Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I am ambitious. Some may say a dreamer, a fantasist, hungry, fussy, competitive and a thousand other synonyms which take away my fire, my flame, my enthusiasm and work ethic. It doesn't bother me, in fact, it never really has because to me it is nothing but an understatement, a misunderstanding or a realists perception of a positivist. I have always been this way, someone who is always thinking of my next move, a characteristic that I'm told would make me a master at chess, it is who I am, I know what I want and I won't stop until it is mine. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't expect to get things easily, I don't expect there to be no barriers. I am willing to put blood, sweat and tears into everything I do in order to get from A to B and I'd much prefer not to take any shortcuts. The problem is, my ambition, my drive, my work-ethic often overshadows the now. I plan for the future, I execute my moves to make sure I am on the right path but never stop to smell the roses or take in the scenery. 

If you ask anyone that knows me and knows me well whether I am a hard worker I can comfortably tell you their response would be yes. If you asked my parents their response would most likely be that of a story of how I work harder than anyone they know, but it is not always a good thing and I have come to realise that. Whenever I get tired and want to give up, I get frustrated with whatever endeavour I have begun I remind myself of a quote "To be successful you must work harder than anyone else," it is a quote I have come to realise that I probably take all too seriously. I have caused myself headaches and heartaches from focusing too much on where I want to be and too little on where I am now, staying up until the clock has already struck 3am to work on university work when I know I am due to wake for the day ahead only 4 hours later is something I find myself doing all too often and over time it has made me ill, tired, angry and a totally different person from who I want to be. I have lost control of balancing my future with my present.

Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I realised that I definitely had to readjust this way of thinking once I found myself saying "I have no time to write blog posts" and "I shouldn't be focusing on my blog, after all, university is what is truly important" and although the latter is definitely true, blogging is important to me and my wellbeing, so why should I stop doing it because I am so focused on perfecting every single piece of work I do? I look around I see people juggling their blog with much larger projects, I see people who are able to do their master's degree while juggling two jobs or raising children and it puts into perspective that I too can juggle, if only I let the scale go back to perfect balance. I am so focused on what I see in my future, the successes I hope to succeed that I prevent myself from doing things that bring me pure happiness and joy in the present and that isn't what being ambitious is all about. I focus so much on the successes I want in the future, the job I want to be in, the lifestyle I hope to live that I have forgotten to allow myself happiness in the life I live now, the successes I have and am achieving in the past and present. I have allowed myself to become such a micro-manager of my own life that even I have become sick of the to-do lists and tiny time frames I force myself into. 

I couldn't tell you the last time I truly lived in the moment and enjoyed a full day of fun and adventure without thinking about what work I should be doing instead. I even found myself not reading books, something I have always enjoyed unless they were academic or going to help me get to where I wanted to be in the future. I realised that this just wasn't the best way to be living and things had to change and so I have begun making small changes to how I work my time, trying to let go of the feeling of not working equals failure. I have begun reading more, I have begun enjoying myself more and trying to push away the guilt that seems to form in my mind whenever I am enjoying myself. It came to the point where workaholic really became something I could call myself and it's not healthy. I want to have fun and be happy and do things that allow me to feel pride despite it not fully benefiting my future. 

Learning to Balance What I Have with What I Want

I have taken steps to get to this place, I have learned that not everything I do has to benefit future Robyn in some way, I have begun reminding myself that I am young and 21-year-olds don't have to have their life perfectly planned until they're 40. I am trying to open up to being able to make mistakes and let things not go perfectly to plan. I want to enjoy myself, blog and be happy and in order to do so, I need to let go of this mindset that if it's not beneficial to my future it shouldn't be happening. I guess I have been this way now since last May and it comes from more than just my ambition and strives taking over, but it comes from an emotional place too and I have to recognise that. After losing my nephew last May I have closed myself off to having fun or being sociable, I have become somewhat anti-social because part of me thinks it's wrong to enjoy my life when my beautiful nephew is no longer able to enjoy his. I have to let go of this guilt and remind myself daily that it's not a healthy way to live.

This blog post turned into more of a confession and a brain fart than I intended, but finding the balance between appreciating what I have and working hard to achieve what I want has been hard and I've not yet mastered it. I need to remind myself a lot of the time not to feel guilty and that no one is expected to be perfect. I have begun reading again, turning my laptop off before bed and giving myself an hour to read each night which has also allowed me to stop working well into the early hours of the morning. I feel healthy and happy again because I am getting a good night's sleep, I am trying to push myself into social situations that I would otherwise have had fun in despite the pure dread that comes beforehand. It is taking some time but I am beginning to smell the roses and take in the scenery and realise that the life I live now is just as important as the one I see in my future. 

So, are you a workaholic? Do you focus your attention on the future all too much or are you someone who fully indulges them self in the moment? 

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