It was terribly hot yesterday afternoon and I was feeling a little dead because of insomnia the night before. Not being able to sleep is not about being sleepy, in fact I am rarely sleepy after a night of tossing and turning about. It is this feeling of a mental block because the day seems to have turned into 48 hours and I don’t have the stamina to live through all 48 hours, and yet I cannot sleep and recharge because my mind refuses to shut off. Endless days and endless nights.
But anyway, even though I felt like shit, I still went for DG. To me, a commitment is a set of routines or expectations that you have of yourself, which you can fulfil through giving your time, putting in effort, and with good amounts of sincerity. Time is an indicator because it doesn’t matter how good you are if you don’t show up. Effort because it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend in front of the computer if you are just staring at the blank screen, without raising a finger. And sincerity, because I feel that if you are doing something or teaching someone something, it requires not just the brain but also the heart. Other people will feel it if you are just ticking them off as a completed to-do list checkbox, and the human connection is not easily maintained. It is difficult to commit to anything or anyone.
Now as I am making plans for post-graduation events and thinking about how I will be spending my time after work commences in July, I am starting to see the requirements of commitments. My mom says that people my age will normally quit their jobs after a year. When she said that I was able to correct her and say that she obviously doesn’t know anyone else my age, because not everyone gives up that easily on their first job. But what she said made sense because school was always a system of hours and partitioned into modules and subjects, I was always brought along by deadlines and I never really had the urge to settle down into adulthood. The idea of spending a few years in the first company becomes a challenge because every day, week after week, I am entering the same company and committing to bringing in the money from the pockets of clients. Work can become drudgery easily. How then can one commit to doing her best at work, when there is no ‘break’ in the career journey? What more with internal politics and career goals and nasty people here and there.
During DG, when Josh was talking about how you have to be faithful in the small things and discern what is right and what is wrong, I was thinking about how we go about choosing the things we are faithful to in our lives. I don’t know if I like having commitments, because while it stabilizes my life, sometimes I just want to forget everything. Forget that I have future bills to pay and things to read and places to go to, forget that I have friends and I am a female with a bit of education in my brain. But then I remember that if I choose to give up now, I will once again restart a few months later, or a few years later, and I will have to start from the beginning. The feeling of having just begun, or of putting in the effort but not seeing any real outcome after a few months, can be unsettling. Everything is new and possible, and the pace of progress is not stable yet.
With church, assuming I serve in the children’s church, it is about 8 hours a week including DG and going for service. It doesn’t seem like a lot if you put it into hours but it is balanced with other things in life- that is, work, health, friends, hobbies, queuing for cheese tarts and stalking dachshunds etc. And as an introvert, 8 hours every week, is a lot of time. I can spend it sitting quietly in my room and breathing the lavender scented air, because Mt Sapola had a sale a while back and I bought their room spray.
As of January 2017, I think I have more ‘weights’ to carry. Which I am also grateful, because not everyone gets to choose what they spend their time and effort on. A lot of people do things for survival, and everything else just gets latched on. Like a teenager having her first child at sixteen, and then giving up her education. Or being kidnapped by ISIS, or being born with Prader Willis, or having other people rely on you. My choices are completely my own, and the constraints that I work within are minimal.
Many had no sense of community or social obligation. They saw the world as a fragmented place of choice and freedom that yielded little meaning or comfort. They even seemed to have lost the language to express commitment to anything besides themselves.
I don’t believe we can understand the impact of what we are loyal to on the community before the first year is over, or how our commitments can possibly change our character. But other than just a simple ‘hold on’ when I am in the middle of the process, I know of no better way.