158 Days Later

When I cracked my eyes open in the morning, I was already feeling lethargic and uninspired. My eyes would burn holes through the stark white ceiling above me whilst the feeling of dread towards another day of job-hunting would painfully lace around my core and drain me of the energy I thought I had mustered from my sleep the night before.

Then, I asked myself, “Is this post-graduation syndrome?”

This was how my day would begin for the past couple of weeks.

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It took me a while before realising that it was a bit too late for this ‘syndrome’ to appear now, but it all made so much sense considering that I had been delaying it.

When I got back from the UK, I had something to look forward to: another exciting adventure into the unknown. But when I got back from the US more recently, it felt like I didn’t know where I was going, which was ironic because I went to the US mainly to get a clearer sense of direction for my advocacy.

Just to clarify, it’s not that I still don’t have strategic plans to advance my causes. These plans are currently a work in progress and resources and networking opportunities are at the tip of my fingers, all thanks to my five-weeks in the US.

Rather, what’s constantly filling me up with anxiety is figuring out my next stage in life that I seem to have subconsciously forgotten about. Sure enough, there are plans that I want to do for my community, but what about me? How do I set my priorities straight? What if things didn’t work out the way that I planned? The answers to these questions are known to me, and yet I would always end up asking these same questions to myself again and again.

Perhaps I wasn’t asking the right questions. Perhaps I was being too hard on myself. Or perhaps I was looking for an answer that I wanted to hear and not what I needed to hear.

Eventually, behind every act of recycling and repeating these answers was a growing desire to run away and simply be.

That was how I started to make my way back to this blog; my forgotten sanctuary.

Throughout my whole blogging journey, the source of my commitment issues was usually a writer’s block or my academia/work in general. This last hiatus, however, stemmed from more than a mere writer’s block or my studies (‘cos duh, didn’t I graduate three months ago?). In fact, it was a deliberate act of sheer indifference and despondency further aggravated by the currently ambiguous direction of my life. The most alarming part of this whole debacle was that I was so demotivated that I nearly shut down this blog.

But before I could click the ‘Delete’ button, I felt a huge pang of guilt for even thinking about shutting down the one thing that kept me sane throughout my uni life.

Then, I decided that I wasn’t going to let this post-graduation thing – or should I say post-adventure withdrawal? Is that even a thing? – get in the way of my well-being. And I certainly did not want to let it hinder me from supporting my family. Wallowing in my shrinking bubble to the point that I was at the brink of losing myself and the very essence that makes me… me was already in itself a trigger for this turnaround.

I was positively set on changing my approach and attitude towards dealing with this transitional phase through the best way that I possibly could: writing. So, before I started to write, I gave myself time to stop planning for the future, and – although it was especially difficult – to stop thinking about the future. Every inhibition that I held on to previously, I let it all go.

When I woke up this morning, I was at ease. My shoulders felt lighter, my mind felt clearer, and my slumber felt deeper.

Another day of breathing didn’t feel mechanical anymore. Another day of breathing felt more like another opportunity to just be.

Most importantly for me, it was an opportunity to write again.

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With a cup of freshly brewed coffee, ambient music and newfound resolve, words flowed through me like a rapid stream. Upon seeing words forming into paragraphs, I could feel my eyes glistening and my heart soaring in a way that it hadn’t in such a long time.

I knew then that I had finally succumbed to my desire and relearned the art of slow-living.

I was finally myself again.

There’s no denying that the questions I posed to myself earlier would return when I am at my weakest. After all, I still have to face reality and resume with future-planning.

But at this moment in time, nothing can take away this metaphysical experience of contentment and strength – no matter how brief and frail it can be.

Until the next musing or adventure,

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