For years, my life was all about the hustle. I thought that being productive, getting things done, and working hard would make me feel fulfilled and happy — but, oh boy, was I so wrong.

I am the type of person who thrives under pressure. As a serial procrastinator, having tight deadlines and timelines meant that I would need to procrastinate every single time for every single project, bringing me to my most zen and productive state. This kind of work environment also meant that I need to work double time and in maximum efficiency, which resulted to burn out after just a couple of months. It was an unhealthy cycle that made me jump from one thing to another. I always felt restless — like I was doing too much but still not doing enough. I felt like taking breaks and taking my time to get results were mortal sins. It was a toxic and (frankly) quite stupid mindset, but it was what I lived by for years. And I guess, I wasn’t alone thinking this way.

When I left my corporate job and decided to become a freelancer, I finally had the chance to slow things down a little. It gave me the freedom to take the breaks that I’ve deprived myself for a long while. I get to travel on a whim, take days off from work whenever I feel like it, but it was hard for me to shake off the guilt. I found myself biting more than what I could chew to compensate for feeling incompetent and unproductive. I would work my ass off until my mind refuses to function properly. I would continue working until I burn out; until things would go spiraling out of control and it felt like there’s nothing left.

As I try to rebuild my broken parts, I slowly came to terms that I cannot rush everything into fruition. I cannot procrastinate my way around life, nor could I find meaning to things by just ticking all the check boxes. I thought that if I have my shit together then I’d be happy, but I guess no amount of work nor achievements can make you happier than being able to stay present in each moment.

Honestly, I’m still learning how to slow down. It’s not an easy journey to change mindsets and relearn how you think and feel. But I suppose like most things, these can still be learned, and that through time I’ll eventually announce to the world that I’ve made it. That I’ve slowed down. That I’ve found my way towards recovery… wherever it may be.

To continuously marching on, slowly and steadily.

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