The average human heart beats 42 million times per year. Estimating that now, at aged almost 30, my heart has beaten 1260,000,000; far too many zeros for me to even be sure how to pronounce. So many zeros that when I consider it for a moment, as my heart continues to beat, I have to force a breath; the idea being completely overwhelming.
While reflecting on my precious heart, suddenly aware of every thud pumping blood to every corner, I realise I never truly appreciated it. Every second it beats offers another second of life, another second chance, another reason to be grateful that I have this heart, this life.
The past few months have been tough. They've brought a painful combination of busyness and solitude. A combination making it too busy to catch my breath and too lonely to want to. Busy to the point of burn out, but resting bringing little refuge. Hours and days seem to fill up, without ever really getting anything done; missing every beat of my heart and everything else in between.
That's the thing about depression, before you even notice, it's taken you in its grips. I'd consider myself to be extremely self-aware but this one has slipped by me, through me and right into my soul. I know from when, as I've felt it creeping in since around Christmas but I cannot say why. It's been a gradual growth, an all consuming growth, one which I chalked down to work being too hard and needing a break. While work is hard, I got a break, a wonderful week in paradise but returned to this same emptiness.
So very self-aware, I implement all the best practices that we're told will make us feel good. I eat well, exercise, gave up drinking long ago, meditate, write my gratitudes, feel grateful for the things I enjoy in work, write in my journal, read, reduce social media time; you name it! However, the unhappiness continued to creep these past few weeks and I feel uncontrollable to stop it.
Lots of temporary happiness but nothing sticks. The job that brought contentment now feels soulless, the puppy that brought love and joy now fills me with anxiety and feels a chore, any projects that spring to mind are left unfinished and I'm left forever feeling torn, left in my self-created rubbish pile.
The common thread in all of these things is me. The job, while busy, is the same job I've been happy in for the previous months. The puppy brings joy to everyone but me. The projects remain unfinished, while new projects sparkle then die. Like this one, this blog moved from its previous host, left to linger here on this new platform with more ideas fizzling around it. The domains, a memory of a music blog dream which was born out of one of the worst times of my life. Reminiscent of more ideas which sparkled, burst into the light and shined before crumbling to ash.
I've had so many ideas but so little follow through, always seeming to focus on the things that don't really sing in my heart. Those ideas that whizz around in my head a constant reminder of so much unfinished business. I read once that life is about fulfilling your souls purpose. The loneliest person in the world is the one lying on their death bed wishing for one last year to do the things their soul yearned for. And I fear I am that person.
So here I am, in my thirtieth year so very aware that my heart has beaten too many times for me to count; praying it continues to beat for many more. My self-awareness filling me with my souls purpose, of those things i'm not doing to make myself feel whole. I feel far more tired than I should feel, a weariness from overthinking and from splitting myself in so many directions. But I'm still here, trying to not take on too much or begin anything new, knowing my soul needs some time to settle before any big decisions are made.
Firstly my new blog site needs some care. Moving it over lost all the images from throughout the years. Most importantly, to fall back in love with writing and letting the natural flow release. In October I began a series of my pilgrimage to the Holy Land, but mid-way through my confidence crumbled, self-consciousness took over as I believed that my writing wasn't good enough and it went unfinished. I put my heart into it but few read what I had to say, leading me to crumble inward. I retreated into myself and on reflection this was the beginning of this current phase of sadness.
If I couldn't write then who was I, what could I do? I felt I had lost my identity somewhere between Black Friday, Cyber Monday and New Years Resolutions. Incessant phone calls from all over the world as I assisted hundreds of people build their dream. The more questions I answer, the more people I help, the more I slip away, the more desperate I become. Searching for something else to fill the void. Another answer, another way, something else that will inevitably lead to the same outcome.
Albert Einstein famously said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” For me it's continuously starting again yet never really doing what I want. It's having that self-awareness now to not let these bad feelings linger but to move on with great intent. Intent to finish my holy land series, intent to add images to these blog posts, intent to keep writing. I don't intend to be a "blogger" because the self-promotion that goes along with it is soul destroying, but to be a writer from the very depths of my heart in the hope that it resonates with some people. It's continuing to be the very best I can be, without asking any more of myself than that.
My heart continues to beat for this.