I’m just going to cut to the chase: second semester senior year is not fun so far.
I could try to follow in the footsteps of graduates before me and go to the bars twice a week and also hang out with people during the weekend, but the reality is that a schedule like that would catch up with me very quickly. Schoolwork piles up. Aka it hit me like an 18 wheeler and just never stopped coming. People want to see me. In all of my free time… which I don’t actually have because I have class and work and extracurricular activities that I want or need to participate in. I compare what is going on in my life at the moment – my relationships with school, work, and people – to what I think it should be. And I start to doubt myself. I think that I’m doing something wrong. And I am. Because I forgot about the most important relationship of all; the relationship that I have with myself.
In the beautiful mess that is life, it is so easy to put myself last. I’m good at it. I like to take care of people. I like to be needed, to be helpful. I like it so much that I will let myself drown if it means that someone else gets to float. I understand why this is toxic behavior; there’s a reason why flight attendants tell parents to put their own oxygen masks on before assisting their children. They can’t be of any use if they don’t take care of themselves first. And that’s what I have been doing for a while. I have been trying to put on everyone else’s oxygen mask while holding my breath. Which is extra dumb because I have asthma and my lung capacity kinda sucks.
My desire to be a good student, friend, employee, sister, and person recently caused me to run on fumes until the tank was officially empty. I fall back into bad habits very easily. I cut out sleep when I have too much to do. I eat at weird hours. I don’t want to get up early because I’m not ready to get up when I just went to bed like two hours ago, so I stop working out. Then I’m more tired because I’m eating crap and not exercising. And not sleeping. It’s a vicious cycle. As someone who believes that she can do it all and hates it when people try to tell her otherwise, I think that this has been one of the most difficult things I have ever had to break through this thick skull of mine.
I cannot be a productive member of society if I do not first take care of myself.
I am just as important as everyone else. Not more important, but equally so.
It is not selfish to put my needs first and take care of my mental and physical health.
Yes, I’m worried about my future; it’s uncomfortable not knowing what I’m going to be doing or where I am going to be in a few months. I’m still stuck sitting around and waiting for answers. I hate not knowing something so “important”. I put that in quotes because everybody older than me tells me that life will work out the way it’s supposed to. That in the grand scheme of things, where I am six months from now may be irrelevant. Try telling that to a twenty-something and getting them to actually believe you. Only the ones who think they already kind of have it figured out will come close. Most will probably just get frustrated while they pretend to hear you.
I worry about my friends. I’m already starting to hold on way too tight to people that I don’t want to lose when time and distance inevitably separates some of us after graduation. I’m becoming the kind of person who I want to punch in the face.
Getting stuck on worry or doubt or guilt is not conducive to having a positive mindset.
I know that I should just be enjoying it while I can. The final chapter. Filled with beers, tears, and memories I’ll cherish for years. I need to take a step back from the worry. Take a deep breath. Go for a hike. Force a friend to tag along.
Love yourself today.