Anxiety and insomnia never were a good mix.

One of the things I have learned in organizing public programs is that you have to be willing to let go of your reasons for starting the project.

When I discovered there was some push back against one of my core reasons for starting this particular project, I was reminded of the lesson I learned in light of another project that I had started two years ago: it’s not about me.

That’s the nature of “public.” It can’t be about you.

I wouldn’t say my ego was hurt; I’ve kind of gotten used to it. But I suppose I was a bit dismayed. Maybe I look at things a bit too analytically. Maybe my experiences are just different from others. Maybe I am more willing to have uncomfortable conversations about this topic because I wrestle with it daily.

But, maybe just maybe, this was not the right audience for it.

I keep on searching for the right avenue for my yet-to-be-articulated raison d’être.

At first, I thought it was within academia (I haven’t fully given up on this yet, but I need to have a game plan if I’m going to make a second attempt). Then, I considered chaplaincy. And then, whatever it is I have been doing since I moved to Indy – a mixture of interfaith work, writing in its different forms.

But maybe that’s just how life will be for me. I made the decision long before I really realized what I was doing that I was not going to have a set path career-wise (but really I think in all aspects of life, since I live in such a career-driven society).

I keep hearing the word “vocation.” It’s a Christian concept that has permeated popular culture. And since I grew up in North America, I absorbed this kind of thinking: that what I do for a living dictates who I am as a person. And because what I did for most of my “professional” life felt less than what I have been acculturated to aspire for, I always felt like I was not living up to my “calling.”

But maybe it does not have to be that way. Why do I assume that I have to have a title that encapsulates all that I am? Even the people I admire are more than what they reveal to the world.

Not everything has to be a life-defining moment.

Why am I thinking about this now?

I guess that’s what happens when you are an anxious blogger who woke up earlier than necessary and can’t go back to sleep.

But as I have written before, even insomnia comes with its gifts. Although I feel this one is going to take a while to unwrap.

One thought on “Anxiety and insomnia never were a good mix.

  1. I love this one, Rafia. Your thoughts are so nice to read.

    Had to let go of the idea that our careers define who we are long ago. The phrase “what you do for a living” is so strong that it basically encompasses every aspect of your life, which is why I don’t like using the phrase to describe a job or career. Because “what I do for a living” is so much more than the bit that earns me money.

    I definitely don’t think it necessary to always have to put a title next to one’s name. Doctor this or Professor that..I mean they sound great when you’re doing the job. But when we’re home or with our friends..that’s who we really are. No titles, just us.

    As for “Not everything has to be a life-defining moment.”
    This one hit me. I tend to look for meaning where there is none. Haven’t figured out how to balance this out in a way that’s healthy and nondestructive, but I’m on my way to figuring it out.

    Once again, our thoughts align, friend :]

    Liked by 1 person

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