Finding Peace & Balance

I’ve always been a planner. I always wanted to know what was next in the line of daily or weekly activities. Not knowing caused and still causes a good bit of anxiety. Adults were often frustrated by my question “What’s next?”. Most were not kind or patient. They didn’t understand what it was like for me to live with the uncertainty that could be resolved. They didn’t want to be annoyed so they told me to be quiet. As I’ve grown into adulthood, I’ve long relied on planning to soothe my anxiety. I had a career plan when I was in the 8th grade. I thought that if I planned carefully enough, the anxiety would be laid to rest. What I’ve come to learn over the past four years is that life happens while you’re making plans. Current mental illness, uncertainty, and self-loathing swept me away after college. It’s taken a long time to find my footing and feel solid again. The plans I made as a child, are long dead and buried. They didn’t suit the kind of adult I became. 

Two areas of my life feel on shaky ground lately. The first is personal and the second is professional. I just let go of a relationship that lasted a year. I needed to let it go to move forward and be healthy. I’m grateful for the lessons and experiences I had during that year and I’m grieving. That person was my best friend in so many ways and it’s hard knowing we’re not going to be talking anymore. A lesson that I learned the hard way with this relationship is, that the harder you hold on, the more it all crumbles away. If something is meant to be in your life and a good thing, you’ll know. Your body knows what’s good for it and where it feels at peace. I spent so much that year fighting my brain and trying to duct tape a sinking ship. I wish I’d let it go sooner. Not necessarily in the sense of ending it, but more in not being so afraid to lose that person or the relationship. It felt scarier to leave it up to chance than to try and manage the variables myself. I ended up exhausted, angry, and lonely. I didn’t see myself being single again and having to contemplate re-entering the dating world. I feel so torn. I don’t want to go back to online dating because finding people I click with is hard. There’s a lot of mindless swiping that fuels my anxiety. I’ve tried to think of ways to meet people in “natural ways” and I can’t think of anything outside of what I’m already doing. I know I’m not ready to start dating again right now and I’m not going to be thrilled when I decide I’m ready to put myself back out there. While all of this has stirred up complicated emotions, there is beauty in a fresh start. I get to decide what’s important to me and rebuild this part of my life all over. It’s also what makes it so terrifying. 

In my professional life, I’m reaching the last part of my second undergraduate degree in the area I’m currently working in. I’m still enjoying the course work and it’s also getting tiring. I’ve been in this program for almost two years. I’m so grateful that I’ve had the time and resources to return for a second bachelor’s degree. It’s stretched and shaped my mind in ways that I wasn’t expecting. It’s also pointed me in a career direction that I wasn’t expecting. I’m hoping to continue my education at my current place of higher learning by attending graduate school there. I’m working on meeting the qualifications for the graduate program while finishing my second bachelor’s degree. I’m waiting to hear from my academic adviser if I’ll meet all the requirements, as the page that lists them is vague. My career goals hang in the balance. 

The phase I find myself in currently is one where so many variables are beyond my control. I’m moving towards a future I can see clearly while trying not to focus on what’s less focused in my mind. I’ve found over the years that focusing on what I can control and do my best in those areas, is much healthier than focusing on what I have no control over. I can focus on doing well at work, in school, and cultivating a support network. It doesn’t take away all the anxiety that I feel over what I don’t know, but it certainly lessens the energy I put towards it. If you, like me are trying to find a balance between staying in the present and planning for the future, let me know how you stay grounded. Wishing you peace and joy. 


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