I am learning what it means to sit still at the moment. I live in the middle of a whirlwind, fully occupied life and a fanciful, unrestricted imagination… I very rarely sit still. But recently, I have been plagued with a restlessness that knows no other direction than to be rooted to the spot.
I have found myself wandering around my room, lost in a space that echoes nothingness, humming a tune with inconsistent talent while the long list of things to get done continues to grow longer as things continue to go undone. Like for example, this article.
Usually, I am a person of capability. Who I am and what I do are so closely entwined that I can no longer distinguish between the two. Some days, I am nothing but a rich cup of coffee, others, I am a creative, an academic, a solid sacrificial offering of community.
This is all well and good, except when you are seized by a despondency that eats productivity for every meal and you suddenly find that achievement was your only true confidant and now you are a bitter cup of coffee, unoriginal and floundering in life.
Life on Broadway
For somebody who wears achievement as a royal robe of worthiness, to be constantly measured against my ability to perform and please people leaves me blinded by all the show lights and stricken by the reality that I am only as good as my last performance.
This presents with a problem, and I have concluded that who I am and what I do, cannot go hand in hand as the sole source of my identity. Otherwise, everything good about me is a result of careful construction and is as fragile and fickle as my next bad choice.
The stakes are high. Anxiety is rife.
I'm not sure who the show is for anyway when it is clear to me that I am asked to serve only one, and that one seems to be less interested in what tricks I can do and more interested in having a cup of a tea and a yarn.
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
But praise is seductive and recognition is alluring, because essentially, someone is saying, "YES" to who we are and what we can do. And who doesn't want to hear themselves affirmed and acknowledged as good. We've been hearing 'ka pai' since we were five and it was never just about turning up.
But as we shine the spotlight of life upon the noteworthy things that we do, the boxes we tick and the medals we wear, there are important things that fade to dim in the background. And sometimes, it is those things that we need to carry us through our darkest days.
Things like waking up with gratitude in our hearts to greet the morning, the joy of summer calling us back out of the winter, using the names of our neighbours and revelling in our home-made herb garden. Such things are underrated.
Singin' in the rain
We are complex, intricate and sophisticated beings, which can both, love and hate at the same time, which can both dance and mourn in unison, which cannot be measured, cannot be contained and cannot be domesticated into pretty little accomplishments that hang on a wall.
Today, I am broken, maybe tomorrow too. I am tired and disillusioned by the world and the people that inhibit it, I do not recognise myself and that is okay. But I give myself the permission to put down the microphone, take off the tail feather and simply exist…for no other purpose than to love and be loved.
And as I carry with me this heavy heart at the moment, I recline in it, feeling glad for it and the chance to sit still. And although there are no momentous mountains to climb, the landscape has fallen flat allowing me to see clearly and I can very distinctively perceive, hope on the horizons.
And it has nothing to do with anything I've done.
First published November 25, 2013
Gemma Taylor despite constant scorn and painful jokes is proudly from the Waikato; although she is presently living in Auckland with her fingers in many pies. She is inspired by truth, creativity and connection. Gemma writes for buoyancy and hopes to one day live wholly by the ideas that she writes of.
Gemma Taylor previous articles may be viewed at