I used to have a tendency to overload myself, from a mixture of a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed desire to learn everything and everything related to that; and the relentless and inevitable perfectionism that comes with feeling deep unworthiness and inferiority. In times when I realised I hadn’t actually put “sleep” and “eat” in my schedule, I hated how I felt being overcommitted, and I fantasised about a life where I’d be free to do whatever I wanted and go wherever I wanted, any time I wanted to.
When I was much younger, and more idealistic, I had this image of being a journalist covering conflicts (my friends will laugh; I am such a pansy when it comes to violence), locking up my apartment with just my passport clipped between my teeth, press pass in my pocket, and a small bag filled with some clothes, my dictaphone, and a ton of notepads and cheap blue plastic ballpoint pens, in a hurry to get to the airport. It was that idea of being sort of footloose and fancy-free and perfectly independent and autonomous.
It may be something one grows into, this appreciation for the value of commitments. They shape our lives, our routines, our habits. They are the real-world manifestations of our priorities, values, decisions, choices, mistakes. To an extent, they show us who we are. And in choosing our commitments, we choose who we want to be and what we want to become.
I am grateful for commitments. They mean that I am capable, dependable, needed and wanted.