On lethargy and apathy

Does anyone else feel like they don’t want to do anything? That they don’t want to put effort into anything or go anywhere? I get this feeling a lot. It could be because I am at a crossroads in life. I took a voluntary break from employment to try and figure out what I want to do with my life. I didn’t want to live my life on auto pilot, following the same routine into old age. I read a bunch of articles on how I should take charge of my life, and then went ahead and quit my job. But ever since I have quit, I don’t know what I want to do next. No wait, that isn’t an accurate representation of my mindset right now. I don’t feel like committing to anything. The dichotomy is exhausting. On the one hand, I am convinced that if I try my hand at anything, and put my back into it, I will achieve it. Will and determination will get me wherever I want to go. On the other hand, I am too scared to pick a side and commit to it. Paralyzed by fear into inaction.

There are a ton of projects I have been meaning to start for some time now, but I just can’t seem to get out of this rut of inactivity. I read a lot about other people online living through similar experiences. In some ways, this gives credence to what I am feeling. In other ways, it makes me feel worse. There must be some way of breaking out of this vicious cycle, surely. And if so many of us are going through it, there must be something to it.

For the last four months or so, I have fantasized about starting my own YouTube channel. Not because I think I am especially talented or because I have something original to say. Though arguably, since there is only one of me, everything I say should be original. Jokes aside though, I’ve spent considerable energy thinking about how I will start a channel and what I will talk about. At first, I thought maybe I should have a reaction / commentary channel. I watch a lot of shows and read a lot of books. I am always online. Surely, I can just expend some effort and talk about the things I consume. Then I thought of making it a bit more structured. What if, instead of reacting to the same old videos (you know the ones I mean, the Big Ed getting engaged to Rose variety), I could probably take some time and make the videos more educational. Talk about the things I really care about, and not just things I find amusing or revolting. So, maybe a channel to talk about sustainable fashion, or the fact that we are depleting our oceans, or maybe even human trafficking. I have a legal background and solid research skills. If I learnt how to edit videos properly, this could be a real thing. The latest idea I have had for my channel is just to make it into an informal vlogging / talking into the camera about whatever I want kind of channel. Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that whenever I come up with an idea on how to pass my time, or on how to be more productive, I also come up with a host of excuses on how and why I can’t do that thing right now. Or why it might be better to delay it. So, in the end, I’m left with a lot of untested ideas, a host of excuses, and tangible frustration at not having moved from square 1 at all.

That is on lethargy. Accompanying my greatest nemesis is her younger sister apathy. So, what if I don’t commit to anything? What if I don’t figure out any of the things I had to figure out on my break from employment. What is the worst thing that could happen? I go back to a job I don’t enjoy and live out a life I don’t actively participate in? I recognise that this isn’t the healthiest mindset to have. I know that logically. That, however, does not mean this isn’t how I think from time to time. It is like I am always oscillating between caring too much but being afraid to act on anything I want, and not caring at all and then not having the pressure to either want anything or act on it.

I feel a little bit like an out of sorts character from a depressing Murakami book. Like the librarian who doesn’t do much but sit behind a desk and stay silent. You don’t really know what she thinks of you just see the inaction. Because that is exactly what both lethargy and apathy will get you, even if they don’t come together to the ball.

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