30.03.2020, 10 pm
Dear Fellow Anxious Ambitious (Quarantined) Person,
This is for you.
First, we have to define the term “Anxious Ambitious” for you. It’s a term I coined a few years ago when I realised I suffer from this mental health issue.
Symptoms? When you feel the pressure to do each and everything you really want to in life. Because when you were a child, you promised yourself that there’s one life and no one can stop you from being your version of ‘successful’. You don’t give yourself the leeway to NOT do things. It’s not allowed in your head - to not try things you want to because, for you, risk overpowers regret by a million times. Or more.
You’re that person, who wants to be fit, professionally successful, you want a perfect envy-worthy relationship and a fantastic family life too. Not only that, but you also want to be a great human being to everyone around - something that’s not always possible in this big bad world but you try, you try relentlessly. Because that’s what you do, that’s who you are. You have ambitions and you put the pressure on yourself to achieve them, each one of them because what you’re doing is never enough for you. There’s always a “little” more you can do to feel successful. But every time you cross a milestone, there’s another waiting for you at the finish line. And some more.
So, I know how tough this work-from-home time can be for you. Because how to rule the world when you can’t even step on it, right? Wrong.
Result? Anxiety whenever you have some free time to think or fall in love.
Plausible solution? Keep yourself busy every waking second of your day.
Real solution? The realization that we are perfectly imperfect human beings and that’s okay. There’s a reason why being a jack of all trades is not the solution for most of us mere mortals.
In case you’re wondering, yes, there is a reason for today's journal entry. It’s to ask you to take a pause, stop what you’re doing right now, and breathe. Breathe like you’ve never breathed before. Don’t keep yourself busier than what your mental health can afford at this point. The world is going through a crisis, your country is going through a crisis, your family may be going through a crisis, your industry may be suffering as well, so pause and digest all of this information for a second. Become aware of your surroundings, it’s happening and you’re here - present, witnessing what’s happening. And the only option you have is to get through this time with a smile on your face because some things in this world and in our lives are just not in our control, that’s why we call them ‘natural’ disasters or calamity. As much as we’d like to be superhumans in such times, we have to accept that we’re not (unless we are and it’s proven of course).
I know, the thought that’s constantly bothering you these days is “What next?” What will happen when we are out of the lockdown and the economy is in shambles? Trust the intelligence of this country’s experts. Our genius economists were able to protect us when the whole world came crashing down after the Lehman Brothers’ fiasco. They know how to protect the economy and this country, sadly they don’t know how to bring back the dead and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing at the moment, sitting at our homes.
Do what you need to for your mental health okay? You think your startup can’t keep paying the full-time employees anymore? Lay them off. You’re worried if you’re doing enough for the people around you? Do more. You’re afraid your upcoming project won’t take off anytime soon? Make a new one and go virtual with it. Do you want to really see your friends? Do a video call and share a drink. You want to call your ex and tell them you love them? Sure, go ahead and do that too. What do we have to lose anyway in this time, when the most damage we can do to ourselves personally is “not stay safe and practice social distancing”? Really, do anything crazy that helps that genius head of yours because that’s what will stay close to you for life. It’s permanent.
I’ll tell you a secret. A thought that’s been troubling me for a couple of days now is “Oh no Diksha, you don’t even have a lover to share this tough time with. So if you have the worst luck and you die during this time, you’d die an anxious ambitious single person”
Honestly, that’s the regret I’ll take to my grave most likely.
More tomorrow! You hang in there, I will too.