Saturday, April 9, 2016

Be gone, thanatophobia

I woke up happy and optimistic today, which is very good considering how I had been feeling lately :)

Not journaling for half a month has left me bursting with so many thoughts and emotions I don't know where to begin with. For starters, I hadn't been very motivated to do anything that could contribute to either my professional or personal development the past week. Work has been stressful since I came back from vacation; I had to spend hours in the lab during weekends, and I worked until 7.30PM last night. I don't respond well to stress, so all I did after work was de-stress, by making use of my accidental subscription of Hulu and browsing random online stores looking for all the materialistic rewards I can exchange for with my hard-earn money. (!!!)

During my annual academic staff performance review meeting with my boss last week, he commented that although my performance during the past 8 months exceeded his expectations, he expects me to be more motivated and passionate about the research— like, take more initiative, attend more talks, workshops, seminars, symposiums etc. He also suggested that I start early now to think about potential PhD thesis... ughh. S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D

I was telling Primary about not feeling motivated to do anything with my life the other day. Halfway spilling out my feelings, I turned into an emotional train-wreck and blurted out a lot of thoughts that wasn't in the foreground of my mind on most days: all those negative, self-falsifying statements about how I feel like a failure for not having accomplished much during this quarter of a century I've been breathing air; how I feel like I am still living without much clarity what I want to do with my life; how I feel like I am only taking the easy, go-with-the-flow path and letting things work out on their own when I should work harder and take more control. Mostly, how I've failed to meet the expectations I had for myself 10 years ago and didn't turn out to be what I envisioned myself to be by the age of 25.

Isn't it ridiculous how I would take the ambitions of a 15-year-old me so seriously? I think what really struck me hard was the realization of how mediocre the rest of my life is most likely going to be in contrast to the perfection I once pictured, before I knew better.

Primary said I was ungrateful.

I can't deny, but I always try to be otherwise, and be mindful of whether I am being grateful enough. Why else do you think I have the word "gratitude" tattooed on my right wrist?

It's just that whenever depression hits, whatever self-empowering positivity I've established comes falling apart. My fear of death is so predominant nowadays it's hindering me from properly living my life; just the mere thought of eternal loss of consciousness upon death would paralyze me. I find it extremely hard to conceptualize the terror I feel about death—  how can other people not share this dread I have? Is it because most people don't even think about it, and don't ever want to? How can people not be deeply affected by the awaiting ending where we cease to exist and go back to absolute silence, for all eternity?

Momentary mediocrity wouldn't bother me if I can live forever. I am frustrated at myself and at life only because I am mindful of the unchangeable fact that our days are numbered. Every single second counts, yet there is only so much I can do.

On the good days though, this anxiety would be buried at the back of my head and I would effortlessly be convinced that I shouldn't waste even one second drowning myself in fear of my death as that has already happened in the future. Today is one of the good days, and I am thankful for that.

I am going out with Dom later to celebrate Cousin's girlfriend's birthday, gotta go get ready now. Ciao!

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