This is the longer version of a tweet I made that channeled what led to an episode of overwhelm.
I know people expect I am always the best person at everything, so if I work at somewhere, it is automatically represented that I understand and know what to do even when I don’t. For the first month of working at my new job, it was great or so. I didn’t feel like it. Voices in my head kept reminding me of how not good enough I was and how I was just scamming people by pretending to know what to do. And no, it’s not imposter syndrome or what is the popular phrase people use, because if I know what to do, I will actually do it.
Three months into this job, I want to quit. The real me had showed, so we heard this conversation where I actually admitted that I was struggling and I didn’t know what to do. I will always be available to do anything, but I’m not getting it right, which was a shock because in a normal workplace setting, three months is enough time to understand the intricacies of a job. Sadly, it’s different for me. I’m struggling and it was hard to admit.
I think I am doing well academically till I had this call that had me questioning if I was good enough for the grades I intend to have. I had read like my life depended on my last exams. I had researched for my papers well, and even organized tutorials with my course mates, yet it didn’t seem okay enough. How bad would I have been? That was my best, and I asked my friend what I would have done better. I remember she said; I was a ginger for her to read. But here I am, not good enough for the grades I want and asking myself if I am even as good as people think I am.
My parents have a version of me I struggle with. They want me to do this thing because they believe that it’s the way out, but I do not want it. And after a call, I told them I do not want to and I’m not interested. They tried in their parental way to make me feel good about it, but it wasn’t helping me because I was already struggling with accepting how not good enough I am and that would need me to prove myself beyond my capacity. A very tough conversation, but I would rather not want it.
It is easier for motivational speeches to motivate us, but most times they lie to us. Jokingly, someone had said if she’s been told to awaken the lion in her, she just wants everyone to know that what is in her is a cat and the cat needs to sleep. I could relate.
I do not have a lion that needs reawakening in me. I do not need fire to be ignited in me. The fire I am is already burning me, and now I have to take cold water to calm the heat down. I just want to breathe.
I’m discovering that I’m not as good as I think I am. I need things to be broken down to the tiniest for me to pick up and understand. It’s hard, but it broke me down. Realizing that I might look or sound like a genius, but I’m not one. I’m now taking my time.
What I know how to do is my best, that’s what I will give. I do not envision to be stretched. It is already killing me. I only will put extra efforts where it is needed, but if it’s beyond my capacity, I do not need to be pushed. I am already burnt out from living and trying to seem good enough for everyone that I can’t anymore. I’m not the genius I think I am.
People know how to project what they want from you without thinking of the process for you to give them that thing. I can’t and I won’t. I’d be taking my time now, and I’d not allow things to overwhelm me.
Once you tell me, you expect me to know, I’ll tell you I don’t know because if I know, I’d do it.
Life is what life is, life. Some people are doing well. Even when I want to do that, I feel stretched by going beyond what I can give. I know people define it as diligence, but some of us are diligent according to our capacity and I wish the world created more space for people like us. Not mediocre, just people who are trying to figure out our places in this world.
P.S: Do not give motivational comments to this piece. It doesn’t help me. This is currently the state I’m in. If I figure it out, I may or may not write another piece.