When the mind is gone…

My mind is a cluttery place, much like my car, my room, my studio, my life. And I can’t seem to do anything about it.  I feel like I’m sinking so many times.  I’m drowning in my excess and to do’s and my self-inflicted stress.  I want to be so good. I want to be the best. I want to be admired and loved and appreciated for my talent and my mind and my work. So much so that it consumes my entire life and mind. I don’t know how to relax. I guess I’ve known that for a while, but it hasn’t seemed so important before. I thought I was above relaxing. Like I have too much to do and accomplish- how can I take leisure time?  I shouldn’t even recognize that as legitimate concept.

It’s a terrible thing to stop trusting one’s self. It’s embarrassing to second guess your own decisions. To feel like you have no right to choose without consulting someone else first. I’m not sure when that happened to me, but I find myself currently in this state. I’m generally completely confident in myself, so it takes me by surprise when I hit these weird times of self-doubt and question. I think my worst fear is not living up to my potential. I have lofty expectations for myself, and it would be a shame to fall short. I feel as though I will fail if I do not spend every waking moment progressing and accomplishing things. It is a terrible way to live. I live with a constant nag in the back of my mind. No movie, television show, night out with friends is free from the incessant idea that I could be using that time to do something more productive.

I’m a compulsive comparer. I compare myself to others. I compare others to others. I compare others to myself. And because I do this, I feel that others are also so compulsively inclined, and feel this inherent need to be impressive in others’ eyes. A teacher once told me that people on average spend something like 80-90 percent of their time thinking about themselves and how they are perceived, and only the remaining percentage thinking of other people.  Which begs the question- Why do I put so much weight on trying to impress?  This also gets me thinking- what is my true motivation behind creating? I have lived long enough to realize that my mental health is directly correlated to how much time I spend creating. This took me a long time to realize, but it was refreshing when I finally figured it out. Now what I am still trying to understand is- What do I ultimately want out of creating? Do I want fame, recognition, money, acclaim, bigger and better opportunities, self-fulfillment? I’m not sure yet. But I do know that I am compulsively driven to keep myself busy. I almost feel guilty going home before 8pm. I’m pretty sure that’s not healthy…. It’s almost like I feel the need to be stressed in order to feel like I am accomplishing anything.  The need to feel stressed in order know that I am doing all that I can possibly handle in that moment.  Which is a stupid way to live. It is foolish to feel that I am falling short if I also happen to enjoy my allotted time on earth.  To feel guilty for having fun when I know a project is due. Then sometimes I wonder why I even make myself so busy. What good does it really do? What lasting impact will that have on my own life or the lives of others? I’m not really sure. I know the way I currently live is not conducive to allowing others into it. It sometimes feels like there is simply no room.

And here are some buildings in New York (I felt the need to lighten the mood a bit):

3 thoughts on “When the mind is gone…

  1. Hambone Press says:

    While what you describe is not particularly healthy and definitely something to work on, I feel more than a little relieved to read this post–I know exactly what you mean and feel the same. I, however, know that sometimes I make too many promises to too many people–in some ways, allowing too many people in. I’ve had many great learning opportunities from some of these situations (sure I’ll help you install your show, sure I can show you how to do that, sure I can make that for you…), but sometimes I need to stop doing things for other people and do something for myself–such as, stop promising to hang out with people when all I really want to do is sit home and read a book. Balance is the key here, but it’s a constant struggle to find it.

  2. theycallmespindles says:

    Thanks! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. I debated even posting this because I didn’t want to come off whiny, but I think most creative people struggle with this too. It’s no easy when your passion and the thing that gives your life purpose is so time consuming. I’m resolving to find my balance, because I know it can be done.

  3. aeolione says:

    I feel the same way really often. It’s good to know I’m not alone…and maybe not as crazy as I feel at times. I agree that we all need to work harder at finding times to keep ourselves sane and enjoying even the smallest things in life rather than getting super worked up over small things. Rough balance between working hard and staying sane. Best of luck!

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