingredients for baking from the grocery store, but I did not have any energy at all that day to even get up from bed, let alone look presentable enough to step out. I did not force myself to get up or engage in any other activity, instead I stayed inside my blanket fort and just reviewed how my year has been, in my head. I did go yesterday though! I bought some thyme, rosemary, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, parsley, chives and also some succulents.

My main issue was actually a sum of two opposite things: the lack of socializing/face-to-face conversations in addition to an introvert burnout, which happened from having to interact with newer people, dealing with various situations and learning more than was required. I know they are quite contradicting, but it is what it is. Then the next big issue was not being able to process the situations I was in. The earlier months were alright – I had a fresh perspective, new goals in my professional and personal life – and as I am writing this, I am proud that I was able to achieve all of them, despite the few regrets I have. Spring just brought in disasters for my family – ***** struck both my parents one after the other and this disaster continued till summer. It wasn’t as simple as falling sick and recovering, it meant several trips to the hospital (which were our only outings till monsoon), and we ended up spending a lot of money just on tests and medicines. And to make matters worse I strained the wrist of my dominant hand. And like a crazy person, I just went on working, thinking it would heal on its own, but in the process I damaged it further. Again, more money was just spent on doctor appointments, tests, medicines. I became severely deficient in Vitamin D and B12, and I could actually feel the lack of physical energy. A lot of people belittle this and just say “oh, everyone is deficient in Vitamin D”, but several lockdowns have made it worse for many people. (My younger brother actually had rickets when he had just learnt how to walk – we used to think his penguin walk was cute, and did not realize he could have actually been in pain until someone pointed it out!) During those weeks it was raining continuously, and that had a severe impact on my mental state. I could not write using a pen, braid my hair or help out with washing the dishes. I tried to go out for daily walks, but alas! I could not be consistent with this either.

I had more work than usual too during fall, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was being unable to process the various changes. I got to know of some news right before my birthday, and that made me bitter, hateful, resentful and worse. In the early months of winter, I got to know of another news, that involved some bit of my past creeping into my present, and that made me even more hateful. I am still a bit bitter about all this, but I think time should heal that. The last two months did not bring in any happiness as such, although I was able to go out more, enjoy walks, interact with my colleagues/friends and chalk out my thoughts here. I know these write-ups aren’t creative at all – I am just trying to get into the practice of writing again by using this tool.

To sum it up, I had one roller coaster of a year. It wasn’t a pleasant time in the slightest, however, I do have a very odd sense of achievement for not wasting my year! And this includes me staying in bed for one week too. I am also extremely grateful to the few friend who constantly checked up on me, and my colleagues as well as my boss who listened to all my rants, motivated me, offered help, and were the most supportive among all the people I know.

The year taught me a lot, and I hope I can actually apply this knowledge in various spheres of life. Just to put this out there – I do acknowledge that others did have it worse. I will not argue over this at all.

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A Cluttered Mind #2

My mind doesn’t feel any less cluttered even with the holiday season now in its full bloom. I still feel like doing a hundred and one things in one go. But as I am currently off from work I am hoping I could achieve at least a few things on my agenda. On the bright side, work life has still been fun. Last month, our team went out for breakfast and just last week we had a Christmas/year-end party. I even had a game stall for Pictionary, and it was a hit!

It has taken me a whole year to realize that I haven’t given time to myself at all. I channeled all my frustration, negatives thoughts, sadness towards my work, as a result of which all my hobbies started feeling like a task. A few of my dear colleagues actually explained why what I do is not good for me in the long run, and I think they are absolutely right. It is true that I have avoided all my emotions from the fear of slipping into a void. I have been repeatedly told to take it easy, which is a struggle for me, but I know that I am trying. Here is some evidence as well: I recently watched a K-drama called ‘It’s Okay to Not Be Okay’ and like the title suggests, that is all what it was about. It touched on different mental health related issues, mainly on trauma and healing.

I know I will have a huge backlog when I return, but it somehow gives me something to look forward to. I am thinking of using my holidays by exploring the city I live in, buying some plants, working out and baking too! In fact, just this week I made some gingerbread man cookies for my colleagues. They weren’t as perfect as I wanted them to be, but I will try again, and even post a recipe for a new section for my blog. I *might* even try to upload pictures/videos of whatever I do the entire week on my Instagram account.

I actually did not have much to say today, but it was feeling odd having a post titled as ‘A Cluttered Mind #1’ without a second part! Do vote below if you’d like more posts like this in the future. By the way, I still haven’t made up my mind over continuing my language course, but there is a 70% chance that I might end up going for it.

A Cluttered Mind #1

Hi! I know it’s been long, but I do not wish to make any excuses for my absence, so let me just jump on to what I wanted to post. Today I was watching a film (quite a surprise for me since I zone out while watching movies) called Julie & Julia. The movie tells the story of two women as the title suggests – one who is struggling with a mid-life crisis and the other who is trying to find passion in her living, which eventually turns out to be cooking. Julie begins to write a blog, and actually finishes her goal (unlike me, who promised to get back into the swing of writing and replacing all the photos on my blog with my own creations, but then life happened). I had watched this movie before, but it’s only now that I could relate to it more. In the beginning of the film, Julie suggests that she is never able to complete anything in her life. For instance, she attempts to write a book, but never gets around to finishing it. And I could not relate more. There are several things that I have tried – learning several languages, portrait photography, baking, journaling, some courses – and left midway!

Speaking of baking, I used to bake every weekend, but now with working from home, the notion of relaxation/leisure seems to have vanished. Back in 2019 I had this goal of trying one recipe from every country in the world, but I have obviously failed. During all the lockdowns, I felt like it was just a waste of time, since we could barely get up from bed and cook a proper meal. Maybe I lack the passion, or hobbies have started to seem like a task for me.

I don’t know why I am writing this – because I never rant publicly. But maybe you all could help me come up with a decision over something. I have actually been learning a foreign language (some of you know already, but let’s see if we can keep this a mystery unlike my attempt of hiding my identity out here) for a whole year now, and I am wondering if I should continue with it or not. The downside of this task is I get a lot of homework, and I do have to sacrifice my Sundays as well, so I am not sure what I want to do! But then, I do want to complete the third level at least and acquire some professional skill, because I wasn’t as ambitious before.

And now as I am about to hit the publish button, I do feel like adding some sort of artwork/photograph to this post as well.

As you can see, I have added a poll below, I might not listen to you or you might not bother voting, but at least I do have the satisfaction of writing this.