I fear I am driven by the need to be everything to everyone else. Even when I'm uninterested. Even when I'm uncomfortable. Even when I'm tired. Even when I'm overwhelmed. Even when I'm on the edge of burnout.
A series of untimely and unfortunate circumstances (combined with poor management) at work left quite the strain over winter break. I took much of this workload upon myself.. I've been there less than a year, it has caused severe conflict in other areas of my life, and my main focus was meant to be school not a part-time "office" job; but if not me, then who? I stacked responsibility after responsibility onto myself, until I felt depleted, resentful, and inadequate.
"No" is a more offensive word than fuck to me. It's failure wrapped up neatly in a single syllable.
Mere weeks into the new year, I was on the brink of burnout. I pulled back, rallied to complete what was meant as a three-week course in a matter of two days, then skipped town for a long weekend. Hours of driving through the desert offered space and time - a sliver ofclarity - for a soul check. My priorities were misplaced. I know most people like to think of priorities as an abstract measurement of our values. In truth, our priorities are simply how we spend our time - not how we'd like to spend it, not how we try to spend it - how we actually spend it.
When I am unable to say No to others, I am unable to say Yes to myself.
I thought a beautiful, spring weekend in Phoenix and quick assessment was enough to get me back on track. I've made progress in establishing boundaries, but there are underlying themes I haven't been able to shake. Where do I end? Where do others begin? How out of sync with myself am I? Who have I been for the last eight months?
Being what everyone else needs causes me to lose sense of my own needs and desires. It leaves me isolated, detached from my authenticity, unable to genuinely connect even with those I please.
This season of transformation has revealed the most beautiful and the ugliest versions of myself. My emotions have bounced from elation to apathy to contentedness to frustration to shame to happiness. Despite decent into dark, internal landscapes, I know my life is a good one. It deserves my truest self.
What is my why? What are my passions? My core beliefs? What is my reason for doing any of it? School? Relationships? Work? Life?
I'm not giving up on serving others. I want to contribute to the world but from a different center. Instead of operating from this obligatory sense of pleasing, I want to be able to see clearly where I end and others begin. I want to serve from a place of love and passion, to be able to set boundaries, know/protect the parts of myself at stake, and practise self-love, self-care, and self- respect. I want to know my value and capabilities, and understand "where the needs of the world intersect" with what I offer (so eloquently put by Justine Musk**).
I can make an impact rather than navigate the impact of others**.