Are you superhuman?
I am struggling to write today. It’s really hard. Everything is feeling really hard right now. I have a MILLION things to get done and I’m feeling resentful for having to do them. Every time I hear a buzz on my phone or a ping of the email, I cringe because it means that I need to respond to one more thing. In fact, I’ve been categorizing everything as a “to-do” – even things that I normally love: acting classes, hanging out with my friends, journaling, yoga… everything. I just don’t want to be “to-doing.”
I have quite a battle inside of me. I’m going between being defiant and ignoring everything and being guilty and rushing to get done something I HAVE to. And when I’m doing the things that I HAVE to do, I don’t really care about them like I normally do. This is not an enjoyable space. I want out of it.
How can I get out of it?
First, I need to understand what has gotten me here – how did I get here?
As I reflect, I am realizing that it’s not all that surprising that I’m here. I’ve been going a thousand miles per hour ever since I launched Rooted. I’m working at an intense consulting job while I try to manage starting a new business and I am still trying to maintain a healthy, joyful life by adding extracurricular activities. It’s all been adding up slowly.
But I’ve worked hard like this before so why is it so difficult this time? As I ask this question, I can tell that I’m living from a high expectation of what I should be able to get done and when I’m not meeting my expectation I’m angry and disillusioned. Apparently, I’ve hit a limit and my thought of being limit-less is at odds with reality.
Second, I need to understand if I’m the only one that feels this way. Is this somehow unique to me? Because if I’m alone in this, then it must be my fault. But, if I stop to think about it, I know that I’m not alone in trying to be Superhuman. I hear it from my friends, I hear it from people at Rooted, I read about it in the news, I find it on social media. This desire to get everything done irrespective of what our own needs are is woven into our everyday messaging… from everywhere.
Do you know what I mean? Have you ever done this to yourself?
OK, if I understand why I’m here and I know that I’m not alone in this – what do I do?
I’ve always thought that “I can do anything” and I’m afraid to let that belief be tarnished, but I’m realizing that today I have to give myself a break. I need it. As I write this, feelings of guilt are still surfacing. I’m afraid that I’m shirking responsibility or being selfish on top of it all and I’m still fighting with myself. But I know that I can work through this as long as I’m kind to myself.
Yes, I’m determined to be kind to myself. It’s OK.
So today it’s OK to take a break. It’s OK if I don’t respond to emails. It’s OK if I just read a book. It’s OK if I hit decline to a call from a dear friend. It’s OK.
Does that mean that I’ve now given myself permission to dive into some dark, isolated place and hang there forever? No. Thankfully, I’ve been working hard on self-care and have the awareness that I will get through this. In fact, I know that when I “rest” myself out of this state of existence, I will actually be able to work harder. I will be able to get to what I need to do with a new energy. Because as Eleanor Brownn put it so eloquently: “You can not serve from an empty vessel.”
I appreciate you indulging me as I work through this. I feel grateful that I have a way forward. I know that if I shared how I was feeling with someone, they could’ve easily told me to “just take a break,” but I also know that it’s simpler said than done. It takes a lot of work to set ourselves on a course that we need. It takes work to care for ourselves. It takes work to say It’s OK.