Sitting in Central Park with the faint sounds of the city humming in my ears and the smell of hot pretzels teasing my hunger pains, I was surrounded by serenity and scenes of people enjoying some down time, but I felt uneasy. There I was, in what is one of the most peaceful parts of the city away from the deafening sirens and angry beeps of the impatient drivers, and yet my mind still felt heavy. It was a feeling I’m very familiar with, but not one I expected to face one month in to my three month break.
I quickly realised that the feeling was pressure.
As I sat there on the daisy-dotted patch of grass, I tried to explore my mind and figure out where this feeling was stemming from. When I left London, it was to escape the pressure and try and allow my self to rebuild after some of the toughest months of my life. I needed nothingness and space to reinvent and welcomed this break with open arms, so why did I feel under pressure to do more?
With no job to consume my brain, I quickly realised that the pressure I was feeling was obviously coming from my own mind. Despite having three months of freedom and the time to sit and relax, my mind was making me feel guilty for not working. It was putting pressure on me to use this time to do something productive – it was urging me to write, nagging me to get that book planned or that project on the go.
My peaceful time in the park and my endless hours of having just my thoughts for company had given me the headspace I needed to realise I needed to embrace this feeling, and not fight it. After all, the pressure in my mind to work and create had probably got me to where I am today.
Feeling that pressure on a peaceful day where I had nothing to do reminded me of the drive inside me. I still had that fire in me to create, even while on a break. It was there and it made me feel like, actually, this is clearly what I’m supposed to be doing in life because I’m craving it when I’m not surrounded by it.
So I’m going to open my arms wide and embrace it – along with the joys and shit days it brings with it.