“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.”
Sylvia Plath (American poet and novelist)
This quote tends to sum up my life. I met someone today I used to work for about 5 years ago, and she asked me what I was up to. I don’t really know how to respond to this as I have SO much going on. When someone asks me this type question, I usually go with what I think will be interesting to them and will keep the conversation short, as I’ve never really had much time for conversations based on ‘how’s the weather’ type topics.
Even as a teenager I would be quite intentional when making phone calls. I think Mum used to worry a little as sitting on the phone for hours going over a post-mortem of the days happenings was virtually a non-existent event in my younger years. Mind you, I only ever really had one or two friends at a time.
But that’s a whole other post for another day.
So today it totally backfired, as she seemed to genuinely be interested, and so one thing led to another and I ended up sharing way more than I had intended. Not that this is a bad thing. I am assured people find me interesting but I am a perpetual sufferer of ‘imposter syndrome’. That is, waiting for somebody to figure out I don’t have it all figured, and it doesn’t help when people with whom I am conversing with say things like “oh, wow, you can’t possibly be doing that much”, or other some such things. “Why can’t I be doing that much?” I’m tempted to yell. Is there something you know about me that I don’t? Is it really because YOU don’t think YOU can do that much?
I get bored easily. I start a job and all is hunky-dory for the first couple of weeks, maybe months if it is a tough job and then I’m done. Had enough. I know the systems, processes and rules inside out and back to front. I know the loopholes and how to get what I want within the system intimately and I’m ready for another challenge. STIMULATE ME my brains screams. So I quit.
Truth is, I tried not doing very much and I got bored. Very very quickly. Husband says that leaving me to my own devices and in my own head is a very dangerous thing to do.
He’s right. However, I am still learning to manage my wellbeing. Ten years ago my favourite saying was “sleep? who needs that? I’ll sleep plenty when I’m dead, life is for living not sleeping”. Over time and with the maturity and wisdom of age though I’ve come to realise that to be most effective and productive I do need to get a little sleep or else I’ll get sick.
So I sleep, and read the books I can’t get to, and live the lives I can’t live, train myself in all the skills I want and experience life in all it wondrous and beautiful fullness in my dreams where there are no limitations.