Edmund Rice Camps for Kids WA are a kind of retreat for me. It is a time not only to get together with strangers and unite for a greater good (namely the children we take care of and have fun with), but to break away from the pressing needs of life and spend some time doing some good, real, genuine work for people. When I left to go on camp, I hadn’t signed up for half my units at university, I had cancelled some last-minute shifts at work and was trying to give away others and I had a bunch of other things that were looming over me. I dropped them all for about a week, and now that I’m back it’s so hard and kind of pointless to pick them back up.
I’m really, really stressed out at the moment. I have no desire to continue my work at Curtin Library. Under the new management, it’s a slightly tighter ship with less laughs and more punctuality. It’s not totalitarian by any standards, but I’m sensing more and more pressure from my new boss to be more reliable, and rightly so. I feel guilty turning down and giving away so many shifts, but I just started a new job at PICYS and I haven’t exactly been reliable there either. In my first two weeks, I’ve cancelled like three shifts due to illness and camp, which is all very reasonable. But the work is still going on without me, and the longer I’m not a part of it the more I’ll need to catch up on when I get back. Due to working 2.5 days a week, there’s a lot less free time to work at the library and the conflict of occupations is driving me crazy. I can’t fully attend to either, and by chasing two rabbits they’re both tripping me up. But the thing is, working at PICYS, as good as it is, has a pretty significant emotional toll, and every day I feel exhausted. There are things I can do to re-energise myself, but it’s draining. Furthermore, I don’t want to be the president of SWSA anymore. I was kind of pushed into it, but I barely wanted a committee role in the first place, and now to be expected to be president? To seek out opportunities for SWSA to further itself and to fight for the rights of students while organising and hosting events for them? I just don’t want to pick up the extra slack.
What I really, genuinely want right now is some me time. I realised that I’ve been stressed about how much crap I fill my days with. I thought studying part-time would give me more freedom to do the things I love. What it’s created instead is a large vacuum in my schedule which is sucking in everything mildly interesting. I’m not so much doing the things I want to as the things I kind of should, like keeping some friendships going, working more and volunteering for stuff. It’s not bad, it’s just they’re not what I really want to be doing. I want to train. I want to train so badly, just all day and night going hard at it and honing by body, mind and spirit. I want to read, those dozens of books I have. I want to play those hundreds of hours worth of games I’ve collected but barely tapped into. I want to study Sexology and Psychology and Human Biology. But with all this shit that’s been stealing my time, I’m having a lot of trouble focussing on anything for more than a few minutes at a time.
I want to cut back on work. I want out of D&D for a while. I don’t want to go to any conventions of social events unless I choose to go, rather than being obliged to. I want enough space to develop who I am. Maybe I just have to learn to say “No” more. I think I should really investigate this, because I don’t have any time to waste not being happy.