As I sit down at my table, coffee in hand, I am the least compelled to think about the rising number of cases in the world nor the amount of food in the refrigerator. And yet a weight rests in the back of my mind, growing heavier and heavier as the minutes tick along. I realise that there is no way I can drink my coffee in peace, so I set down my mug and begin to organise my thoughts.
The period of lockdown has been both a boon and a bane in the lives of many. Not only have people learned to be more understanding, but they have also learnt how to sympathise. Beyond all that, there is an increasing amount of productivity and innovation. People are trying out new things every day. They learn to cook to paint to sew and so much more. Across all ages, people are now trying things that they thought were not possible. And that is great! And yet I am sad. I am not able to bring out my talents as others have. I am unable to provide for those in need. I don’t seem to worry as much as others do. I can’t seem to be at peace with myself with these thoughts.
As our time indoors grew, I developed a fear of contacting my close friends. A fear to ask them “Hey! What are you up to?”. Because I’m afraid that I’m not as productive as them that I haven’t ‘found my calling’ as they have.
Many people have the same concerns. It starts when you call a music-loving friend, only to hear them saying that they are learning new music composition. You put it off and call the next to hear that they are learning a new language. Another is starting a blog. Furthermore, all around you, on every social platform, you can see people trying out new things and being successful.
It's disheartening to feel like nothing amid all the hustle and bustle. But a common struggle is that we can't seem to bring ourselves to do anything. And this is only one end of the spectrum.
On the other end, those who are productive find themselves developing perfectionism. It isn’t the type of perfectionism where we try to be the best version of ourselves. Instead, we try to reach the highest level of perfection. The unrealistic goals. The ones that don't exist. We strive to meet the levels that social media presents before us. We follow tutorials on how to be the perfect student, to create the perfect exercise routine, to bake the perfect loaf of bread, to be the epitome of perfection. An embodiment that doesn’t exist!
What we need to understand right now is that it’s okay. Tell yourself that It’s okay you can’t exercise every day. It’s okay that you can’t draw a masterpiece. It’s okay that you’re writing doesn’t seem to move forward. It’s okay that not able to study as well as the rest. It’s okay you can’t connect with your family. It's okay that you aren’t able to feel sorry. It's okay that you aren’t able to help others. It’s okay that you aren’t satisfied.
It’s okay because there is nothing wrong with not being able to do more. We need to accept that no matter what everyone else does, we have a limit. We need to accept that we are humans. There is nothing wrong in sitting idle. There is nothing wrong with going at your own pace. And there is nothing wrong with sitting at the table, coffee in hand and not a care in the world.