2 months ago for day 42, with 350 words.

On Processing Exhausting Situations

I started this piece writing something factual and informative and then deleted it all after a quarter of the way there. I'm exhausted. I'd been awake since 5:45am. I spend 3 hours at the gym this morning, had two meetings in different parts of the city. Spend a few hours losing the only credit card I have, then finding it. I wrote up some design documentation for my client. At night, I started doing my corporate tax returns. There are important emails I haven't replied to and I'm in no mood to do that - I might just say something stupid I'll regret later,

I know when I'm exhausted not when I feel exhausted, but when I start getting annoyed by people or situations that don't usually annoy me. I notice when this happens, I don't feel very supported by folks around me. I don't reach out, because that feels like wasting the little energy that I can't afford to lose. And if the next person asks whether have I tried meditation or gratitude journalling or adopting a keto diet to address the realities of struggling as a remote-working entrepreneur and an athlete, I would seriously flip a table.

As much as I tell myself that I'm not the kind of person to need validation, I struggle to feel appreciated at times like these. The apathy as exhaustion doesn't help on top of it all. It feels as if people are trying to use me. I wonder if it has much to do with growing up with parents who prized achievement and gave conditional love.

While I was naturally confident and never felt unworthy of what I worked hard for, I would often feel used as a bragging prop when I made them look good, but behind closed doors, people would dump their frustrations onto me. It wasn't until my mid-twenties that I learned about boundaries. And perhaps because I'm in Asia now, it's extra difficult to enforce boundaries - there is no such concept in Asian culture. It's exhausting.

Anyway, saving this conversation for my therapist.

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By Hannah Wei

@herlifeinpixels on Twitter. Here to conquer my fear of writing publicly. Product consultant. Ex-startup founder. Athlete.

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