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Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Personal: A Reminder to Myself

Hey everyone. I am prefacing this entry as a very personal and journal like entry. It's really just my thoughts.
You are welcome to read or skim or skip it if you aren't interested. :)



I wrote this in April 2012.

I really miss those seemingly care free days when I thought the biggest thing I needed to deal with was keeping up with my grades and friends. And to a degree, that’s still true yet so far from the truth.
It’s like every time you are about to take your next step, you know you need to outline at least the next 2 steps that immediately follow. What a rush to an invisible finish line. How does one pace for something they cannot see?

They don’t! They just sit and wait until the decisions have to be made.
Yikes… time sure flies by. Wake up— it’s mid April. And you know what? No one that matters is going to make you an exception for missing out. Stay on your toes.
This is crunch time. It may be for a while.



I found this draft above written out and I probably felt this way at the time when I created this draft.
It's interesting how long I've had this internal struggle to balance my social and academic life. Ever since I hit college and realized some of my closest friends were not my friends and what I wanted to do was not what I really wanted to do... it was just this eye opening experience of trying to find myself.

I recently watched a video about how we are all technically time traveling, day by day, through time. And some of us get caught up in yesterday or whenever and others move forward as time moves us forward. The past year for me has been quite a whirlwind of experiencing and recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses. I've never once felt like the sharpest tool in the toolbox and used to say "At least I am in the toolbox" in a way to express my presence alone in the toolbox is good enough. But as I got more and more intense with external pressures to be better academically, I just lost myself in the process. The good news is that I found out I have really good endurance, that I am a strong leader, and academically stronger than I ever knew to be possible. The bad news is that I slowly lost my "free time" to enjoy myself selfishly with friends or without friends.

When I started this summer semester in mid May, I was just overwhelmed with expectations that I set for myself, tears, frustrations... all of the above. But sadly, I am now pacing for a goal that has an invisible deadline yet not so invisible if you think about your 20's and pacing towards a career. It's difficult making sure that you have your priorities straight-- that you are pushing yourself to be better and stronger but not challenging yourself so far beyond our abilities. So how do you know when you have pushed too hard and when you just need to take a moment and breathe?

I wanted so much to apply to OT programs this fall. After this fall, I would have spent a year on prerequisites alone. The fear of getting stuck in the transition of being a Pre-Occupational Therapy student was and is beyond daunting. But after all that I went through last year of fighting off anxiety related health problems, I should know better now than to rush. So what's the rush?

Everything feels rushed. From the time I graduated high school, it was all just a big blurry rush. I titled this draft as "A Reminder to Myself" and I think the general idea I was going for was to remember to stay on my toes. But interestingly, I am telling myself the opposite today. Be alert, be present, but don't force yourself to be every single minute of your every single day. I honestly think I have forgotten what it's like to have fun or be carefree because when I get a break or deserve break, I don't feel like I do. I feel like I need to be on the go or thinking about what's next all the time. And that my friend, is not healthy, it's anal, it's perfectionism, it's deadly.

So I encourage us to all think about are we balanced in work and play? Do we do enough new things on a monthly basis while striving to work on finishing old things? Do you have a friend you can rely on or talk to when you need them? Do you feel happy with where you are at at the end of the day or at least know that you are working towards a happy place? These are all prominent questions to ask yourself. I share my private thoughts in hopes to keep myself accountable and to also move on with the rest of my day.

Nothing easy is worth having.
But nothing is worth destroying your health and happiness.

That is the line I walk today and probably for the rest of my life.
If I do it right, I will hopefully get better at it.

Cheers,
Dana

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