The biggest race you will ever run in your life, will be the constant race against time. There will always be too little time and too much to achieve in it. There will be social constructs of how your life should pan out, and the pressure to meet those invisible deadlines will be brash and suffocating.
The right time to get married, the right time to study, the right time to build your career, the right time to travel, the right time to make time… they all add up till you’ve suddenly landed on a boat, with a hole in it. The land is far away, and the water is filling up fast. You can paddle all you want but there is no way you can have your cake and eat it too.
I was inspired very early on by the idea of “living to the fullest”, “achieving my potential”, and doing more than is “expected.” It is so very easy to fall into the rut of saying “Yes” to every social gathering, every opportunity and every task that falls into your lap. It becomes so very difficult then, to break out of this constant cycle, walk away, breathe and start anew. I always talk about prioritizing the important things in life, but my fundamental flaw is not prioritizing myself.
The pressure of time, makes us compare our skills, our experiences and worst of all, our achievements with our social counterparts. Oh so I “wasted” four years of medical school while you travelled the globe, and met these amazing people! Oh I spent, the last two weekends, trying to meet everyone who has reached out but I’ve fallen behind on my study schedule, and concurrently, my sleep…
It has become a horrific struggle to be able to match up to my own standards. There is a level that I feel I should be at, an imaginary bar set so high that even I find myself panting to keep sight of it. But, that bar will always be there. And I haven’t been able to accept that maybe the horizon is where it should stay as, a motivator and not the finish line.
One of the reasons I name my blog what it is, is because of how impossible it is to satiate the expectations one has, they are ever changing and ever growing. And amidst all of the hustle of running from pillar to post the possibility of never being happy starts looming overhead. It starts to dawn on me that the rat-race will never end, one success or hurdle only precedes the struggle for the next. This exam only precedes the next. This life goal only puts more pressure on the next thing on the social construct we call a list.
Am I doing enough? Is this extra hour I spend enough? Is this extra volunteer work I take up worth it? I love what I do, but am I spreading myself too thin? Is it worth forgoing being able to stand in a moment without thinking about the next?
The hourglass has been trickling down ever since I was born, and I can’t stop it. But I need to identify, does each grain of sand have to be worth something? Does each grain of sand need to be accounted for? Does it count as success if it is simply me and silence? Can achievements be redefined?
Or are we forever condemned to be chasing the clock, a trail of unfinished business, a burgeoning list of wants and needs remaining unfulfilled as we try to have it all?