zondag 15 juli 2018
A battle of suffering
I haven't used my blog in ages, as I didn't have anything I wanted to write about, I didn't have enough time, or I just forgot. Lately, something has been on my mind, and I wanted to share it.
A new era has begun for people around me. Fellow students are graduating, high school friends are finishing their master degrees, some are starting their first "real" job. I feel like everybody is growing a lot and changing a bit. All positive things; it makes me feel very happy and actually a little proud, too.
Also for me, a lot has changed since the beginning of 2018. I did an internship and started working there afterwards. I learned so much and I've grown a lot - I'm thankful for everything I was and am able to do there.
Due to doing a too much for a long period of time and personal reasons, I need to take a break from work now. Nothing severe, just a bit overstressed. It's a huge relief not having to worry about anything, and I feel more like myself already. And this brings me to what I've been realising for a long time now.
I feel like people are battling against each other about how miserable they are. It seems like they are bragging about their workload, about how little they have slept, how many meals they skipped because they were working. I hear it all the time; "I was working until 4 AM this morning"; "I haven't slept at all"; "I worked so much last week that my vision became blurry/I fainted/needed to go to the doctor". And don't get me wrong, it's not like I don't appreciate hard work, or that I've never worked overnight and told others about it. But I see so many people around me, almost showing off with how little they take care of themselves.
When I suffered from anorexia, this was a real battle as well. I wanted to be skinnier than everyone else, I compared myself to everyone in the streets and every anorexic girl on Instagram. I didn't put on makeup to show that I wasn't doing well; I didn't want to make myself look pretty. I felt like I didn't deserve that. Not doing well was my ambition and I wanted people to tell me I looked sick, too thin and unwell.
But people, this is the brain of an anorexic girl. A girl with an illness, sick. It's a sick thought that not taking care of yourself is something to be proud of. And I know that working hard for your goals is different than starving yourself. But I think that in essence, it's the exact same thing. A call for attention, because you're looking for external confirmation. And the funny thing is, you don't need that kind of confirmation, when you're actually taking care of yourself.
Even though I feel guilty when I'm not working a lot, even if I know that I need rest, and I can't help to feel a bit competitive when people are talking about heavy workload and little sleep, I can honestly say that I feel proud when I take care of myself. I'm not the girl who starves herself and goes to school with huge bags under her eyes anymore. I'm trying to listen to my body. I'm eating, smiling, dancing, living. And being overworked makes me realise once again how important it is to do that. A lot.
Many people from our generation (and other generations, too) are dealing with stress and burnouts, which should be taken seriously by both society and the people themselves. It's okay to take a step back, not to be super ambitious all the time. It's more important that you're able to breathe and feel like yourself.
Doing well is my highest ambition - in life, not just my career. I hope it's yours too.
Lots of love,