I like to spend some of my time imagining a world in which I can chill properly. I fondly remember the Sundays as a kid where I’d just hang on the couch, knowing that there was a marathon of Avatar: The Last Airbender that I could watch without a care in the world. Or, you know, play outside.

But the older I got, the more glaringly obvious it became that I’d changed over the years from a kid who could dream her time away without worrying to a young adult whose heart tightens in her chest when she thinks about the work she should be doing.

Stir crazy

I’m not sure at what point in my life I became such an anxious person, but it was somewhere during puberty and my confusion as to why my grades had suddenly dropped so fast at high school. If we’re being honest, there’s no way I’ll find a concrete answer to this and at this point I’ve stopped caring because there’s no turning back. Growing up, I’ve learned that life won’t back away just because something makes me nervous, and the one thing I’ve learned is that just doing the thing will give me an immense amount of relief and free me from the hell that is feeling anxious.

A recent development in this phenomenon is something that I can only describe as ‘compulsive productivity’. It’s exactly what you think it is. Not only do I go stir crazy on days where I truly don’t have anything to do, sometimes I can’t even relax when I’ve done something that needed to be done. I spend my hours off either in G-building reading or sitting at home waiting for work to be thrown at me, only for said work to make me anxious, too.

Recently, I talked to several people about the issue and most them told me to chill. Productivity is a good thing and I should be glad I feel motivated. Not only is telling me to ‘chill’ counter-intuitive, it’s also completely missing the point. I’d also gladly be an unmotivated sack of potatoes if it meant that I stopped getting anxious two weeks before a deadline. Doing the thing that makes you anxious is supposed to help you overcome the feeling.

I guess it’s time to compulsively binge on TV shows again.