Maneuvering Through Limbo

I’ve been in limbo for the last couple of weeks. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings all sort of blur into one. Motivation is hard to come by and doing the bare minimum seems like the hardest thing in the world.

I thrive on a schedule, plans, checklists, consistency. I need to exercise, and meditate, journal, practice yoga, and eat healthy. These things make me feel good. They keep me productive, inspired, and driven. They make me feel balanced.

I long for lots of other things though. I long to travel, be spontaneous, be helpful. I long for a life where I always feel strong and where I do the things I want to. I don’t just want to dream. I want to work and create. I want to live out loud.

In my desire to do all of this I don’t know where rest fits into my life sometimes. I know rest is important, believe me I do. I teach and encourage other people to rest in their physical practice. Rest days, we’ve all heard of them, they have real merit and purpose. I know all of this and I believe it. Still, resting is hard for me.

I fell sick about 5 weeks ago and it took a toll on my body. I’ve been lucky to be very healthy this year so far. I barely even got a cold so when I got sick it hit me hard. You see, I don’t like resting. I felt like I was wasting time, that I need to keep working. I believe getting sick is our body’s way of telling us to slow down, to rest, to recuperate. I understand and believe this but I also find it frustrating as hell. When I got sick this time I was very low on energy, tired, and weak. This means I haven’t been able to exercise, I haven’t spent time studying, and I haven’t done the things that I planned to do. Right before I got sick I was travelling, I had exams, I was moving apartments, and doing things that already had me a little off balance. That is just life sometimes, I know that. I figured once I finished everything I would just get back into a routine and everything would be okay. Getting sick wasn’t part of the plan, let’s be honest no one ever plans to get sick. So when this unexpected thing happened I fought it. I didn't want to rest, I wanted to keep doing!

Right before everything happened I was on a really good cycle where I was feeling productive, happy, proud of myself for the work I was doing. I was being consistent and positive. When that stopped I got lost for a second and I am finding it hard to get back into the rhythm again.

I’ve realized though that I need to stop fighting and trying to go back and instead find a way forward. Listen to me for a second, how often in life are you trying to go back to a time when things were good. Remember that friend you used to speak to everyday but no longer do, how often do you wish you could go back to the relationship you once had? Remember the time before your exam season, when life was a little less stressful and you were getting 8 hours of sleep, what would you give to go back to that? Remember when you were a kid and knew exactly what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would you do to go back to that sort of certainty and zest for life that you once had?

The inherent problem, I believe, is that we are always trying to go back to something. Back to a time when things were a certain way. Sometimes it is something small, other times they are huge life-changing decisions we wish we could take back. Either way it is a problem.

What if we stopped fighting, asking, or wishing to go back? What if we went forward? Life happens, things happen. Dreams, to do lists, wishes, plans, path: they all change. We have no control over that. I have no control over when I get sick. Yes, getting sick disrupted my rhythm but man, it is not the end of the world. Maybe if I stopped fighting so hard to go back to before I was sick I could focus on how to move forward.

You see, I haven’t exercised properly in a month which means, I’ve lost a lot of physical strength. I can’t go back to training like I was before I was sick, I need to build up that strength again. I’m writing this in Hungary right at a friend’s dining table, I am physically not in the same place as before, so how can I want things to be the same. In two weeks, I am going to be back at my parents’ house for the next 2 months. I won’t be living on my own anymore. My eating changes a little bit when I’m at home, my schedule changes, there are more people in the house which equals to more distraction. There is nothing wrong with any of that but I can’t keep living in a different time and place. I need to learn to live in the present. To move forward.

I’ve been a limbo because I’ve been fighting to go back to a time that no longer exists. I’ve realized the faster I accept that, the better life will be. Stop fighting life. Stop wishing to move backwards. Stop going against the current. It might seem scary but going forward is how we make peace with ourselves. It is how we take care of ourselves.