Day 4: Musings on myself (diary entry)

Everything about me belongs to either one of two extremes:

I am exceedingly quiet or exceedingly loud.

I am very lazy or highly productive.

I am generous with every shred of my being or I am insufferably rude.

I hope for the best or I know it’s only going to get worse .

I am completely free or I am so busy it is crippling.

Who do I want to be? Anything that I choose, it scares me. Can I find a middle ground?

I am a different person in different places — or with different people, depending on how close I am with them.

I was having a bad day once and I was bitter towards one of my closest friends — I did not realise in the moment that I was taking out my frustration on her, even though it did not have anything to do with her. I realised my mistake soon enough and I apologised. I then asked her if what she saw before her was, in her opinion, who I really am. Had I been like this with her in the past? Had I made my loved ones the collateral damage of my personal pain? She said no, it could be that this was not who I really was. Or, she said, I just had not shown her this side of myself before.

And that got me thinking. In retrospect, I can remember a few times where I have used my parents as an outlet for frustration that had nothing to do with them. I did not realise that I was being insensitive — I was too self-absorbed in my own sadness. I recently read a book called, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” and the author, Mark Manson, talks about the concept of entitlement. And I realised that I, unknowingly, have been acting entitled by subjecting others around me to misery because I was so absorbed in my own issues that I did not pay attention to anything else. Because doing that implies that I am special or that my problems were somehow special; of course, that was not the case. And I never consciously thought they were, anyway. But I guess it is a plausible explanation.

I think everyone has their moments of lows and highs, and everyone makes mistakes. But I’m still looking for that middle ground: a balance. A balance between work and free time, a balance between happiness and sadness; a balance between positivity and negativity, a balance between aspiration and practicality; a balance between luck and tireless effort.

But I really am in a constant state of flux, moving from one extreme to the other, and it is perhaps on that journey that I traverse this “middle ground”. But the journey is a fleeting one; I don’t know when I am on it. Maybe if I did, I would stop travelling so much and settle down on the even earth. Choose the spot that I like and stay there. The extremes can penetrate this space but not take over it.

Another truth about myself that I must force myself to recognise is that I am lazy. I am demotivated when it comes to fulfilling certain goals I have for myself that are not necessarily academic. Sometimes I doubt whether they are what I really want to put in effort for. Like writing — I’ve had a writer’s block for four years now. I barely practice the guitar and I’m not improving the way I imagined I would, simply because I never put in the effort.

I feel like I get so exhausted mentally, because of my own thoughts, that there’s no room to do anything else. But I can’t shut them down. Once again, I dabble with the extremes: overthinking and a blank slate. There are times when I descend in a spiral of my own thoughts — when I do not particularly need to –– and times where I cannot think of anything when I really need to; for example, I can barely come up with any original ideas for this writing challenge.

I don’t really know how to end this. So I’ll just stop here for now because I have an early morning tomorrow and its already past 12 a.m.

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