Aderonke’s diary 1. Worry

The time is 6:37 PM and the sun is hanging on the edge of the sky trying to shine for just one more minute.

I have been lying in bed listening to music and thinking about my existence for about 2 hours now, it’s depressing stuff, this existence of a thing.

I have spent the better part of the last 2 hours trying to conjure up an exciting memory from the last 2 years of my life. I have nothing.

I have spent these 2 years worrying about the future, having panic attacks about my worrying too much, worrying that my panicking will affect my future negatively and then panicking more. All that panic and my recent antisocial inclination has culminated in 2 years of boredom.

This is my diary, so let’s abandon the big English. What I’m trying to say is that I’m a professional worrier and I’m also trying to say that I am socially awkward and I don’t ever know what to say to people or if I’m saying the right things so I generally avoid them and all the places they might go to (which is everywhere that is not my room, so I just go nowhere.)

Let’s unpack worrying as a problem in my life.

You see, I’m a worrier, always have been a worrier. I’m the type of person that over analyses any ache or itch I have and convinces myself that I have a serious terminal illness and I’m going to drop dead within 4 minutes. I had a persistent headache for like 4 days last year and by the 2nd day I was sure that I had a blood clot in my brain or some other severe brain injury and I decided to write a will, but while I was writing my will I realised that I really had nothing to ‘bequeath’ to anybody because my only earthly possessions were clothes (that I didn’t buy) and my broken phone.

If I only had to worry about my health I’d be a mostly stable individual, but then there’s the big problem. The FUTURE.

I’m not a meticulous planner or one of those people who need to plan everything to the last detail. I’m just not a fan of unexpected change, even if it’s good change. It gives me comfort to have a rough idea of where I would be and what I’d be doing for at least the next 5 years. I want to be able to imagine it several times, plan all the things I would do and have a rough idea of what I should achieve.

Now don’t think I’m inflexible, I’m ‘spontaneous’ to an extent. When I wake up in the morning I don’t have a definite plan for my day, I don’t know when I’ll eat, what I’ll eat or even if I’ll eat. Everything I do with my time depends on my mood, and due to the fact that I’m a hopeless procrastinator, I don’t get a lot of things done anyway. But for my peace of my mind, I need to know when I wake up that I wouldn’t have to leave my house. And when I need to go out I need at least 3 days to mentally prepare myself.

I’ve always had a plan for my future, I knew what I should be doing when I’m 30 when I was 9. My life went according to my plan for 17 years without significant deviations. And then it just went off track. Like if it was a train, it fell off the track, exploded, burnt until it was powder, got blown to the ocean and then settled at the very bottom of the ocean.

As someone who had spent a significant part of my life on that train, I was absolutely lost. It was obvious that I had to make a new plan (build a new train if you will) so I made a revised plan, if I’m being honest, it looked like the original plan, just in a different location and with 2 extra years. The short of it is that the revised plan did not work, none of the 3 extra revised plans I came up with worked either. So, after 9 months of planning and revising and being lost, I was mentally exhausted. So, I decided to just let my life go anywhere it wanted, it was obvious that the universe was trying to tell me that I couldn’t control everything.

Do I need to say that letting my life go anywhere didn’t work? I don’t know how any body can ‘go with the flow.’ Where am I ultimately flowing to? Why am I flowing? I need to have those answers. I got more and more irritable, I didn’t have the strength to be social so I just didn’t try to be friendly, my mind became a boardroom meeting of different versions of me arguing about the future implications of my decision to eat rice that morning, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. This was the period where I had a personality crisis. I was so many things, I internalized everything I read, I didn’t even know if I liked the things I claimed to like or if I just wanted to like them. I questioned all my emotions, all my actions. “Are you throwing up because you’re sick or you just want attention?” “Is it ok for you to be sad now?” “Do you really want that or do you want it because it looks good?” I worried about everything.

Then my 18th birthday happened, I became an official adult, scariest birthday ever. It felt like the whole world was asking me “what are doing with your life?” And I hated that I didn’t have a definite answer. So I drafted a new plan.

The new plan had two pathways, so I had options, if one doesn’t work the other will right? Right?

I implemented my new plan at the beginning of the year (not this year, let’s not talk about how 2020 has dissolved all plans) and it worked to an extent, I had a purpose so I pushed myself to my limits to achieve it and it brought results. But then I started to feel like I wasn’t doing enough and I had this irrational fear that I’d die before achieving anything. Like I didn’t have enough to worry about, I had to worry about dying too.

All my worrying exhausted me and all anyone had to say to help me was “stop worrying” like I would choose to lose sleep over things I can’t control. The older I got, the more I had to worry about until I just could not function if my mind did not shut up. I got better.

Then 2020 happened.

This was supposed to be THE year, all the work, all the plans, the results were supposed to come in 2020. But the year just…… it bent.

I could write 50 pages about how 2020 went wrong, but I’m just going to say that it’s in the hands of God and I just want to leave this year alive and well.

In conclusion, all my plans are… in the gutter and I’m trying to form new ones. But, it’s hard, because I don’t even know what I really want to become and I’m not sure I have dreams anymore. I just don’t want to be poor, I don’t want to be insignificant.