So, for the past two months or so, I have been in a rut. The thing is I did not even realize it was a rut until I got burnt out. The coping mechanisms that used to always work for me seemed empty and hollow, stark in how they did not help anymore. It felt like an uphill battle, where you push and push yourself until it is no longer enough. Maybe you thought that if you stopped pushing, you would be a loser so you threw yourself even more into it only to realise that the climb was not only endless; it also did not seem to get any easier.
It took angry rants, heartwrenching tears and nights where I woke up suddenly anxious before the calm of acceptance surged over and through the support of my family and best friends, I realized that even if life seemed a bit messed up, I am okay. I will be okay, no matter what happens. There are so many things in life that can help define you, how you are as a friend, a wife, a mother that it would not be fair to place so much importance in just one or two aspects of your life.
Life is a lot more fluid in that sense. After so much pondering over the uncertainty of it all, after so many days of feeling that something was missing, after those times I felt so inadequate, I definitely am a step closer to having that sense of meaning to my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying being a wife, mother etc is not enough because there definitely is an abundance of blessings. It has been so amazing to be a wife and mom to AK but there was a niggling feeling, that restlessness that I had to think about for those two months.I realized I feel that I need a passion of my own in life to keep me going and I found that it is a passion for growth and learning as much as I can and as fast as I can.
I realized that I was in a rut because I was not feeling intellectually challenged. This was important to me not because I want to be the smartest smartypants on the planet but because there is such a sea of knowledge and trends out there, that it would be a shame to not try to learn and develop yourself a bit more. The world is moving so fast that I would rather not live with its backside as my view.
I thought I was being selfish or ungrateful, that maybe it was where I was a bad mother and wife for wanting something else too like why could I not just be happy clocking time? But I turned to God too. He may have His reasons before He gives you something and through that rut, that restlessness in me, I came to the realization that I had to do something.It took me a while to pinpoint the cause of the restlessness but once I talked about it enough (thank you family and friends for having been as patient with me), thought about it enough and decided what to do next, I decided to take the jump. He paved the way for me with coincidences that cropped up a few times until I was sure. This is something that was meant for me. For better or for worse, this is the road that I should walk on.
I’ve signed up for some courses which I do when AK’s asleep or when I have some free time whenever or wherever I am. It does not eat into my time in the sense that I still fulfill my responsibilities and enjoy quality time with Mr Grumpy and AK. Instead of making excuses, I decided to allocate about 1 or 2 hours a day for these courses and try my best to not give up! So far, the results have been good, I love what I am learning and what is even greater is that I am not depressed anymore. I no longer have to force myself (as much) to get up and go through the day. I no longer need my plastic smiles and poker face for days I felt so terrible inside yet had to put up a front.
When people choose to be toxic in their words and actions towards me, I have a better shield. Because I have other things to focus on now, other things I actually want to work on that make me feel its more worthwhile. I don’t have to depend on their shitty perceptions or opinions to define me and that has been so liberating. Their being toxic more often than not has nothing to do with you but there’s a tendency to feel sensitive about it when you are vulnerable or doubting yourself.Now, it has been easier for me to cut away from it and leave them to their own business yet not feel personally attacked. To just do my thang basically.
I have to say that it was a conversation with an ex-nemesis (hahaha I am not sure she would read this, but hey, I’ve said it to you before!) but it was one of those “oh God help me moments” that triggered our meetup and it helped that as a mother, she had the same concerns I did. It was like listening to someone speak your mind. Being a mother, I have so many things I want to provide for AK and I want to be there for her during the important moments later on. When she has her first day of school, when she needs help with her homework, etc but with how uncertain some aspects are, would I really be able to reach that point? Was I doing enough? Is there more that I can do?
The very next day, I had signed up for a course and messaged my thank you to her for having inspired me. I have signed up for two more but they are all somewhat related. I did a bit of homework by researching and asking around and these are courses I feel passionate about which can really help me. If I have to struggle with a bit of discomfort now to get something better in the future, I am willing. There’s no need to to trudge through and have negative/what-if thoughts at the back of your mind every day. Not while you can try doing something about it. Be open to possibilities and you will find that things eventually fall into place. And you can do it right now! You should not keep shrinking to fit someone else’s idea of success when it is not your own idea of success. More so, if it is not even making you happy.
Had I not gone through that, those terrible feelings and the uncertainty, I would still be complacent and maybe even stagnant in life. It made me also think of how some things are temporary yet some things require consistent effort. The feelings and emotions you feel for something may be temporary. If you want something real like authentic relationships or sustainable knowledge, if you want to make a mark for yourself, those things require effort and consistency. It takes struggle, but you should struggle for the things and people who are worth the struggle. I am very thankful for Him for being the best of planners and giving me what He has then and now. Without it, I would not have taken a step closer to learning these things about myself. Now that I do know it, it is time to act on it and not doubt it. I still live with some uncertainty, but instead of trudging, my walk is a bit more like a skip while I enjoy the present view yet know I have more to look forward to. Alhamdulillah.
I am thankful for my support system. Like how my mum bought me something expensive when I could not afford it and she had that faith in me when she said she knows I will make good use of it and I never ask her for stuff. My dad always thinks I somehowwww will do it. Like my husband who comforts me, handles my crazy spells, tried cooking Maggi and forced me out of bed (nicely) whenever I felt like crap. He forced me to keep showing up in life. Like Feera who has been ever so patient with me and has been such a cheerleader through my breakdowns. Like Lanie who always makes me laugh at the stupidest things and Sana who’s constant worrying makes me feel like I am not that bad with my worrying *cough. Like my other friends, boss and colleagues who see good things in me when I don’t see it myself, I want to make sure I do not let any of you down and I truly push myself (Omg, I am such a sap, I am tearing up!).
Don’t let your own self-doubts, anxieties and fears stop you from stretching yourself. If you have the support of the ones who really know and love you and you have prayed and kept asking for guidance and seeing His signs, then hey! Go for it! The world is as small as you think it is and there is nothing wrong with dreaming big.
Really, really God has been so good to me and I hope I can also be better in worshipping Him. May I be a better Muslim and human, may I be better able to be positive and active in my words and actions so that I can take better care of my loved ones in the future through these tough times. This was not meant to be a preachy post, I just want you to know the thought process and the end of what I went through. #notluckybutblessedyes
You can try taking shortcuts, running from responsibilities and commitments. You can try blocking it out with a 1001 distractions yet there are only so many places you can go to, so many things that you can dodge before you eventually have to start taking a good hard look at yourself and your life.
Would you like what you see 10 years down the road? Or do you want to do something about it now?