Stop Chasing Personal Development

In my last therapy session, we discussed how I should find something to do – because otherwise I’ll go crazy in my current situation. The only problem is – I turn everything into a personal development chase.

I enjoyed a certain art style? I now need to become fully proficient in it and practice for two hours every day. I started writing? Better keep it up and make it a business! Want to take care of yourself? Great, let’s build a strict menu, give up sugar (despite just buying 2kg of my favorite candy), and train to exhaustion at least 3 times a week.

It’s like I forgot what it feels like to enjoy an activity in the moment, and not for the future benefit it brings.

The Threat of a Calendar

Having a set up calendar, time blocking, setting up a color code – I love that shit. However, I never use the systems that I set up – they only end up being sources of guilt. Same as unfinished projects, skills I’ve only mastered halfway through. They’re reminders of my incompetency.

Not really, of course, but this is what they feel like to me.

Now that I’ve quit my job, I have less set blocks on my calendar. I can’t even begin describing how bad I want to fill these gaps. I even thought about looking up a part-time job just to have a thing to time block for!

I ended up deciding against it. This calendar addiction – like any other addiction – is not healthy for me. As hard as it is to wake up to days of absolutely nothing, I’d rather learn to accept my thoughts and learn being with myself than run away and “hide” behind another job.

Days of Emptiness

Speaking of waking up to empty days – I am yet to accept that it is indeed a challenge. Weeks of having nothing planned (aside from an occasional meetup with friends) are hard. It sounds like the perfect vacation, a long time off, a holiday – but when there’s so much uncertainty and expectation layered on top, it becomes a trial.

I grew up with the mentality that doing nothing is always easier than doing something, and for the first time in my life I’m learning that it isn’t actually true. The choice to do nothing might be an easy one, but the actual process requires a lot of introspection.

All in all, I feel bad complaining about my situation – I’m living my life as a princess right now. No responsibilities, my husband taking care of all of my needs. Still, this leaves me one-on-one with my own thoughts, and trying to find my way back to just enjoying the moment instead of constantly trying to fix or improve something in my life is as much of a challenge as it was working towards a promotion at work.

Cherish your happy moments, learn to notice them, and for god’s sake – stop trying to be productive at all costs!

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