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I’ve found it’s often when I’m most tired that I’m also most proud of myself.  I have 800 medical issues, I work full time, and I’m trying to get published, prepare for graduate school, and keep a good household going.  Last night, after work, I managed to do some errands, come home, walk the dog, make dinner, do four loads of laundry, do some basic cleaning up, and work out…and still read a chunk of the books I’m currently tearing through.

Now that is something.  I feel much more proud of and impressed with myself than when I used to spend all my free time bumming around on the computer.  And you know…after the first little while, I stopped missing it that much.  For the most part I can’t even tell you what I used to do other than surf around aimlessly and check the same websites repeatedly.  That’s not really something to miss…and I’m doing more worthwhile things now, for the most part.

I was mentioning to Gee, the last time he said that the worst part of working out is how long it takes, that I totally agree….however.  However, during that hour I spend doing that every other night, what else would I be doing?  Usually staring at my computer screen, passing the time.  Maybe it would be entertaining then, but in the long run, I’m going to be happier I devoted those three or four hours a week to improving my body than I am going to be about having stared at the computer a little longer.  In general, that won’t stick with me or give my anything that makes me happy long-term.

I’m out of college.  I spend all day at my job being online.  It’s well worth it to not spend every second of my free time on there too.  After all, the things that really matter are the work and interpersonal time and experiences that will make you happy for the longest time.  That you’ll remember and value and be proud of down the line.

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Thank you, Herman Hesse, you say it perfectly.

The most important thing is getting your own life and self in shape.  Everything else should come second until you’re secure enough in that to move on to the next thing.

Last night I was talking with Retro about how we don’t always have as much fun as everyone else–we are more likely to give it up for responsibility, thinking ahead, etc.  She was feeling kind of down and frustrated by this.  But you know…it’s better than too much fun without enough responsibility.  In the end, what that gets you is a life where you’re miserable, broke, directionless, and stuck because you didn’t plan for your situation.  And that?  That is NOT fun.  It doesn’t matter how great the time when you weren’t caring was, you fuck yourself in the end.

I have fun.  Maybe not constantly, but I do.  And it doesn’t come at such a steep price.  Thanks, I’ll take that route.  And I’ll take being proud of what I’ve taken the time and work to accomplish.

If something is really important, you do whatever it takes to achieve it, no matter how hard, exhausting, or uncomfortable it is.  If you don’t, you’re basically saying it wasn’t really that important to start with.  Or at least, it wasn’t as important as avoiding the hardness, exhaustion, or discomfort.  You can’t say something is incredibly important and then not do it and expect people to believe you actually cared.

So you do what it takes–writing yourself notes or encouragement, rewarding yourself, reminding yourself WHY it’s more important than giving up, bulling on forward.

On another note, explicitly thinking about the positives of something instead of the negatives has a huge impact on your life and attitude.

A few things I’ve been thinking about lately:

1. Do whatever you want in life, and be whoever you want.  But whatever you choose, no matter what it is, do it/be it WELL.  That’s the most important part.

2. If you’re going to wait for someone or something, you better be damn well sure it’s worth it.  At least that it’s more worth waiting for than it is to try something else.

3. Your expectations can never be too high.  You deserve to be happy, no matter what it takes.  It’s not worth settling for less.  A mixture of high expectations and realism is the thing most likely to give you that.

I am wondering how many times I can want to curl up and scream and die before I give up completely.  How many times will I feel like I’m bursting out of my skin in frustration before I can’t take it anymore?

Even more terrifying, what if I CAN take it forever, and so I just…do?  Forever.  Until the end of my life.  What if nothing changes and I just TAKE IT my whole life?

Whatever that scary thing is that you are dreading, that you have convinced yourself you can’t do, or that you feel like is the end of the world; whatever that thing is that you know will be hard, uncomfortable, or exhausting–

YOU WILL GET THROUGH IT.  YOU CAN DO IT.

Go ahead.  Take a deep breath, square your shoulders, and remind yourself that there will be a time when it’s over, whether that’s five minutes from now, or a week, or a year.  No matter when it is, it will come!  You will make it!  And it will probably not be as horrific as you think it will be to get there.  So don’t give up.  Push ahead full force.  You can make it through.

THERE WILL BE A TIME WHEN IT’S OVER, YOU JUST HAVE TO KEEP GOING TO GET THERE.

“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.” —F. Scott Fitzgerald

There’s a reason these people are famous authors and I am not–they say exactly what I wish to, but concisely and movingly.  Regardless of who says it, though…that is precisely what I believe in. Take truth, regardless of source, and use it.  You choose and construct your life and personality.

Offering to help and agreeing to help may start differently, but I fully believe they should be attended to and end in the same way–with vigor, wholeheartedly, and cheerfully.  It’s helping another human.  What more noble cause is there?

I got my rock moves

Today at work started out frustrating, but has become really excellent.  It sounds so trivial just written out, but I made things happen how they needed to.  Mostly, I still feel like since I’m twenty two, barely out of my undergraduate career, and not getting into graduate schools, that all the “real adults” around me must know better.  That if there’s an error, it’s probably mine, and that there’s little incentive for them to listen to me.

Occasionally, I realize that’s not how it is.  Sometimes I catch the errors and correct them, sometimes my obsessive planning is more accurate, and sometimes if I speak up and talk to the right people, things happen.  I can influence the world when I try.  I have the authority to make people listen when what I say is important.  Of course, that’s not always the case, but it feels so good that it sometimes is.  It feels better that I managed this when my body feels like it’s gnawing itself apart from the inside.  Take that, crappy genetics.  I am beating you.  And take that, personal feelings of inferiority and fears of failure.  I am beating you also.

Additionally, my boss is going to talk to a friend professor in the clinical program at another university and see if he’d still take a graduate student, or even just a lab manager next year.  It’s amazing to me that she’s doing this for me.  I hope it does.  The city and surrounding areas seem fantastic, not to mention the program.

 

There’s a blog on To Write Love on Her Arms today.  It’s about Valentine’s Day, of course–or at least, ostensibly.  Really, it’s about finding self-worth outside of love and relationships.  I highly recommend it.  It can be found here.

My favorite bit is, “i’ve been thinking lately that maybe i’ve confused a girl for God, a different one every year or two, since the first day of junior high. And man, that is a lot of pressure to put on someone, to make them God. That is a ton of power to hand someone. Especially when they’re just a person. A person with questions and flaws and pain of their own.

So maybe there’s a war, inside of me and for me and maybe my heart is the opposite of small. Maybe it’s the opposite of cheap and empty and alone. Maybe it’s sacred and enormous and wild.”

I just think that is so gorgeous.  Yes.  We do that.  When we love someone, we see them as perfect, at least for awhile, and when that facade starts to crumble, we desperately try to make it real again.  We get disappointed.  We see our own pain and fear and uncertainty so much more clearly than that of others, but it’s there in everyone.  We’re all just trying to get by.

But no matter what, people are not useless, not worthless, and not all-powerful, either.  They’re beautiful, complex, and important in their own right.  They’re stupid, but they also each have their wisdom, and thus are worth listening to.  Worth trying for.

I was going to write about how much I hate this holiday with its cheap idea of love and devotion, but instead, now, I’m thinking about the value of people.  I think this is better.  I think I’ll try to do more to earn respect and love, and to give back to the world, instead of waiting for it to give to me.