On the Need for Order

Idle hands are the devil’s playground. The Puritans certainly thought that, and perhaps for some individuals, it’s true. You have nothing to do, so you and trouble have a play date. Well, your rebel without a cause self can go off in a corner and sulk.

For me, idle hands are the self’s deterioration. In other words, when I’m inactive my soul suffers.

I am someone who tends to buck against the system, to find ways to bend the rules, to push the boundaries and make a life outside of expectations and norms.

One of the requirements of a life like that is you need norms and boundaries to push against. Right now, I am without boundaries. While I wait for my job to start in January, I am free to do as I please. I can make whatever choices I want, do as I want, live as I want. Within the confines of my budget (which is minuscule) and the cultural norms of the place I currently reside, of course, but by and large I can do whatever for the next two weeks. It is driving me batty. Loco. Nutty. Loony. And I don’t just mean the general stir crazy either, I mean the type of unhingedness that pushes me into a slump. The doldrums. Malaise. Ennui. I am stagnate and have little to shake the waters.

With so much free time (aka all my time), the creative outlets I normally use to bring joy into my life begin to lose meaning because they are not creative outlets anymore, but simply things I am doing. I need a schedule, a set path for my day-to-day life in order to make the moments when I do have the freedom to choose what I do have purpose and a freshness about them.

Without this, I question everything. About my life, my choices, my future, my personality, my capabilities as a human being – you name it, whatever confidence I have in my decisions gets thrown under the bus when I am left sitting idle for too long.

What this all means is that I am depressed right now and questioning my decision to come to Cairo. After thinking about it for a bit, I’ve come to the conclusion it is because I am currently thinking too damn much because I have too much free time and not enough daily purpose so that I don’t have to think about my reasons for being here, I am just living them.

I need something to do. My brain is starting to disagree with me on everything. I think various parts of my body are acting out in protest. I’m falling to pieces here for no good reason!

But in a few weeks, inshallah, as I start my job (which doesn’t mean it’ll be smooth sailing from there since lord knows I am going to have a number of issues with being a teacher namely that I have very few qualifications and little experience what-the-hell-am-I-doingohlordihopethisisntonebigmistake NO SEE THERE I GO THINKING TOO MUCH NEED TO STOP.), I’ll be in a happier place because I’ll have a schedule and something to build my life around. Right now I have no way to construct a life since there aren’t any bits to put it together with.

End moment of panic/depression/anger. Well at least for you all I’m still stuck with these feelings for the next two weeks.

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