So many parts of the above article rang true for me but none more then this part.
I didn’t play the piano for 10 years. A decade of slow death by greed working in the City, chasing something that never existed in the first place (security, self-worth, Don Draper albeit a few inches shorter and a few women fewer). And only when the pain of not doing it got greater than the imagined pain of doing it did I somehow find the balls to pursue what I really wanted and had been obsessed by since the age of seven – to be a concert pianist.
A life where you are denying your passions is a slow death. I have felt this way since I moved to Columbia. While I was learning and taking classes I could ignore it since I do love to learn about new things. Now, however that the classes are over and work is slowing down I can see just how empty my life has gotten. My health has went down hill and often I get home and by six in the afternoon am considering going to bed simply so I do not have to face the next six hours of empty time before I go to sleep, wake up, and start the cycle all over again.
I have gotten myself sucked into a loop of depression and exhaustion that leaves me wanting to curl up and forget the world all too often. I have stripped my life bare until there is nothing left of me in it and now I am not sure how to start the rebuild. Do I let everything burn to the ground or do I try and use the shattered pieces to rebuild? I am not someone who makes friends easily. I push people away because I have been burned too many times by people claiming to be friends who in fact were just happy to use the details of my life to hurt or take power over me. I have not made any new friends in this town and I am losing the ones I have in my hometown.
I have lost my balance between work and life until I no longer have a home life and it is tearing me apart physically and mentally. The only healthy thing I have managed to keep is writing. All I seem to do lately is pace and write, worry and write, eat and read bad fanfiction since I cannot keep my mind anchored long enough to ready anything with depth. I am uncomfortable in my own skin and trying to feel my way back to a level state.
Avoiding Unnecessary Activity
When uncomfortable we default to what provides comfort, even if it is not healthy for us. Sometimes sitting for meditation and self-reflection must happen exactly when we’d rather be doing anything but. Unnecessary activities include going out drinking and obsessively hitting the gym to daydreaming and oversleeping. There’s nothing wrong with exercise as a healing tool. It just cannot replace time we need in stillness. Chödrön quotes the Japanese poet Ryokan: ‘If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things.’
I have been fighting to strip my life bare of the unnecessary for many years. I have been a fan of minimalism since it first came on the scene. To be able to strip your life down to the essentials seemed like an impossible goal to someone who had thousands of books stacked around her house and art covering every wall. When I moved, I lost over half the space I had in my condo. I got rid of many of the things I had collected in the five years I had lived in my condo, most of the art was hidden into closets since I was not allowed to drill holes in the walls to hang anything. The tiny kitchen meant that most of my kitchen supplies were simplified to fit into the lack of cabinets. I got rid of thousands of books, limiting my collection to ones I knew I could not find as an ebook or old favorites.
I purged in a frenzy of motion, I wanted a blank slate to work from, a new start for my new job, new house, and new city. Instead I was left with space. Space to move furniture around in or curl up on the floor with my dog. Getting rid of my possessions did not lighten my heart or mind. I still have the urge to toss the rest and start over somewhere, but running has never solved anything. And that was what it was, running, if I can get rid of enough I will be better, if I can distance myself enough I will no longer be hurt so badly, but the fact of the matter is that I hurt myself more then anyone else has or can.
I am starting the think it is time I made a stand and decided what I really want in my life.