It was the first day of the week, but it felt like it had been longer than just one day. Bit by bit, the frustration built. I was restless and couldn’t work my way through it. There was a lot of work pending, I couldn’t afford to feel or be like this. Force yourself, said the positive side of the mind. So the hands began to type, but the mind was blank. Playing with the words in a sentence felt like the most difficult game in the world. My best friend said, “Don’t put this pressure on yourself. Relax, breathe. You will find a way out of it.” “It is okay to feel like this, excuse yourself for a day. Live in the moment. Chill maadi”, said the other best friend.
I reached out to my sister, texted her in caps – I FEEL GUILTY FOR BEING HAPPY. “You have to do whatever you have to do to keep yourself going. So I don’t think you need to feel guilty. This is your time. We can use our privilege to do better in this world, that’s what we can do”, she had said. I felt better, a 20% improvement maybe. But it was a step forward.
A zillion tabs were open on the screen in front of me, my notifications and ‘to-do’ list were piling up before me. The sight of the video editing application bouncing up and down, like the 2 rupee crazy rubber balls, was maddening. I stared well and good at the list for five minutes and thought if I had to do this last week – there would have been a strike of red over all the tasks.
The week before this was perfect. My body was fueled with energy, I was quick with my work and I was happy. My cheeks hurt, but the smile was stubborn and refused to budge. I reconnected and cleared the uneasy air with some old friends. We laughed and caught up on everything we had missed. Ecstatic- the best word to describe my emotion, it had been a while since I had thought of that word.
What I did not realise was that the feeling was fleeting when my eyes refused to shut and I began to overthink. The mind went into a world of darkness and negativity. Happiness covered me while everything around me looked bleak. There was a sense of guilt. The voices in my head got louder, they kept saying “you are selfish, unkind and ignorant”. In a panic, I forced myself to sleep. The next day, the guilt was fresh, the bed felt comforting and nothing moved. Overnight, I went from feeling on top of the world to feeling nauseous.
I tumbled out of bed and went on with my day. It was a struggle. Nothing was wrong but honestly, everything was falling apart. As the laptop screen began to look hazy, I was starting to breathe quicker. I took a break. Deep breaths followed. The words of my best friends and sister played on a loop. The dark brown eyes gazed back at my screen and my fingers began to work. Between staring at the ceiling for 4 hours and deleting 700 times, I made progress, one step at a time.
For this, here is what I learnt – there is a tomorrow, you will do better tomorrow and you will learn from yesterday. But right now, take a step back and live in the moment. Don’t beat yourself up for not being productive or helpful. As the Eagles say, “lighten up while you still can”. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to make your stand, and take it easy.