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Obligatory First Post: On the Crippling Fear of Having to Choose

When I was about 5 years old, my General Practitioner asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I wanted to be a teacher and a doctor. When he asked how I would manage that, I told him that I would teach in the day and do ‘doctor things’ at night. When he asked when I would sleep, I told him something along the lines of “sleep is for the weak”.

It has been 16 years since, and I still live by that.

However, let’s not start with false equivalences. At 21, when I say “sleep is for the weak” it’s usually a flimsy attempt at justifying my late-night Netflix or anime binge-watching sessions.

There have been so many things that I have wanted to be, that I honestly thought I could be. I have wanted to be an artist, an author, a teacher, a doctor, a composer, an architect, a translator, a performer, a seamstress, a medical researcher, a baker, a chef, and an animator. The problem is, if you can call it a problem and even then this is probably pretty high up on the list of the most first-world of problems, that I keep thinking that I need to do all of those things at the same time for my life to feel whole. So rather than attempt to be any of these things, I have preemptively written off everything because choosing one would mean neglecting the others to an irreparably damaging degree. Yet by choosing inaction, I am still choosing; and it’s the worst possible outcome because I don’t get to do any of those things. I realise that now, after finally choosing to start a new blog.

For the past 8 or so years, I have had multiple attempts at blogging. I’ve always thought that I had to have a theme or a marketable talent in order to have readers. I’ve created blogs about writing, blogs to showcase my amateur art, and multiple extremely boring personal blogs. Here’s the kicker – even in my personal blogs, I maintained a certain consistency in my character even when I wasn’t the way I portrayed myself to be. It’s then no wonder that I dropped all of my blogs once it became too mentally exhausting to keep up with the arbitrary expectation I had for myself.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for some time now. I’ve published a short story on Wattpad. It’s gone now because I thought that it wasn’t good enough to “waste someone’s time with”. During NaNoWriMo 2016, I got to about halfway through a manuscript. Now, that’s on the back burner because it turned out to be nothing like how I envisioned it in my head. I don’t want to be afraid of doing things that I’m passionate about anymore. I’m hoping that I can learn how to drop my perfectionistic tendencies through consistently putting my work out there on the internet.

If you’re still reading this, if you were reading at all, I thank you for the choice that you made to do so. I hope that you thought that it was worthwhile.

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