Today I had an interesting conversation with someone I appreciate, and whose opinion I hold in high esteem (I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning her here).
It started about work, and fears, and we digressed into what we like, what makes us tick. Well into the conversation, this person said something that resonates strongly within me, she said one sentence that I’ve used in the past, exactly the same words in exactly the same context… She said something was “killing her soul.”
I think at that moment, I realised that even though we think we have massive problems, that nobody can understand us, that we’re the only ones facing certain ordeals, many people are like us, and we’re not alone in this.
We think others, in different jobs, cities, countries, or even just different streets, might have similar problems, maybe; but we don’t realise that sometimes is the people closest to us, in location, the ones that actually we can relate to (and the most difficult to reach out to, I guess).
I told this person that I keep so busy in my spare time so that I could keep my soul alive, so that I can keep that little ember that’s left of it still burning. I could possibly go out drinking with people, but my spare time is the only time I have to do what I really love and what fills me with joy, so sometimes I prefer staying at home, on my own, doing my things. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the people around me, or those offering me plans, it’s more a case of it’s my free time, and I want to use it well.
Currently, I work at a place which is OK (-ish, most of the time… some days), I’m happy I have a job in this economical situation, and that it’s enough to pay my bills and live. I’m not happy because it’s not what I would like to be doing 40 hours a week. That’s what’s slowly killing my soul away. I do enjoy interacting with the people I work with, and I’m there at 100% for my team, but I know that I’m slowly but relentlessly entangling myself more and more in this net. Or maybe look at it as the entrance to a dark cave: it’s always just one step further down the cave to get something done, to help someone in my team, to reach that deadline, or do this meeting, it’s just one step more… But sometimes I glance over my shoulder, and I can see the light from the entrance dimming, farther and farther away. You can imagine why sometimes this feels a bit… overwhelming.
Today it was one of those days. I do enjoy what I’m doing and, talking with this person, I realise that this is what keeps me alive (inside at least): being able to write about one of my passions, photography, regardless of whether I’m good at it or not, and sharing that knowledge with whoever wants to read me, even if I never get to know whether people actually like it, or think it’s interesting, and I only get to see those ghost-like numbers, like they have a life on their own, up and down each day, telling me one person from Spain has read my post, or maybe now 3 from UK, or 2 from Australia… (thanks to all of you that come visit regularly, by the way, I hope you like it).
I love my writing, which I do from time to time. I’m probably not good at it, at all, but I don’t mind. It helps me keep my feet on earth and my mind in the skies.
The crafts allow me to use my hands, to wind down from the daily worries, and allow me to imagine myself in a different place, they calm me. Crocheting might seem like a granny thing, but it does keep the frustration in check.
It’s true that I do too many things, for too long, and then I end up so tired I don’t even want to move, but I am grateful for those down days as well, because they help me heal and charge the batteries (it’s difficult for a solar energy powered girl to live in this country sometimes, so I have to go to standby mode from time to time).
It was quite interesting to know that someone close to me feels in a similar way.
Some people might vent their frustrations by going out, or taking drugs, or maybe just being silly, or getting into fights, I don’t know, but I know that for me, this is it.
What I work in doesn’t define me: it’s not who I am, it’s just what I do. I am everything else. I am creativity, I am art, I am crafts, I am letters and ink, and sweat from the runs. I am my challenges, and my goals. I just happen to work in the wrong job. Since I can’t do what I want at the moment, I’ve decided to just take one day at a time, and make sure that the people reporting to me can get where they want, with my help.
I’ll be me in my spare time.