I’ve written about the “gift” of insomnia before. I feel somewhat facetious in writing this, because honestly, being awake from 2:30 to 5:30 am this morning certainly did not feel like a gift.
And yet, waking up this morning and writing in my journal as openheartedly as I did this morning was something that I needed.
I used to think my anxiety was tied to people and events, but it goes deeper than that. Anxiety in some sense is so intertwined with who I am, it’s safe to say I am more anxious than not, even when there’s nothing tangible to be anxious about.
I wake up and I can’t even concentrate long enough to follow the sunnah of sleeping or even something as mundane as counting cows — my mind is on full. It explores things I have to repress during the day. Not that letting it out on paper solves things; but it allows me to really sit and live with my fears, instead of letting them unconsciously dictate my actions. That’s not to say that fear is never a reason to act or not act, but we should know when it it is.
This week, a saw a pattern emerging. I don’t know if I can call it my theme of the week, because most weeks I don’t have a theme. Regardless, this week did have one: Not fulfilling goal I had made for myself at one time ended up actually being better for me.
In my moments of indecision, I can now say that Allah (swt) was with me, guiding me. That feels almost perennialist or heterodox to even write that, but that is not my intent at all. I guess another way of putting it is that I should trust my intuition. And what else is intuition than listening to our fitra?
For far too long I have allowed other people’s comments, even the well-meaning ones, to dictate my moods and “goals.” By drowning out my own inclinations, I almost forgot to even consider what it was I wanted. Or felt. Or needed.
Why have I kept on revisiting the PhD, even after I have decided No many times?
Why do I feel bad for not training for a half-marathon like a “real runner” should be doing?
Are those benchmarks what I want or what I think I should want? I honestly don’t know what’s in store for me, so I won’t write-off any of these quasi-goals. But right now, I am content that I have decided to listen to my intuition and say No.
It may not be what I “want” (and how can I even begin to unpack this word, as socially-laden as it is?) – but I have this sense it is what I need.