Have a Good Week

Good days are like March sun in Montreal. They are admired, coveted, something to bask in while they last. Both daylight savings and the events of the past seven days have reignited my desire to work hard. It’s a good feeling, especially when you’ve been working hard with no motivation for so long.

Daylight savings marks a big shift for me. Montreal winters are cold and dark, with the sun setting around 4:00 (sometimes 3:45) in the peak of the season. When I went to Charleston for Spring Break in early March, I knew I would return to a different city.

Wearing sneakers outside and ditching the leggings I had to wear under my jeans to keep warm have made my mornings easier. I started waking up early to go to morning classes at my local gym. I’m enjoying the renewed sense of passion and determination.

School has taken a turn for the best. The first half of this semester was difficult. The only good thing about a bad grade is the fire it lights under you. I studied for three weeks for one midterm. I got an 83.

I don’t like to say that I am affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, because I’m really not. I’m just as productive during the winter as I am during the other months. I think the difference is that I find it hard to push through rough times in the winter, and I’m sure some of you can relate. You don’t have to label yourself with a scary mental health issue to acknowledge that sometimes cold, uninviting weather can make things seem a little worse.

That being said, whether or not the winter months bring you down, enjoy the new Spring. Jump on new opportunities, take your passions seriously, and use those extra hours of sunlight to do something amazing. Daylight savings has been the best reminder that we really do have more time than we think.

Have a good week.

Eloragh

How Long is Too Long

When is enough enough? This is a question I have always struggled with. When will I be sick enough of what I am doing that the rewards I am offered are not valuable enough to keep me slogging away?

I’ve spent twelve and a half years in education. As the semester inches to an end, I find myself feeling the same sense of dread that I have spent for the majority of my life. My grades loom over me like an all-seeing-eye, reminding me that I’m not free to do much of anything if I can’t keep my GPA at a 3.0

The reality I’m facing is scary. I do feel as though I have let a part of my life go. I don’t feel like I am the same person who left New Mexico two months ago. Perhaps this wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I had grown in a positive direction, but I feel as though I have done the opposite. My confidence in my abilities and intelligence is faltering. I am scared to let it fall any more than it already has.

I know I have options, but even that fact frightens me. Last night, I learned that I have support from those I love to do whatever I want to do that will make me happy. They have told me that my mental health and joy come before any kind of degree or association. Although this conversation relieved me, it added a new kind of pressure. Now, the choice is put onto me. So what do I want to do?

For a long time, as long as I can remember, I have wanted to make an impact. Who doesn’t right? No one goes out into the world with the goal of being ordinary and quiet. No one interesting anyway.  Of course I want to make an impact. When I made my food pantry, I knew I was making an impact. When I did my senior project speaking out against my school, I knew I was standing up for every student who had been trampled on by an administration. I knew that my radio shows were making an impact. When my blogs or pieces for Original Path are spread through social media, that’s an impact.

That feeling is what elation is. It motivates me like nothing other. That desire to expand my reach far and wide is what gets me out of bed in the morning, keeps me eating well and exercising, and motivates me to take care of myself emotionally. If I allow myself to feel like shit when I can do something else, my reach is not valuable, because what I advocate becomes a load of bullshit.

Maybe that’s where my fear lies. If I stay and get my degree, do what everyone expects me to do, I will surely be in a secure place, but I’ll also be miserable. If I leave and do something daring, I will be following my own advice and putting myself into a new situation filled with fear and excitement. I’ll be on the edge of something amazing. I may still be miserable, I may find that my unhappiness does not lie in my environment or situation. However, I’ll never know if I don’t try something new.

Nobody tells you how scary freedom is when you’re constantly battling for it. Nobody tells you how you won’t know what to do once you have it.

Eloragh

Why I Hate Uber Eats

Like many college students, interns, and busy people in general, every once in a while I get worn down and don’t have the time to cook something. I usually turn to leftovers or something quick in my pantry, but sometimes I turn to much eviler forces – Uber Eats.

I’m incredibly guilty of relying on Uber Eats at the time, which is truly a sin in my book. Not only is it horribly expensive, but the food is never good. I cannot tell you one time that I ordered Uber Eats and felt satisfied with what I got. This last time, I ordered a vegetable stir fry that was a whopping $15.00 and it was mediocre at best. I knew I could have just as easily gone to the store and spent $15.00 on vegetables that would have made me a better stir fry that could have lasted all week.

We all fall victim to feeling stressed or busy. However, on the days when we aren’t stressed or busy, we should prepare for the days when we will be. Prep food, do your laundry, clean your apartment, use your extra time to get little, easy things done so you won’t fall into the trap of Uber Eats or Postmates. The reality of delivery or convenience options is that you pay horrible markups for horrible food.

Since my last disappointment with the app and it’s deliveries, I have deleted the app. It’s too tempting and too easy to open it and scroll through all of the options. The glamour of the food in promotional photos sucks you in and, before you know it, you’ve ordered $15.00 of vegetables in a bland basil sauce. Don’t even give yourself the option. Delete it and plan ahead next time.

Eloragh

Exhaustion

Whenever I find myself in a situation where I am consistently unhappy, the first thing my mother will ask me is “have you been going to ballet?”

It’s a funny question to ask a distraught college student, but for me it makes all the difference. Ballet exhausts me, but in a good way. It’s the kind of exhaustion that feels earned and valuable. That kind of tired feet, aching back, prideful smile exhaustion. Sure, it still hurts, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.

I went back to ballet tonight after an unintentionally long break. I wanted to go back last week but ended up catching a pretty miserable cold that triggered another problem and extended the illness. In a nutshell, going to ballet would have been a bad idea.

Tonight I am exhausted. It feels amazing. I feel rejuvenated, my boyfriend thinks I’m happier, and I can’t wait for my head to hit my pillow.

Eloragh

Fake it ’till You Make it

There is some value to the old saying of “fake it ’till you make it.” I’ve taken this saying into serious account for some of the projects I’ve taken on. It works, for me at least, but it works in a concerning matter. You can truly fake your way to mastery of a specific skill or task, but you will be incredibly nervous until you realize that you actually figured out how to solve your problems.

That’s the flaw in this approach. I totally faked my way into believing I had my shit together today when I filed two insurance claims from my last medical expense. I have absolutely no clue if I filled out those forms correctly nor do I have any idea if the insurance company would tell me if I didn’t. I just did my best, tried not to get overwhelmed, and sent them as soon as I could to make sure I had time to fix any issues that might come up.

I guess that’s the thing about being an adult – you have to make a mistake every now and then to understand something. Not every solution or rule is written in black and white. The world is a tricky place – most of the time unintentionally, but nonetheless – and there is no manual for navigating the issues you’ll face. I could have been paralyzed with confusion, left the forms alone, and forgot to file them until after the period of claim was over. Money is a fantastic motivator though.

If faking your expertise or experience works for you, go for it. However, I would never encourage someone at my age to feel as though they need expertise at absolutely anything. At 18 years old, I still don’t have the expertise on how to ask my bank for a box of checks or how to advocate for my own care in a hospital. Things that seem simple become incredibly complex when you’re alone and sick or scared or worried that you’ll mess up. Don’t fake it, just don’t freak out either.

Eloragh