It’s difficult to lose the habit of being stressed out. This is one thing I’m beginning to learn. I quit my job at the beginning because, after years and years of denial, I finally accepted that research is not my path. I imagined, as I geared up to tell my superior about my decision, that the day I quit my job will mark the beginning of a happier existence. And though an evening and a day of HUGE relief did follow, what came afterwards was nothing like the easiness of mind I had envisioned. Nope, what followed was a complete and utter descent into a dark, ghostly state.
Perhaps this was because I had a two-months’ notice, and no real change followed my decision. There was change in my mind and my outlook on life, but practically nothing really happened, and after the initial high, I became sadder and number than before quitting. I started waking up at 4 or 5 am in the morning stark alert without a chance to go back to sleep (I need about 9 hours of sleep, so I was shattered). I could not get out of the tired-body and tired-mind rut, and just drudged along during the remaining two months of my employment as a ghost stuck between the world of regular employed and the world of walking my own path. And though what I had wished for for perhaps a decade had finally come to pass, I was not and could not be happy.
I had to take some holidays, so effectively I was no longer at work starting from the 20th of February. But insanely, that week just because I was still within the time period of my contract, I could not completely exit the horrid ghostly state I felt in. And now that I’m indeed unemployed—I’m still sizzling with stress. I’m stressing about the bureaucratic onslaught that quitting my job unleashed, about my son’s upcoming routine checkup, about the garbage needing taking out, and about a myriad of other mad things.
So, I figured today that stress is something that can become a habit; that changing a practical circumstance doesn’t necessarily translate to an immediate change of attitude and awareness. This week, I threw myself into my writerly work with zeal, and it seems like I overshot. Now it’s Friday, and I’m reeling from all the thoughts bouncing in my head, and am still not sleeping too well. But now get it: learning to live a good life takes time. It takes work on one’s self and one’s mind to be able to truly seize happiness when it’s finally there. So, I guess, what will have to happen is time passing, and me writing myself out of the rut.