Today, my aim is to engage in a little self-care. I’m not sure how this is going to turn out, but I’m certain of my purpose. I want to get a few things off my chest. I want to look at myself in a kind of metaphorical “mirror” and write about what I see when I gaze into the looking glass.
When I was younger, I didn’t believe a lot in the power of “mood.” I felt like I could overcome sadness or any sort of emotional distress by simply willing the feelings away. “Mind over matter” became a kind of mantra. I would simply push through and past whatever might be pulling me down or holding me back.
Youth is full of such headstrong resolution. It occurs to me now, as I’m now well past the youthful phase of my life, that willfulness and energy go hand in hand. I’m more tired than I used to be and have fewer energy reserves. And I have less faith in my ability to simply ignore or conquer “mood” in the way I used to be able to do.
One of the things I’ve heard time and time again during the past couple of years is that the pandemic has been bad for everyone’s mental health. For the longest time I thought this was an overstatement. Now, I’m not so sure.
Lately, I’ve been feeling something like melancholia. (But that’s too strong a word.) I’m trying to find the best way to put it, but I’m discovering I need a larger, more nuanced vocabulary. Is it a kind of fatigue? It’s hard to name and even harder to pinpoint when it got started what the catalyst was.
In a recent post, I wrote about work. I think it’s safe to say my workplace and work life certainly play a role in these feelings I’ve been having.
I feel like things have become unbalanced. I’m caring more than I need to about things which I should be able to keep in proper perspective. (Caring too much about too many things has long been a fault of mine.)
I think I need to relearn what it means to relax, to go slower, to be more rigorous in my ability to prioritize. I need to disentangle myself too. I feel like I need to go back and reread Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.
Some would shy away from doing such a self-dissection in such a public way, but I’ve long believed in the power of doing some kinds of healings acts out in the open.
Today, I’m telling you that I’ve been feeling a little lost lately but that I’m determined to find my way. Trying to find the right words and sharing my recent struggles with you are important steps in the process…
Thank you very much for listening.
When I first finished this piece several hours ago, I never imagined that a postscript would be necessary.
But a funny thing happened. Not long after I penned the blog, I began to feel better—like a great weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. Any step forward in life must begin as an idea about stepping forward. Simply speaking the idea gives it life and begins to relieve the pressure.
Troy Headrick’s personal blog can be found here.
If you’d like to see some of Troy’s art, have a look.