On days that I find hard to motivate myself, I often feel like a hamster on a running wheel. Working relentlessly, going through the motions everyday, yet not getting anywhere.

Stuck in the middle.

And I internalise this emotion which makes me overthink a lot of things unnecessarily.

This is why when I came across “Diary of a Superfluous Man” by Ivan Turgenev last year, it was surprising to see him talk about a lot of the things I felt bogged down with all the time.

He puts it so eloquently:

“Throughout my life I have always found that my spot was taken. Perhaps because I have always looked for my spot in the wrong places. Like all invalids, I have been skeptical, timid and irritable. More than that, between my thoughts and feelings — and the expression of those thoughts and feelings — there has always been some senseless incomprehensible obstacle; this has probably been the result of pointless egoism and an unsuccessful arrangement of my personality. And whenever I made up my mind to overcome this obstacle by force, to break down this barrier, my whole being assumed a look if agonising exertion: not only did I appear to be phony and artificial, but I actually became so.”

“I sensed this myself and hastened to withdraw into myself. Precisely then a frightening turmoil would rise up within me. I examined and unraveled myself down to the last thread; I compared myself to others and recalled the slightest glances, the words people had spoken, people whom I wanted to impress. I views everything in the worst light and laughed spitefully at my pretension to “be like everything else” — and suddenly in the middle of my laughter, I would give up completely, fall into absurd despair, and go back again to what I was doing before. In a word I was running around and getting nowhere, like a squirrel in a wheel. Entire days were spent in this agonising and pointless endeavour.”

“As for why such a thing has happened to me or what the reason behind this tedious preoccupation with myself may be, who knows? Who can say?”

As surprising as it sounds, going through this text over and over is somehow very relieving to me. It helps me underscore that my emotions are not only real, they are worthy of expressing, so to speak.

Misery does love company I suppose.

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