Stress That You Like

Stress: mental, physical or emotional strain or tension. Why would you want that? Oh, but sometimes, you do.

I would find it hard to believe that any profession is really easy, or even any (IB) subject. Especially not in this academic era. I think that if there was an easy, fruitful and stress-less option for life in terms of adulthood or occupation, we’d have been flocking like sheep by now. Of course, I can’t claim I know how every job in the world is like, but my best guess is that they all come with their own struggles.

I met an architect this summer. She’s part of TRI Ghana (The Rheumatology Initiative), and she inspired me. She tried to sell her dream to me, and though I highly doubt I would really enjoy being an architect, the reason she inspired me is because she has such obvious love and interest for her job – and that’s not something I see often. She made me want to live her kind of life; that when I finally start earning income for doing something, it won’t be something I do just to get income, but something I do to get income and love. I am not under the impression that her work was constantly stress-less. As it is, what it led me to believe is that in actuality, there can be stress that you like.

Love turns stress nice.

Let me name two of the most stressful IB subjects I know: Higher Level Mathematics and Higher Level Visual Art. A person can crash under either one of these. And a person can thrive under either one of these. How well you do is not the defining factor of whether or not it is stressful. I learnt this after I got a stream of A*s in IGCSE economics and dropped the subject after one and a half semesters, because I just couldn’t handle it emotionally. My decision baffled people because I was nowhere close to failing. The defining factor is actually love. That’s what governs whether you can handle something well or not.

There is, in fact, stress that I like. You see, I feel like Hannnah Montana right now, living some sort of double life whose two sides are worlds apart. You know the lyrics in the show’s theme song, “Best of Both Worlds” that go

“At home you get to be a small-time girl/

But on stage you’re a star” ?

Replace the “home” with “boarding school”, and you’ve got me right there. Within the four walls of this place, I’m a nonessential nobody. But when I get out and I’m doing my spoken word things, people seem to think I’m popular. And I won’t lie that it’s stressful doing the whole show-business in the midst of the IB, but would I give it up if you asked me to? Hell to the nah. In fact, if there’s one or the other that you want to take away, take away the IB distin – ah! (Again, we could get into the whole argument about my disinterest for academic systems, but it would take long, and you would lose.) As for that stress, I don’t like. And even aside from the having to leave school to perform and things, even when I’m here, I have to battle to write (like I’m doing now), battle to spark my imagination to come up with stories (this place has a frustrating habit of stagnating my mind), battle to blog, battle to read, battle to rehearse my poems – stress that I like.

On the other hand, there’s stress that makes me miserable and stuff that I want to run far away from, and never have to see again. *waves hi to Higher Level Mathematics* This gets me thinking about my future. I am neither expecting an easy road, a lack of stress nor an absence of battles.

My prayer is that whatever it is I end up doing, I will love it enough to suffer for it. Like a marriage – having to suffer through the annoyance of your spouse but never, ever wanting a divorce. And I think I may be one of those people who works well with stress – it just has to be the stress that I like.

Remember me saying this when I become your favourite author. =D


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