“I’m tired and angry at me. For letting myself get smaller and smaller in the hopes that he would notice me more. But how can someone notice you if you keep getting smaller?”

― Kathleen Glasgow, Girl in Pieces

Days didn’t have only light and darkness; they were comprised of periods of time where I fit in. The reality existed during the daytime when everything humanly possible happened, along with all the struggles and issues that came with it. Late evenings followed, providing some time for gathering thoughts, problem-solving, and doing homework, as the surrounding grew quieter with the dimming lights. Late nights were my favourite, as it was the time for prayers, meditation, creativity, fantasies, and the moon as my only witness. The last part of my days involved some sleep, the only time I couldn’t control, where I abandoned myself in its arms, leaving everything behind for another day or more.

The mornings served as a reminder of how tired I was. Feelings of disappointment, the weight of pressure on my shoulders, and low motivation resurfaced. I was exhausted from fighting against everyone, and this endless cycle of fatigue during the day brought me back to the starting point of exhaustion over and over again. It felt like boiling water that exerted a lot of effort to evaporate, only to have someone put the lid back on, causing everything to condense and return to step one. Gradually, I became transparent because life seemed to be just a short journey from work to home, leaving little time for anything else. I questioned why I put so much effort into things that didn’t lead me anywhere and how many times was too many to try something that hadn’t worked yet. But those thoughts could wait for another day; today, I was simply too tired. However, I still held onto other goals in my mind.

“Sometimes exhaustion is not a result of too much time spent on something, but of knowing that in its place, no time is spent on something else.”

― Joyce Rachelle

When I only did what gave me pleasure, everything came easily and followed a natural flow. Unfortunately, those were the moments that were only sought after but never fully attained. I spent too much time on things that left me exhausted, making it nearly impossible to find the energy to truly enjoy the activities I liked when they did occur. There were always priorities standing in front of my pleasures. I couldn’t skip steps or neglect my responsibilities, as nothing waited for me. How could I read those books and watch those movies when piles of dishes and laundry were waiting for their turn? It wasn’t the act of doing things that made me tired but rather doing the things that prevented me from pursuing what I truly wanted.

I yearned to be at home when I was at work, and vice versa. I longed for sleep when I was awake, and I wished to stay awake when I had more to accomplish. I never truly lived in the present because my mind was always searching for the next task to be done. I wondered when the right moment would come for everything and what changes I could make to have only the things I liked in my life.

“The most critical time in any battle is not when I’m fatigued, it’s when I no longer care.”

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

I struggled to fulfil my wishes, clinging to my dreams and refusing to give up easily. I battled with my weaknesses, with people around me, and with myself. I searched for motivation, encouragement, and positive role models to keep the flame of the fight burning. Fatigue weighed heavily on me, yet a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day fueled me for the challenges that lay ahead. There was a flicker of hope that surged through my body and ignited my mind, an unwavering presence that never deserted me, always pushing me to go above and beyond. With that inner strength, I pressed onward, undeterred by the magnitude of the struggles or the towering waves before me.

However, there were also those who lost that force, those who became indifferent and apathetic, where every day blurred into the same monotonous routine. Their lives resembled tap water in a plastic cup, lacking flavour and excitement. What does one do when they grow tired of being exhausted all the time?

“I’m so tired I never want to wake up again. But I’ve figured out now that it was never them that made me feel that way. It was just me, all along.”

― Maggie Stiefvater, Forever

Whenever I felt overwhelmingly sad and acknowledged the depth of my exhaustion, I laid down my swords and sank onto the weathered stump, devoid of any plans or dreams. I’m not referring to the crossroads where one becomes paralyzed by indecision, but rather the roads that abruptly terminate while life is still in full swing. I exerted immense effort and pushed myself to the limit, only to discover that, in the end, it didn’t matter at all. Each potential path, every route I traversed, and every battle I fought ultimately led me to a dead-end with no further options in sight. Fatigued and drained, I found myself at the culmination of my journey, yearning for one more moment of pure joy and contentment.

In search of an emergency exit or simply disheartened with nowhere left to go, I unburdened myself of the heavy weight that had been bearing down on my shoulders and posed a poignant question: “What could I have done differently in this life to avoid constant exhaustion and spend more precious moments with the people I hold dear, in places that bring me solace, engaged in pursuits that genuinely make me happy?” We rushed through time, neglecting to pause and rest, failing to appreciate the world around us. We devoted more hours to sitting in traffic than we did to bonding with our own children. We forgot to embrace the present moment, and as a result, found ourselves perennially fatigued.

Let us take a respite, retiring to bed earlier tonight, for our journey may come to an end sooner than expected before we even have a chance to relish the opportunities that have come our way.

“We all grow tired eventually; it happens to everyone. Even the sun, at the close of the year, is no longer a morning person.”

― Joyce Rachelle

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