I want to go on a tropical vacay, but I could also settle for a few nights of continuous sleep. One month after my Pandemic Anniversary, this is my answer to the question, “What do you really want right now?”.
Weirdly, two diametrically opposite things come to mind, and I cannot choose which one I want more.
Initially, I tried to answer a writing prompt and list my pandemic reflections, but two days of staring at the cursor rapidly blinking on a blank page taught me that I am not in the headspace to do so right now.
I had wished to have more clarity about what I wanted to do in 2021, despite whatever else is going on, and the truth is I still don’t have any.
Since last December, I have been setting monthly goals because I can’t seem to visualize my future any further than that. By Feb, I got too tired — fed up even, of that method and decided to take it easy for a while, not plan my life, and see what comes up.
Apart from writing, I’ve been trying to do things that could make me happy — stuff I have been putting off. Such as, I’ve enrolled in an online Gender Studies course, my first one, simply because I wanted to.
I grew up in a country where one does not have much choice regarding their formal education and, even in college, upon choosing a major, cannot select which other courses/classes to attend.
Our lives — every inch of it are pre-decided for us. I’ve always been envious of my western counterparts and the freedom they have. Still, I have underutilized the facilities now available to me, like online education, to rewrite my life’s story.
Finally, I am doing it, devoting time to a course that is not directly going to help me become a better writer, and I remind myself that this is okay.
I have also started reading a book called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Another resource not accessible to me when I was younger but now a quick purchase away from the Kindle Store.
I find myself laughing away at the tasty dry humor and also in awe of the accurate portrayal of the futility of our current reality.
Choosing things purely for my pleasure makes me feel happy and more fulfilled than in the past few months. And I recognize moments of peace, gratitude, and bliss.
But, they seem like a drop in the ocean when I come face to face with the dismal state of my mental health. Lately, It’s been worse than last year, and I don’t know why. I don’t have a valid reason/s.
If I was rich or idiotic enough, I would go on a tropical vacation right now. I would wish for the blues of the water to wash my blues away and come back with a renewed sense of purpose, some energy, and fresh perspectives.
I would ignore the part of me that inquiries why I think a vacation is the only way to achieve the above. It’s an association, I would respond, let’s not question where it came from. Nothing good can come from it.
The travel idea would never really fly because eventually, I would come to my senses and choose not to put other’s lives at risk due to my crisis.
I am one of those who has been following the no non-essential travel directory since last year, and I could never win this argument with myself and plan a getaway from my misery.
What I could settle for is, though, are a few days of good sleep. Better yet, if someone could sew a few days and nights together, and I could lie down and catch an exquisite dreamless nap.
I would wake up energized and not tired for a change, and then that could be “the one good thing” that happened to me in a long, long time.
At this point, I can’t remember the last time I had a decent or continuous night’s sleep. I suffer from Anxiety induced Insomnia, and whenever I go through a low phase, its attack on me intensifies.
I have been sleeping and waking up at weird times for the past two months, trying to get as much rest as possible to fuel through the day. I have been intentionally taking it easy at work, freeing up my time to pursue the things I would love to, without obstacles.
But in reality, I’ve been listlessly roaming around my apartment bearing the cruel summer heat, trying to find what I need to fill the gaps. I outstretch my arm into space, hoping to catch a clue, but I come up empty every time.
I am trapped in a self-created routine. I do my share of household chores, cooking, essential maintenance of my physical and mental self only to feel exhausted at the end of the day and yet simultaneously unfulfilled.
I want more time, I think. But when I have it, I am unable to come up with something to do. I can’t even commit to a web series, and after a month of blaming Netflix for poor content, I realize that it’s a “me” problem.
Right now, my life feels like the “Before” version of a Rom-Com protagonist. She’s pretty; she has a promising career and a group of dependable friends. There’s nothing wrong with her life, barring a pair of glasses and a clumsy fall she took this morning while getting coffee for her boss.
Yet she is unhappy, and no one knows why.
The movie solves this problem by finding her a dreamy man but then stops when this feat is achieved. They don’t want to show us the “After” part, when life is just the same, with an additional guy sitting next to you on the couch, switching channels on the TV.
April through June, I plan to try different routines, reshuffle priorities and introduce visible changes to find out how to better my life.
This year cannot pass me by, and I am determined to find an answer even though letting things out of my control scares the shit out of me.
I will try whatever possible solution I can come up with, no matter how bizarre it seems. I want to find the answers, the pain points, and the issues and then resolve them.
I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t realize how tiring it would be. Fifteen days into the three-month trial and error plan and I am dying of boredom. Background anxiety is high, but nothing makes it to the front.
Things are simply dull and unenjoyable.
And all that remains is wishing for a magic wand that I could use to mysteriously travel somewhere, through time and space, in the depths of my mind, through my dreams, and come out on the other side.