/ blog

I bought a watch

I seem to often confuse weakness with simply being overwhelmed. I’m overwhelmed by how scarce is my attention, and energy and how few things I can truly care about. That’s not a bad thing in itself but it feels bad. It may be a sign of maturity. I reached a point where constraints are such, that I can sense my lack of care and attention. Feeling weak usually leads me into self-pity pitty then anger until released by a burst of exercise. That sounds gross but it can be relatively short and look socially acceptable (a tiny work thing happens, followed by heavy complaint, then a walk). Feeling overwhelmed is softer but leads to a question that I can't answer. It blocks my ability to make any decision or think straight.

I get triggered by how marriage was easy to commit to, it made too much sense in my mind. Whereas California or our presence here seems a lot harder to be at peace with, let alone defining a long-term commitment. From the logistical and emotional standpoints, both have almost everything in common. Nothing is all good or bad. I get that. It's easy when thinking of a person. But when we are talking about a more complex and dynamic system, like a location with its macro-economic, climate, risks, history, politics, and demographics the non-dichotomous approach is paralyzing. Everything becomes a compromise and each solution lives on a spectrum.

Where do I belong? I've been struggling with this question for a while and thought I was only finding excuses or good reasons not to settle. With an appreciable amount of certainty, I can now say that my thinking has been driven by anxiety.

It took me years into my adult life to recognize the reality of mental pain in other people. I used to pride myself in regularly acknowledging that everybody struggles in some way. Some of these ways were, and still are, completely foreign to me. With the pandemic and everyone obsessing over mental health, my contrarian instinct flared up and I got even deeper in my denial of the reality of mental pain. I've always been stressed, my mom has always insisted on this trait of mine (which I totally got from her). I even knew I got close to burnout and developed a weird relationship with (cardio) exercise partially because of it. I lacked the vocabulary to even think of my feelings. I still can't make a clear distinction between general stress (not acute) and anxiety.

Stress is normal and necessary. When I get stressed, it often means I'm doing something important and the cortisol is here to help go through it. It's true. I've hidden behind this for very long. But it is only a part of the story. Fueling a constant fire creates a state of constant, low-grade anxiety. I tend to be all-in or all-out... an attitude that can't realistically be applied to stress. I'm not a monk, nor a navy seal. It's always somewhere between extremes that reality exists. It just is a frustrating fact of life.

I have been trying to be more present. Following that idea, I got a watch thinking that it would free me from my phone. It did help, I look at it less often. I like the urgency that the object creates. I can see the seconds; It's terrifying when it needs to be: when I'm on the computer. The watch is annoying and rubs against something most of the time. The band often needs to be readjusted. Even though digital, it's a thing that I feel. I'm building a relationship with the thing. My phone feels unreal, more digital than physical. An ever-slimmer brick that I can put away but rarely do. There is something cathartic about rediscovering a relationship and the importance of basic and tangible things.

Basically, I bought a watch.

← Index / Published on 2022-11-12