So here is the process I usually go through during this melangé of stress, procrastination and nerves that is called ‘exams':
- Make a to-do list to calm myself down
- Start freaking out about the amount of stuff to do
- Procrastinate in order to avoid my problems
- Realise that there is 8 hours left until the exam and experience something that resembles a panic attack
- Start studying frantically
- Try to calm myself down by convincing myself that it will be ok
- Repeat steps 1 – 6
The problem I always seem to have is finding this ‘middle ground’ that everyone seems to talk about. My emotions range from placid, sloth-like laziness or hyper-active panic. When I ask my friends for help, they give the simple response ‘you just need to find the middle ground’.
‘Find the middle ground’. It’s become the simple but superficial thing to say people that don’t seem to have their balance or whatever other spiritual stuff it is that people achieve in those pilates classes. Because although it might sound simple, finding the ‘middle ground’ is something that is in fact really taxing and time-consuming.
Because finding that emotional balance is not just about managing yourself like you would manage your schedule or your work-life. It’s not about finding a balance between a number of tangible concepts in a contained area – like managing different activities at school or managing your employees at work. It’s not external. Finding an emotional balance happens in that relationship between yourself and the things that happen to you – an emotional reconciliation of sorts.
This will probably sound bad amidst this cultural movement of ‘BE YOURSELF’ and ‘YOU ARE UNIQUE, FLAUNT IT’ – but sometimes you need to be able to change yourself in order for this stuff to work. To balance those emotional scales you need to able to control and inhibit parts of your ‘unique personality’ in order to get stuff done. I’m not saying that everyone needs to stop being individuals and expressing themselves creatively – but if I keep allowing my heightened mood swings stop me from doing things, a little personality change is in order.
It’s certainly something that I am trying to work towards, it’s something I really admire in others. That’s exactly why we can’t keep treating it like it’s some sort of arbitrary concept that is a solution for everything.
Anyway, wish me luck on this quest for the ‘middle ground’ – hopefully I’ll find it soon.