I know I’m not the busiest person in the world. Not even close. I’ll never understand how people can be studying full time, have two or more jobs and still have time for extracurricular activities and a social life. I really wish I did, though.
When people meet me, they generally ask me if I work or if I study. Currently I say yes to both – however despite having two jobs my work has been very casual as of late. Because of this, people seem to assume that I have a myriad of free time. I don’t have a family to take care of, nor have I moved out of my parent’s house, so apart from studying a few days a week and the occasional shift I get, I must have nothing else to do.. right?
People seem to get this idea that work and study are the only things that can occupy my life, and since I’m only studying full time and hardly getting shifts, I must be relaxing and sleeping all day and doing nothing productive on days I’m not at school.
I hate when people assume this about me (and trust me, they almost always do) – They say I’m living “the easy life”, and they build this image of me in their heads that I lock myself in my room every spare moment I get and just binge video games or TV shows. And I won’t lie, there are definitely times I’ve needed that and done that. But to assume this is all I do – “she plays games every night”, “oh, were you busy today?”, “you should stop spending so much time on your computer and playing games” is a big. fat. lie.
Yes, maybe I am coming off as whiny because I don’t have it as hard as others, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard for me. Because people assume I have so much free time, they end up asking and volunteering me for so many things. And as someone who can’t say “no”, this is a big, big problem. I hate to say no because I genuinely want to help – and because of that, I try and “rearrange” my time to suit their availability if necessary.
If I’m at home, one thing you’ll never hear me genuinely say is; I’m bored. If I ever say or send that to you in a message, I’m sorry, because I’m probably lying and just trying to make conversation. I say this because even during my downtime, I like to keep myself occupied – I like starting and working on projects and learning about things, or setting aside time to finally watch those movies or finally play those games I’ve been wanting to for ages.
I never let myself run out of things to do, because I know that time is a luxury to many and I’ve wasted enough of it in the past years of my life.
So you can see why I get upset when this is all people assume about me. Lately I’ve been so poisoned with this mindset that I come off as someone who is always ~free~, that I’ve become obsessed with being productive. Part of that image was probably made because I was more like that in the past, and I don’t really publicly share my “busy” moments with others. I now feel a slight sense of guilt when I do relax, (which is no way of relaxing at all, really) so I try and fill my days with doing tasks upon tasks. But it never seems to work out. I make lists of things I need to do and I never finish them – not because I’m always procrastinating, but because these tasks take longer to finish than I estimate, and it drives me crazy because I have to keep pushing other things down the list and they don’t ever get done on time despite me trying my best.
And you know, it just sucks when people ask you what you’ve been up to, because when I tell them, it doesn’t seem like much at all. It seems so mediocre and easy. But the reality is that right now I am very overwhelmed. I feel as though there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I need to accomplish and I’m falling behind in everything. My mind feels like a war zone – everything is rushed and stressed and strained and in a constant state of distress, and all I hear in my ears is the sound of screaming, reminding me that I have so much to do.
And yes you could say, “Well, aren’t you wasting your time writing this now when you could be doing work?” and the answer is most probably, yes. But when you feel like driving to a cliff and screaming your lungs out or running away to another country without telling anybody – when you need an escape – it’s hard to concentrate. It’s hard to focus on what you need to do.
So this is a PSA to all those who think they are superior because they seem a lot busier than others, and to the people that have uttered these sentences to me;
“You have a lot more free time than I do, so could you….?”
“Haha you live such an easy life”
“Oh, you didn’t get time? Were you busy?”
“You play games like every night”
“I know you can’t have been as busy as me..”
“So what do you do all day then?”
“At least try and help out..”
You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes – everyone is different and not everyone handles the same workload as you, nor do they always wish to advertise this. Please be considerate! And be thankful when someone says yes to whatever favour you asked of them, even if “it won’t take long”, because they are sacrificing their time for you.
Or in the future maybe they’ll just start saying no.
/end dramatic rant
p.s. in saying this, I am always happy to help a friend with something if they ask me, just don’t expect it to be done ASAP.