Something I’ve been trying to remember is that an object at rest stays at rest, unless acted upon by an outside force.
For a long time, I operated at full speed. For many unsustainable years, I burned myself out: I said yes to everything, burdened myself with perfectionism, and sought out validation and praise to feel like my efforts were worthwhile.
When I think of myself, that’s who I see: always-busy, hyper-active, over-achieving. Growing up, I was always operating at max capacity, juggling so much activity (straight a’s, sports, dance, etc.) that it felt like I never could find a moment to breathe. Into adulthood, the same energy followed me—tearing through school and jobs and hobbies and my relationship as though I was a manager and free moments were meant to be curated to perfection. So much of my existence has been full-throttle, including running and operating a business, with the words “sink or swim” buzzing through my mind on repeat.
And then I stopped. Suddenly.
The pandemic gave me an opportunity to slow down and I took it with such fervor and intensity that I overcorrected. In giving myself permission to recover, I opened up the floodgates: mixed with a little depression and ADHD and a continuous trail of big life changes, I totally stilled.
Aside from still running my business (and with it, stressing about the impending peril of imperfection), I’ve allowed the rest of my life to settle and blur and quiet to eerie silence. I simply don’t have the capacity to engage. Overstimulation comes easily. Exhaustion follows.
The response to my breaking point was to retreat.
As it turns out, my version of survival mode is utter stillness. The closest thing I can describe is a hibernation of sorts.
It hasn’t all been bad: slowing down has lead to some beautiful moments. Happy, comfortable, fun, lazy, lounging, restful, healing, silly, moments. But I think this time of my life has served its purpose and I’m ready to get a little bit closer to who I was—the spirit I’ve cultivated and grown and loved. Maybe this time, I’ll be able to keep better care of her, rather than driving into a man-made sun of crash and burn.
The issue I’m facing, and have faced for some time, however is that after so much stillness, it has felt nearly impossible to jump-start again, to wade back into a better balance of living and resting.
But, I’m trying. More and more, I’m waking up. Passion is stirring, creativity is flowing, my body is begging for movement again. This time, in a way of my own design and choosing.
I can be the force.