Obligation Within Unmotivation


Created by Siddhant Shrivastava

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you’re falling? You don’t know how it came to be, you don’t know the events that led up to it, and you don’t know when it’ll end, but most of all, you’re afraid you’ll be stuck in this endless loop forever. You usually stop falling by jolting yourself awake, relieved that you’re no longer descending into the depths of the void that is your mind; instead, you’re safe and comfortable under the covers. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, your unconscious self only stops plummeting when your body’s natural circadian rhythm wakes you up. And for those of us who have messed up their circadian rhythm by sleeping too late (or too early, depending on your perspective), dreams like this can be especially cruel.

While these dreams are extremely common, we can’t seem to shake them off. They come and go, like a lion waiting to pounce on its prey at its most vulnerable state: the dream world. In the dream world, our unconsciousness takes over and we’re forced to deal with our problems head-on, even if we might not understand the manifestation of our thoughts in them. According to multiple sources such as Elite Daily and Exemplore, dreams about falling are usually reflections of things in your life you feel helpless to control or that are going poorly.

Alas, we cannot (yet) control our dreams. What we can do is aim to actively change something in our daily lives that will cause a direct change in our sleep. If one cannot figure out the root of the problem itself, they might choose to enlist help from psychological professionals to help them figure it out. Then, once the individual has determined what the issue is, they can move onto solving it. Depending on what the issue at hand is, this process will look different for everyone.

All of these dreams are just methods of our body learning how to produce the best outcome out of any given situation. But what if the tables turn? What if the dream, the nosedive, has now become your life and you aim to unknowingly control it through your dreams? What then? Are you supposed to take the same approach as when trying to relieve yourself of dreams of falling? There’s no dream therapist. The answer is, I have absolutely no clue, all I know is that I understand the feeling. And, to put it in simple terms, it sucks. 

Especially during this period of quarantine, it seems as though dread seeps into my veins every second that I spend being unproductive. It turns into a snowball that doesn’t stop rolling down the mountain of my ego until it’s right behind me because the thing about this avalanche is that it’s silent, and for you to turn around and realize it’s coming takes an enormous amount of energy. I have felt immensely unproductive for the past five weeks, and, while I may have felt this way throughout previous vacations, never has it taken as much of a toll on my perceptions of myself and of life itself as it has now.

I’ve done a couple of basic homework pieces such as a math worksheet, but have been completely mentally incapable of writing an essay. We’re ‘allowed’ to slack off by being at home: we don’t have the physical presence of teachers telling us to do things, and can’t keep our mental health in check by hugging our friends in the halls every morning. Of course, there are always advantages – for those privileged enough to be safe at home – to being able to spend more time with your family in quarantine and calling your friends. However, as with any situation, the downsides exist, and sometimes they feel more real than the upsides.

Some days have felt more real than others, as they’ve all been blending together into nothingness. This greyness, at times, feels unmanageable, but the more I’ve had little pushes from others to get work done (as opposed to Google Classroom notifications), the easier it’s gotten. Not to mention the amount of memes that have been produced about unproductivity which are astounding in the best way, and have probably made a lot of people besides me feel more connected to the outside world. The one day I actually turned in a piece of work on time – in this case, my Extended Essay 1000 words of evidence – I felt instantly lighter.

This piece is not meant to make you feel pity or think “whew, thank woah that’s not happening to me”. This lack of motivation and writer’s-block-turned-mind-block will come to everyone at some point in their lives; however, to some, it can be a recurring event. And when that happens, what I’ve learned is it’s best to surround yourself with temptation. This might sound extremely counter-productive, but it’s what has worked for me.

The more I’ve clicked ‘ok’ on my remote control to go to the next episode, made a new recipe, taken a nap, spent hours on social media, watched the sunrise, and wandered around my house aimlessly, the angrier I’ve consciously become at myself. This anger stems from a feeling of worthlessness, and the questioning of whether doing everything or nothing at all even has an impact on my life, or if it is all meaningless. I suppose I’ll never have answers to this question since there are so many extraneous variables to determining ‘fate’ or whatever you’d like to call it, but I decided I’d like to find out what would happen if I did break the cycle.

My first step is writing this article, and I will slowly reintroduce myself back to getting things done. I hope you’re encouraged to do the same, whatever it may be. If we learn to break the real-life cycle of falling, maybe our dreams will actually feel like dreams and our lives will feel like a gift filled with endless possibilities.


Sources: Elite Daily, Exemplore