I am not an overachiever although that allegation has been passed around. The reason I say I am not one is because overachievers achieve more through an excessive application of effort. I, on the other hand do not work excessively. I work obsessively.
My thing is this, if I have to do something, I will almost bleed out doing it. I have always believe that if you contract me to do something, for the duration of the contract, you own a part of me and you deserve nothing less than my best. I don’t know how to give a half hearted job.
So right after varsity, I started. I knew opportunities were few and far between so I took on everything I could get my hands on. I took up everything: agreed to edit an online magazine even though I knew how I felt about journalism. I agreed to run a social media page even though I am terrible with social media. I wrote a screenplay for somebody. The story made no sense to me and up until this day I am praying the person doesn’t get the funding to produce it. I don’t want my name on that. However,I still enjoyed my actual job. I enjoyed the people and the environment. But even then, I was taking away from my job to make room for these other things.
So I continued on this path of being the model student, the model employee, the model work partner, the model contractee and it worked. I produced good results, great work etc but then I realised something. When I wasn’t at work, I was in my bed. I could have at least been on my phone texting people but no, I wasn’t there either. I had even forgotten how to interact with people.
And this is a true story. I would walk into a room full of people and not notice them. I would see them but it would not register in my head that these were human people who had to be acknowledged and asked how their day was. And sometimes when somebody did something that I found upsetting, I would cut them out of my life. No conversation , nothing and some of the things I got mad at people for were just🙄 I was on autopilot. I was so out of tune with myself, my friends, my surroundings and the lowest was when I was with a friend, that I have known for years and I realised I had nothing to say to them- at all.
Only then, I realised that in trying to keep up with opportunities and with the world and trying to get as much work done while I was that young, I forgot the essence of my being. I had forgotten how to be human. Stopped checking up on people. Forgot to greet people, neglected to be a friend, a sister, a daughter, a decent colleague. ( See while my results were good, the person behind them wasn’t a peach. )
I had to go back to the drawing board. What didn’t I enjoy? Because that’s what was sucking the human out of me. I stopped with the online magazine. I gave back the social media account back to its owner and I started being selective with the freelance projects I took on.
A change started taking place. I was less tense because I didn’t expect so much of myself anymore. I became more aware of the people around me-hell, I even started faking small talk. My people became my priority once more. Spent hours on the phone with friends. Went to events I had no business being at just because my mum wanted to go. I listened to co-workers rant about their lives because that’s what humans do.
I am so glad I found my human once again. It’s a fickle thing-this humanity. If you close your eyes just a few minutes longer than you should, you will find it gone. So if ever you feel like your human is leaving you, feel free to let me know. I’ll help you find it. And should you feel that my human is also leaving, please do let me know.
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