Am I really living?

It seems I’m barely breathing.

Athira T J
3 min readSep 27, 2021

If you ask me what I’m pursuing these days, all I can tell about are the simple things. Simple things that keep me breathing, just enough to battle to guard my heart.

The struggle it takes to wake up from bed in the morning,

the satisfaction I feel after cleaning my room,

the longings to nurture my active friendships,

and all those tiny, little moments at home.

Quote on a Frame
Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

I wake up every morning checking on a device right next to me that shows the messages and news I might have missed while sleeping. It doesn’t really matter if I plan for a particular day or not. Plans never work out for me.

I get ready before office hours and start working on a machine, amid all kinds of distractions. After 9 hours of work and studies, I’m done. Dead. I just want to crawl into a hole and pass out. Yeah, this’s what the practical implementation of my comfort zone looks like. And you see, it’s a loop.

“I want to breathe!

Strip my body of all its weight!

Replace my soul with abstract wings attached to nothing!”

Fernando Pessoa, A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems

I have no time. No time to spend with my family, no time to check on friends, no time to listen to music, not even to read a book.

I feel so bored and heavy. Bored of working on things that I don’t actually like, bored of not being able to connect with my people, and bored of being unhappy about my life.

I’m confused with what I WANT, and what I SHOULD. I need my feelings and actions to be aligned.

NO, I don’t hope for a happy, flawless life. All I need is some strength. The strength to fight for my conscience with courage and enthusiasm.

I don’t want to regret a single thing. I aspire to live like tomorrow is the last day of my life. I want to cherish the things I’d love to do, and the people I love with my heart. There has to be a way. I know it, but I’m just scared.

Ultimately, what we regret is not failure, but the failure to act.

Adam Grant

I need to take risks. But playing big is dangerous. I fear if I lose, I’d go insane. I feel trapped. I’m making my bubble, and then I’m living inside it, assuming this’s my life. This’s all I’m capable of.

I need to be brave. Brave enough to face the world, to make that choice, to accept failures, to embrace pain, to grow in life, to at least try.

I’m full of anxious thoughts.

To whom should I talk about all these? Is it to my parents who are suffering to keep me safe and happy, or is it to my friends who are struggling a lot more than me? I don’t know. So, I’m just opening up to you. I trust you.

I have no idea how to end this story. I don’t even really know the purpose of writing this. But I know this — my feelings matter. And it should be validated, even if it’s seemingly unreasonable to others.

I’m self-aware, but is that just enough?