5 February 2017, 13:54
The weather is absolutely unbelievable right now, I have an essay due tonight that I really must get going on, but I thought now is as good a time as ever to write to you all!
It’s February! It’s 78 degrees in February. I have classes Monday-Friday at 9:30AM and finish classes early in the afternoon every day, which means I get to run around in the sun all I want for this next week and a half or so as the weather permits.
Today, for lunch, I sat at the top of Meyer Green and ate sushi and blackberries and read as a little break after a few hours of classes. I got new jeans in the mail that fit perfectly. I have rehearsal tonight, I’ve submitted a few applications and still am working on quite a few more. I’m really, really working on finding balance.
I waited to share this until I was certain about what I wanted to say, however, I came to the conclusion that my resolution for this year is to simplify and balance.
I initially thought it would be the piece of new beginnings where I stated, “Time to lean into change, discomfort, complexity, and uncertainty and know that’s where my power lies. I’m done waiting and done wishing; it’s time to start.”
While I do still covet that sort-of mantra as a guiding principle for finding the initiative to get things done in my day to day life, I found that the way I operated in the first month of 2018, with this in mind, fell into this rhythm of finding balance and simplicity within my own life and with myself. Establishing balance and simplicity gave me the means to lean into “change, discomfort, complexity, and uncertainty” without losing stability in the process.
So what did I do?
- I deleted all of my social media! (Well, at least, I deleted the apps and changed the passwords to make it harder for me to log in.)
- I’m taking fewer classes than I had anticipated, for the sake of sanity.
- I go to class, I lie in the sun, I eat meals, I go to rehearsal, I attend meetings, I see Austin, I see friends, I send emails, I do homework, I read, and I sleep.
- I keep a journal where I dedicate one page to every day– I title daily to-do lists as “Realistic To-Do List for Today,” I have two more lists on each page: “Good Things” and “Things to Let Go” where I write daily happenings, and the former is always longer than the latter and the former always includes the bullet point, “THE WEATHER.”
- I try to tidy up my room once a week, and I never skip my skincare routine at night.
This sounds nice, doesn’t it? I used to spend hours a day rotating through the same four apps, then feel guilty about the time wasted, that guilt would translate to a lack of motivation, etc. etc. etc., everything you’d expect me to say about deleting social media. Now I just give myself time to wander, both physically and mentally. Cherish time by myself, listen to music and go to the beach on my own because it feels good.
I knew going into this quarter with how busy and routine my schedule has come to be, I knew I would begin feeling stagnant and anxious and want a drastic change. That’s just who I am! The urge to take a quarter off and do something crazy comes and goes, but it gets stronger and stronger with every iteration.
Now, I’ve given myself time to wander, both physically and mentally.
This quarter, that anxious feeling lasted for 2 weeks. I had nightmares every night for a week and a half about anything and everything, and it took hours to fall asleep. I woke up crying sometimes. I stopped writing. My days last from 9am to 11pm with meetings and classes and rehearsals. I felt uncertain about a lot of things, namely my relationships and friendships, and with that worry, I failed to look after myself academically. This spiralled into the same old, circular, negative energy that simply ended with me feeling sorry for and unsure of myself at the end of every day.
However, once I bought a new pen, forced myself out of my dorm room during the day, and started intentionally looking for the good things in front of me, things slowly but surely came back together. So yes, as corny as it sounds, keeping a gratitude journal and writing a list of the 15 good things that happen every day is yes 100% absolutely the reason why I am finding so much peace nowadays.
There’s a lot of effort that goes into this life, however, I’m happy to say that I’ve directed a lot of my energy this month inward. I think, sing, talk to myself. I listen to myself above anything. Not everyone learns how to give themselves the time or the space to do that, but I wish everyone could.
Intentionality, Patience, Simplicity, and Balance
That’s my New Year’s Resolution.
I hope all of you are doing well! Things are going well on my end. I was about to write that I’m currently in a transition period right now, but, if I’m being honest, every day for the rest of my life is a “transition period” if I keep doing my thing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. So as always, things are always good in some light, I just have to keep finding it.
I’ll end this with my favourite poem, Desiderata by Max Ehrmann (c. 1952) that I’ve made a point to read a least once a day, every day, whenever I feel like I need it most.
Happy February, Happy Monday, Happy Valentine’s Day– thank you for your patience.