Lately I’ve come to realize I’ve been battling a new sort of anxiety for the better part of this year. I can’t exactly put a definitive word to it; the best I can describe it is a nagging sense of insecurity about the status quo. Perhaps it’s easier to give an example.
We’re suppose to relax on weekends, right? Those of us in a fortunate enough position to have a regular weekday job get to chill on Saturdays and Sundays after a hard week’s work. Problem for me is, I can’t seem to fully enjoy my weekends. When I’m out doing super fun stuff like driving the GT3 around, I’d often times have a sense of guilt about it: I am having too much leisure; this is too bloody nice of a car; stop having so much fun and free time, because there’s plenty of work to do to preserving this whole thing.
Things are going along far too nicely; exactly when is the music going to stop?
No wonder that even on a holiday like Labor Day, I can’t seem shutdown my operating system and be in a state of not doing.
Instead of fully relaxing, I’d have anxiety about the work week ahead, and stressing about am I doing my best to warrant a long future with the company. Irrational thoughts, too, like am I just one giant imposter? I don’t really deserve to be paid for the work that I am doing; surely the guillotine will drop any minute now! It became a never-ending rat-race, and downtimes at work would trigger my anxiety, because I immediately worry about not doing enough.
Keep in mind that in reality, from the outside looking in, things are going well.
There’s insecurity about other stuff, too, like the housing. Even though it’s highly unlikely we’d be kicked out of our current below-market rate renting situation, I’d have anxiety about that, and would get deep down into the negative rabbit hole of running worst case scenarios in my head and how everything will change. Again, it’s mostly irrational thoughts, but the stress from that is real, and only now that I’ve snapped out of it do I see it clearly.
One of the four noble truths in Buddhism is that life is suffering, but it isn’t the type of suffering in what we tend to associate the word with, but rather it’s the suffering from wanting to hold onto things, and preserving what we have. Even when your life is measurably great, you will suffer greatly if you become attached to the status quo, desperate to hold on, and constantly scared it’ll all be taken away.
I think that’s been exactly my issue, and I’m glad that certain events in the past months have rescued me out.