To swim or not to swim? I asked.


I woke up at 9 in the evening which was an unusual time for me to get up for work. I slept for 2 hours but it felt like I didn’t sleep at all. The thought about the load of work that I needed to do that day made me worry that I even had a dream about it.

It was July of last year (if my memory serves me right). Those were the days when I was still exploring the depths of my new role in the company. One day, my Manager told me that she will be on leave thus, I was left to do a certain task she’d do every week: generate a report about the account’s status. The reports she was doing weren’t new to my eyes because I could see how she does them and what usually happens during. And with that idea, I was really anxious that I didn’t get any sleep.

My hair was still wet but I’ve decided to leave for work with an uncombed wet hair. I passed by Krispy Kreme to get a dose of coffee to wake me up and fuel some energy.

The guard greeted me warmly but I felt very tired I ignored him and went on to order a coffee. Once at the counter, I asked for a large Americano and two shots of espresso. The Barista was a bit shock. “I needed to be awake for 24 hours.” I explained myself. “How about a large Americano and some donuts?” He suggested, looking empathetic. Well, he’s used to seeing zombie customers so he pretty understood my situation. I looked at him for a moment and realized I have a low tolerance for caffeine. So I ended up ordering an XL Cafe Latte. He seemed glad for my change of mind he even called out to me saying “Have a lively day!” as I was living the counter.

I sat in my working station looking blankly at the monitor which I turned on absent-mindedly. You know that feeling when you’re too high and did something you didn’t notice and only realized it when you see what’s happening in front of you, don’t you?

I logged into my email and studied my Manager’s previous reports. About two days earlier, she already mentioned to me about the report and her vacation leave. She also taught me how to generate the numbers in excel. However, during those times, almost a quarter of my brain was in panic.

I then studied the excel files but they overwhelmed me and I started to lost confidence. I received a chat from our boss saying she needs the file before 12 AM. It was half past 10 and I still haven’t figured out the excel file. I inhaled and held my breath for a moment as I wished to die in an instant. But I suddenly remembered that I will not be given a task unless they trust my abilities. Finally, I exhaled slowly hoping that my worries would come out with the air I was breathing out.

I relaxed on my seat, taking my notebook and a pen I planned what I needed to do and then arranged them according to what I feel should be a chronological order. This is what I like about my habit for writing stuffs first because I can actually see the items and arrange them according to my instinct.

I started working on the excel files; getting the numbers and comparing it with the previous week’s report. I looked at the results in different angles and tried to analyse the data based on the production’s actual status. I slowly managed to put myself into my Manager’s position; providing feedback about the status and what needs to be done to improve the numbers.

At 11:30 PM I finished the entire report and sent it to our boss for a final look. I was waiting for a response with a request for a revision but all I received was a couple of clarifications and a “Thanks!” I was only able to take a sigh of relief after their 2 AM meeting.

The next day, my Manager saw my work and commended me for a job well done. I felt pride and mentally tapped myself on the back.

That was the day when I realized to never allow panic take over your confidence. That it’s okay to freak out for a sec but you must compose yourself and think of the ways to save yourself. But I wish I can apply this lesson to swimming. Apparently, I panic a lot when I am put into deep waters, so I always sink. xxx


*In response to Daily Post.


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