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People who've known me for a long time know that I have very strong workaholic tendencies and, well, while I know it's very common to argue that people are using work to try and run away from their own feelings and emotions---and I wouldn't claim I never do that---for me it's complicated by the sense of lost time.
You see, dear reader, I was so deeply damaged that I essentially lost the entirety of my twenties to trauma, illness, and recovering from the kind of brainwashing that left me incapable of thinking seditious thoughts counter to either God or my family. Almost literally, I could not even conceive of things that they had not given me prior permission to think. Here, an example that makes this obvious is in my final post on the book feelings of being
where I describe literally not knowing how tall I was because of a contradiction between observable data and my father's insistence.
In some ways I've done a lot despite being only barely functional for over 2/3 of my years on this Earth. I've been trying to make up for lost time, but at what point does that simply become another kind of self-destructive impulse? I don't know. I've been working for about ten hours today on various writing, studying, and teaching projects. I feel like I could keep going for another seven or eight if I wanted.
And yet, I know that this isn't healthy. As much as I deeply dislike this fact, I am still human and we strangely conscious things needs sleep, rest, and time to ourselves. Unfortunately, that's where being trained to endure essentially any form of pain, discomfort, or want is very bad. There is so very little I can honestly say "I can't" to. The "I can't" doesn't exist when you know that, at least in the short term, the human body can do so much.
But it can't do that forever, now can it? It's borrowing from the future to pay more today. So then it becomes a game of figuring out what you should do since going until you're tired isn't actually an option. It's incredibly frustrating that I'm in my 30s and I still don't know how to do it in any appreciable way.
So what am I going to do? I think tonight I just need to put everything down as its nearly 8pm as I'm finishing typing this and I'd like to, y'know, exercise, relax, and spend time with my partners. The hundred projects I'm in the middle of can wait until tomorrow. I probably only feel this frustrated because the pandemic has taken away my schedule entirely.
I wonder if this is one of those things that really is a matter of reframing. Maybe what I need is to take all the things I haven't done yet and look at them as something to be excited by tomorrow, creative things I get to do rather than only obligations I have yet to meet.
Maybe then I'd be able to be less miserable and depressed when I work hard and actually do make progress on a lot of things.
Creativity needs to be a pleasure experienced and not a thing that generates infinite new tasks to fail by fiat.
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