I've begun to focus on what I'd like to do and where my heart goes in order to get away from consuming myself just to prove my worth. I work on courses, blogs and housework only when I'd like to, with no obligation. When it comes to necessary housework, I check on myself and decide whether I should do it now or later.
Neither doing more nor doing less makes any problem. The world around me, as always, just moves on its own.
When I used to be a designer, I met an old friend. We talked about stuff and I told her passionately that I was doing something, I needed to do something, and some part was hard, etc. Patiently, she listened to me till the end and asked, "Are you really enjoying design?" I paused a bit and answered yes, even though it could be hard. Looking back, I did enjoy design, but there was a lot of pressure to do it well to prove my worth instead of enjoying it.
When the pressure became too much to handle, I let design go. I felt unburdened, but it was also too bad. I thought about giving it another try many times, but said no to myself. My long dream of working as a designer and my identity that has grown a bit have disappeared. I was anxious about not doing anything.
I moved to Singapore while I was still anxious. I built my identity around housework. Proving my worth by taking care of housework and doing it best. The aspect of organization in design applied to housework in many ways. It worked. I was able to do it well, and I enjoyed it.
But there was a problem. Just like design, the pressure became too dominant. I couldn't resist seeing the house being dirty. When I couldn't clean it, it bothered me too much. I felt like someone was going to blame me for it, and I felt sorry for Eunjae about the dirty place. Looking at it, it made me sigh, and angry, and it reminded me of my childhood house totally abandoned and neglected by my parents.
I think I began to focus on cooking to avoid the pressure a bit. I had liked cooking before, though. I bought books to study, research, and wrote down every little details of what I did. It became more serious when I started selling Korean lunch boxes. The housework still bothered me, but I was too busy to focus on the uncomfortable feeling. So I ignored it a bit.
It was very little, but I made money from the lunch box. My archive grew. I reproduced the foods in my childhood memory. I became better as I tried more. I had joy when I managed to make the taste I imagined to make. The achievement. The sensation of liveliness of the ingredients when prepping. The presence of the joy was very big enough in my life, pushing pressure out of me.
I don't want to let this joyful cooking crushed to death by sense of duty, proving worth, and thinking those define who I am. In fact, when I work on blogs and courses, the joyfulness and the sense of duty still fight against each other. After a step, I get exhausted and terrified to move onto the next step. Sadly, I often do things just because I think I have to.
The desire to prove my worth, the sense of duty, the pressure, etc. I don't think they're all purely bad. In a certain way, they're needed. But it's important to keep them distant, so that they won't overwhelm me. My joy comes first, and then comes the work of flowing myself to around me. Whenever things pile up in me and enrich me, I will want to share them. Then the natural sharing will be useful to someone somewhere. That will be my worth.