Pressing play

It’s my last week in Vienna. Five full days, and then I fly home. And as I get ready to go, my old antagonist rears its head: hitting the “hold” button.

The temptation goes like this: I don’t have much time left. It’s going to be a big change. Why do work today, why make plans, why DO anything? Just wait till you’re home again. What’s the point of starting today?

This isn’t “taking a moment to enjoy my final days.” This is procrastination on steroids.

Before I caught on to what was happening, I could let this go on for months at a time. Before I went to Germany, I hardly knew what to do with myself. I could (rightly) justify part of it on the grounds that I didn’t know what to expect when I got to Germany. What would my room look like? What would the family be like? What would my daily routine be? All of this made it difficult to imagine how I might spend my time in Germany, but it had absolutely zero bearing on how I spent my time in Michigan before going to Germany.

The summer before I started University at Edinburgh was the worst: not only did I not know what my life would be like, but I experienced repeated low-level panic attacks that left me terrified and struggling to breath. And life, mentally, went on hold.

Eventually I cottoned on. I think it happened somewhere between my first and second years, once I got the hang of being in and out of one country or another. I started to realize that if my reason for hitting “pause” was simply “I’ll be leaving soon,” then I would never hit “play.” And that was a pretty dumb way to live.

That doesn’t mean it’s not a temptation, though. Mentally deferring my life away.

Not today, lazy inner voice. Not this week, not this month.

Today, I heaped a lot on my plate, because I’m a glutton for doing stuff with my life. Today, I got in a good day’s honest labor, had sushi for lunch, and said farewell-for-now to one of my new friends. Today, I drafted five blog posts, because I have a lot of thoughts on my mind and they all needed to get out. Today, I walked around the city, bought me some gelato, and had a drink, because I’m in Vienna and that’s what life is for. Today, I accomplished a shit ton, because YOLO, damn it, and I have work to do.

Today, I hit “play.”

3 Replies to “Pressing play”

  1. Oh, how well I understand this. The lazy voice in my head is slowly injecting me with self-doubt, saying “why, why would you start now? Start later, when you’re THERE, because there you will be the energetic, successful person you always wanted to be, all you need to to is to go THERE, where you won’t be this scared of a blank piece of computer screen and everything will be terrific” which, of course is never the case. Moving to a new place always comes as a shock, and those expectations inflicted by the mean creature in my head make it double in size.

    Liked by 1 person

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