Trying, Failing, and Trying Again


I had the most magnificent dream last night that I was still in college and, therefore, didn’t have time for a full-time job. I don’t remember exactly what happened in the dream, but I do remember one reassuring thought: “You can quit your job.” I felt free.

I’ve been trying lately to focus on one small task at a time, so that I don’t overwhelm myself. “You’ll feel better when you cross each small task off your list,” I was told. I do feel better when I can accomplish something, even if it is something small. But then I immediately feel like I need a break. I need to rest and recharge.

Over the weekend, I attended my Grandpa’s funeral. Family flew in from different parts of the country to gather together to celebrate his 95 years of life. He was a kind, hilarious man and he will be greatly missed.

He was a bricklayer who worked hard to provide for his wife and seven children. I don’t have a spouse or children, but I would like to work as hard as he did to provide for myself and to live independently. I’m not sure how to do that when I am regularly unable to concentrate.

I can focus on an entertaining podcast, a hilarious episode of television, and an exhilarating movie. I usually check social media while I’m listening/watching though, so I’m not perfectly attentive. I just wish that I could apply the same attention to my work that I give to an episode of Please Like Me.

Is it narcissistic to wonder how you’ll be remembered after your death? That thought has definitely crossed my mind recently. I know that work shouldn’t consume me and I don’t necessarily want to be remembered solely for my career. But I don’t want my co-workers to reminisce about my inability to get work done in a timely manner either.

Today, I participated in a Twitter chat about role models/heroes. In response to a question about what characteristics that you admire in someone you look up to or aspire to be more like, I tweeted that I admire a sense of humor, an easygoing attitude, kindness, honesty, open mindedness, and empathy for other people. I hope that I possess those characteristics, but I also hope to be someone who people can rely on to do a good job.

I would love it if I could wake up one day with a sense of purpose, with the feeling that I was doing or creating something that had meaning and that helped people. I haven’t found that yet. Perhaps that’s the cause of my anxiety, which makes it difficult for me to concentrate.

I have an appointment with my therapist tonight and I hope to share these feelings with her. I want a quick fix, but I know what she’ll say: “Focus on one step at a time.”

I’ll get home from therapy and worry about being able to concentrate at work the next day. Then I’ll sleep and dream about not having to work at all. I’ll wake up, go to work, and try to focus on one small task. I’ll anxiously try to coax myself to finish another task while I fret about not working quickly enough. The cycle will continue until… I’m not sure what will break it, but I hope to figure that out with the help of my therapist soon.

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