Do you ever have difficulty focusing on any one particular topic because your mind has too many complicated questions and issues competing for attention? This seems to happen to me every time my next step isn’t clear. Right now I’ve got just under 3 weeks in the same place (Den Haag, Nederland) at the end of which, I still have no clue as to what I’m doing or where I’m going. In the meantime, I’m also trying to figure out the plan for when my tourist visa runs out in October as well as figure out a more stable future financially. None of those topics have anything to do with my health, relationships or momentary happiness and exploration…all of which have their own limitless questions competing for my time and energy. Then there are the questions of loved ones who also have concerns of their own (rightfully) but which I also don’t have answers for.
All of this brings me back to this place called Never Never Land. This is the place where all questions come to die. Not exactly, but kinda. In this headspace it’s basically impossible to see things as they really are, let alone as they could be. This place also makes it difficult to take one thing at a time…instead, placing equal pressure and stress on each question simultaneously therefore leading back to Crazyville.
I think part of what makes this area in my mind so difficult to deal with is the fact that many of these questions have been running around in circles (not unlike a hamster wheel) for YEARS now. They aren’t new but as equally pressing as they were the first day they arrived. After a while of not being able to properly address and deal with them, my mind then goes into avoidance mode which takes me straight into the land of Denial. This is where escapism is alive and well! It doesn’t generally lead me very far but it does allow me to ignore the issues causing so much pain and stress until they’re completely unavoidable.
So why am I writing about this? Seems like the ramblings of an insane mind…and really it is. I won’t even deny it. I’ve never considered myself completely sane…sometimes even less so than you’d probably want to be on your worst day…but truth, it is. What’s the point of this post then? Well, I’m not sure I have one. Sometimes just writing helps get me out of the corners of my mind where I somehow consistently get stuck, and if I can manage to escape I’ll be able to refocus later.
Strangely enough as I sit and write, what I’m finding is that my mind is fighting between what it considers freedom and what it believes to be captivity. It’s an interesting conflict that I didn’t realize was happening before. What I’m starting to understand is that all of the things in my life which are causing any sort of pressure are feeling like limitations, which are in turn causing me to feel extreme anxiety. I don’t do well with rules and restraints. I never have. Not to the point of hurting other people, but to the point where I feel extremely confined and even imprisoned by them.
These ideas about work, finding housing (especially housing which will accommodate my ability to work and my budget), finances, local laws, socially accepted rules, rules of society…I’m really not sure why these are causing so much strain on me, but I’m left completely incapacitated by all of these demands.
Seems like a great time for a mindset change! Especially as I’m feeling escapism come in with extreme force…here to save the day, but to what extent? There’s no escaping the reality which these questions pose, so why try to avoid it? But is the reality of these kinds of issues meant to completely cripple and immobilize someone? Is it just me? Why does everyone around me seem to be ok with life as it is and yet I’m continually questioning every aspect of existence? I spent years trying to live this way…normally functioning while escaping at every possible moment, but as you might imagine it took quite a tole on my health…and was completely unsustainable.
What is it exactly that makes these aspects of life so hard to deal with to the point where they make life feel like it’s no longer mine to choose but rather to act out as someone else dictates? I have no problem working and even enjoy it, but the moment it becomes an obligation it loses it’s sparkle and becomes a chore rather than a choice. Is that normal? Is that the way it’s meant to be? I guess I’m still trying to find things that I can do to serve in the world and also get paid for it…but whenever someone asks the big questions like…”What do you want to do?” and “What is it you’re looking for?” I don’t have anything to tell them. I honestly don’t know! I think I’m looking for a feeling, a sense of self and fulfillment within the thing I’m doing. After all, work is the majority of your day, week and life…so shouldn’t it be something that gives you a sense of purpose?
The questions around work inevitably lead back to all the questions about finances, housing, future, health…and then lead right into long-term relationships, family relationships (especially when we’re so far from each other), etc. This is my brain all day every day. Round and round in circles like a ferris wheel…except with more nausea and less stability. And we’ve come full circle. The ramblings of a crazy person…but this is life and I think it’s important to share the good with the bad. Every day isn’t one of absolute bliss and perfection, it’s often struggle and heartache trying to find where I belong. So in the case that you also occasionally feel like you’re out of your mind and similarly out of control, just know you’re in good company here.