The Allie Way – When the world seems to suck you in…

Hello! First of all I want to apologize for being absent for so many weeks. As usual, life feels “crazier than ever,” and I feel like I’ve been sucked into some kind of time portal since entering grad school, where I always seem to have too much to do and no time to do it in! But I have heard that this is very common in graduate school. Balancing work, school and my extracurricular activities is no easy task. Not to mention I have absolutely no social life whatsoever. The only people I ever see are my classmates and my co-workers. I will probably be posting individual blogs about my work and the subsection of an organization I am trying to put together, but for now I will just discuss the balancing act of my life.

I have a tendency to slip into a “bad place” when things go wrong. But this is something that I have been working on a LOT over the past several years, and I have actually improved dramatically. And when I describe my life to some people, they begin to worry, thinking that it sounds unhappy. But my situation isn’t unhappy. Sure, I’ve been happier. And yes I am completely busy. And to be honest, I do not feel like anything that I am doing is currently very rewarding in any kind of emotional sense.

But there are two components that are keeping me from slipping. One is that I am simply too busy to slip. Every now and then I will get this feeling like I just want to completely shut down and curl up in a ball. But I quickly remind myself how unproductive that would be, and I know that dealing with the aftermath of shutting down like that would be worse than what I’m currently dealing with. The other component is keeping myself future-oriented.

Right now, what do I have going for me, on a daily basis? Ehh… not a whole lot. Not to say I’m not working towards things, because I definitely am. But I’m not doing things on a daily basis that make me happy or that, quite frankly, are making a difference to anybody. BUT I know that I’ve gotten the “pointlessness woes” before, and they always pass eventually. Something will come along—maybe a friend or a project—who will make my short-term feel more important. But regardless of whether that happens or when it happens, I am definitely doing things that are important for my future. My job brings me a great deal of anxiety (more than school does, actually) for various reasons, but I am making money which will help me pay off my debts in a few years. True, I’m working minimum wage and get no benefits, but that’s a different story. The point is, I’m still earning something. And school… I’m building knowledge and experience that will help me get my counseling license. And in even shorter term, it will help me get internships in the fall—something I’m excited for. And trying to organize mental health panels on campus is going slower than I had hoped and expected (partially due to my busy schedule), but I am making little baby steps with that too. And all of these things will be worth it in the end. All of these things have potential to make my future really special and worth everything I am currently enduring.

Yes, there are times I get down. But positive thoughts really make a difference. What helps you when finding a “point to it all” seems difficult? How do you get through times like these? I’d love to hear some of your techniques and helpful hints.

Good luck to everyone who is feeling swamped and overwhelmed. All your struggling WILL be worth it someday! :)

Allie

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