On Feeling Incompetent and the Importance of Family

The past few days, I had been in another state visiting family. My own immediate family was there, as well as many of my cousins. I hoped it was going to be fun, and it was. I hadn’t seen some of them in years. My cousins and I talked about family issues and personal lives. I realized that these are some of the only people in the world that understand what a certain part of my life is like. As we have gotten older, we have become more open with one another, which is great, because I had been worried that the opposite was happening. But we were like friends, and it brought me great joy.

I have spent a lot more time with my family this year, mostly because I’ve HAD more time to spend with them, and it’s reminded me that no matter what, there will always be a group of people in the world that love and care for me, and who recognize that I am a good person. This year so far has been significant in that it has taught me who is really important, and what is really important.

I got back very late last night and am still tired, even though its past 1 pm. I decided not to go in to work today, to just spend the day relaxing and possibly running errands if need be. But I still feel guilty for not going in to work. Even when I am at work, if I take some time to write down my thoughts in a journal or on Medium, I feel bad that I’m not working. I told my therapist about this concern, and she said:

“But you are working.”

I suppose that makes sense. Working doesn’t have to be confined to your career. When you go to the gym, you are working on your health. When you go to therapy, you are working on your personal problems. Writing has been a type of therapy for me recently, and when I write, I am working on myself. Reading has also brought me a certain type of comfort, where I don’t have to think about anything else except the story in front of me. For years, I barely read, letting go of one of my favorite childhood pasttimes. But I have rediscovered it, and happily so.

I do not want to just be a scientist. I want to be many things. Which is why being with other people and spending my time doing other things has been so positive for me. I am a scientist. But I am also a friend, a sister, a daughter, a confidant, a writer, an artist, a boxer. A woman.

Someone commented on a previous post of mine. They mentioned that to feel deeply is to live, which is what I am doing.

It made me very happy to have support even from someone I do not know. I didn’t think anyone read this. I’m sure that’s still mostly true. But it was a nice surprise I suppose.