February 4, 2023
I realized today that I live my life like an organizer ghost. The goal is set and all achievements are broken down to tasks. Most of the time those tasks are easy: five, ten, or fifteen minutes to complete, depending on my experience level. Others take quiet concentration and hours set aside to consciously breathe through each triple check in order for me to be satisfied that I have completed it properly: I don’t want to make a mistake.
My most troublesome trait is the propensity to agonize over the unfinished to-do’s. They weigh heavily on my mind until I either snap at others or mentally break down in front of the television, leaving my tasks aside for another day. When the other day arrives, I mentally restart the vicious cycle and take it out on myself for being too tired or too lazy. Sometimes, others join in. You can never have enough criticism! Being a perfectionist control freak is a real pain.
You’re probably wondering why I am calling myself a ghost when I am clearly alive with anxious energy ready to get the next thing done. Well, all this habitual mental energy that accompanies my need to organize and straighten my life drains me. Sometimes I feel like a walking robot who has lost her heart, though she knows it’s there, buried under a pile of lists. Do you know, I can’t even plan a vacation because all I can think about is budgeting, safety, rules, fear, and how I could possibly lose a family member if I choose to go to another country instead of visiting my home state? Yes, I don’t know how to vacation. I don’t know how to relax.
Speaking of relaxation, I just got baptized into the Russian Orthodox Church and I am already quite anxious after I had a renewal of life in Christ. Already, I am freaking out about how much wrong I do and how hard it is to be a peacemaker and also be honest at times. Not to mention all the other ways I have made mistakes and continue to make them on a daily basis. It feels like I am climbing up a steep mountain, slipping after every few steps. I know I chose the right path, even though I am rolling my eyes considerably more at myself than normal. It’s a hard conviction and no amount of checking boxes is going to make life that much easier. I might feel more accomplished, but I would still have another step to climb up the ladder or inch up the mountain.
I am renewed in my pursuit of life beyond the world, but in the world. That’s where the people are, the people that need help not just with money or food, but with time, applications, resumes, positive safe relationships, or emotional support. I have come far, but it wasn’t on my own and I struggle with my pride to remember that it took more than me. I learned from God how to love and how not to hate from my grandmother. Grandpa taught me to work and to always pay my bills. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? A lot of seeds were planted and I was given water, fresh air, and sunshine. As I drink my post confession tea and ponder on my struggles, I realize that we will all have ghost moments, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and even years! It’s part of living; it’s a part of being human. I have to remind myself to be present in the world around me and to give freely, but not to forget that I too need to refresh. Gotta add that to the list!