So lately I found myself in a discussion with my baby group about professions and people who have a calling. As my blog history shows, I don’t have a clear cut calling.
I have things I like a lot and things I like less. The closest thing to a calling is most likely drumming (due to the best feeling I’ve ever experienced was performing onstage). BUT there is an inner saboteur echoing in parental voices that I should not make a career out of such a “soft subject”. Strangely enough I don’t entirely oppose those voices now, despite years of resentment.
I’ve finished reading David Eagleman’s “Incognito” and it has given a lot of perspective how many different facets humans posess and do so simultaneously. And being bitter over my inner saboteur would be ignoring the part of me which is pragmatic and agrees with my parents. I’ll go into detail a few paragraphs below, but first the other things I’ve explored and struggled with.
I’ve been trying to come to terms with myself that I’m not a “blank page” anymore and embrace the roads I’ve taken, certain goals that take dedication. And realize, that in every moment of time, I’m still “me”. The minor contradictions or fluctuating thoughts are normal.
I looked towards meditation and philosophy as my initial starting points to help my mental health. I went through a meditation course on Insight Timer to cope with anxiety and intrusive thoughts. It helped me a lot, but what I found the most helpful were the brief neuropsychological explanations why spiraling thoughts and anxiety happen. I like knowing how things work. The course also encouraged journaling.
For that I have a private (physical) journal my uncle gave me for Christmas. I deconstruct anything I’ve gotten caught up in without censoring myself. Sometimes it’s a full 2 pages, sometimes it’s 2 small paragraphs. Sometimes it’s a list of everything good during that day. Sometimes I doodle in there.
As a starting point with philosophy, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations was recommended on stoicism. While it’s a fairly pleasant read, I get bored of it too easily. So I’ve gone through maybe 3% of the e-book and it’s still on hold. The book “Don’t panic” is on a similar snail timeline, but that mostly due to examples that are more along agoraphobia than relatively manageable anxiety. And on my “to read” list is a book about Yoga Sutras.
I also found “Incognito” through reddit recommendations. That one stuck and held my attention. The beginning was fairly standard, some info was familiar from different “fun fact” articles or videos. As the book went on though, it got deeper and more specific in how the brain works and held up some pretty heavy discussion points.
One of my most frequent and irrational anxieties is that I put effort into something and it’s all in vain. With driving school it’s heightened because driving isn’t my natural forte. What this book managed to convince me of, is that our brains do take in information and learn. The better we get the less brain activity is needed over time, no exceptions (for neurotypical examples at least). It seems like a simple fact that doesn’t really need to be explained, but anxiety is a strong voice that doesn’t care unless it’s been laid out to me word by word. Nowadays the factual arguments win over my anxiety and I’m more patient and kind to myself.
Currently, I’m working on deconstructing my impatience and how it really serves no purpose since I’m already doing what I need to get better. It’s just that the journey is slow and there’s little instant gratification. On those times I like to daydream about a big change in life. Moving somewhere new, having another child etc. But I’m forcing myself to recognize it’s the intolerance of routine (heightened by being a SAHM and the pandemic) and lack of late achievements that give me gratification.
I have to repeat to myself daily that I’m already on a journey. It needs patience. I’m not doing nothing. I’m doing something every day. And it counts.
With that I’ll be leaving off, thanks for reading!
Listening to: Korn – Word up!
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