a non-sugar-coated new years post by Anna Reyes

what do i want for myself?

it was hard to go back to working today, but it was harder in the 2 days before. i didn’t work from dec 20th until jan 2nd. whenever i have a break, my mind can go blank. It’s not an absence of stress necessarily, but an absence of a recurring of thoughts, repeating quickly, the way a card dealer can shuffle a deck of cards face down, the same image appearing over and over - mesmerizing, and each card its own separate object, but inescapably repetitive.

coming back to working is much more stressful than the working itself. i know the state i will be in. i recognize the physical sensations of stress as they creep back in, and the awareness of the imminent sensations can be paralyzing.

and once i am actually working -  i find myself drowning in winter coats on the subway, constantly going over the things i need to do, the things i forgot to do, reminding myself to breathe, going over the things i am saving for later, the things i should do, the things i dream of doing, remembering that i forgot to breathe, and getting down on myself - whether chiding myself for not being adventurous and reckless enough and in the next breath criticizing  myself for not buckling down with 100 percent discipline. 

when i am on the subway, and i have the discipline to sit with my thoughts instead of scrolling on a never-fully-loaded Instagram feed, these are the cards that my mind deals: 

what do i want for myself?

independence, stimulation, the ability to explore, stability, healthy love with a partner.

and i also want to be everything, always. there are endless personas that I want to try on and the second i’m wearing one, another calls me a failure or criticizes the method with which the first operates. is that a female predicament?

how do you narrow down what you want to do?

how does one stand to watch doors close as she opens another?

how do you know how to use of the finite minutes of your life?

how do I look at my life like a game, one where mistakes are ok, and if you make a fatal mistake, you just f*ckin start over where you left off?

what have i stopped myself from achieving already?

how courageous and how cautious do i need to be?