How are you?
A few months ago, I would have said ‘good’ through an unintentionally tense jaw, as I dealt with a constant headache, several deadlines, and a very imbalanced work-life balance.
I’ve said before, but it’s worth repeating, that this is the first time in my life that I really, truly feel at peace. I’m not trying to get into a good college (already did that), I’m not stressed about applications for this opportunity or that program (checked those off the to-do list a few months ago), and I’m not in the throes of pre-teen rebellion (yes, I rebelled early, and trust me, those were definitely not peaceful years 🙂 ).
Right now, I’m figuring out what kind of life I want to live, but I’m doing it at a ‘rest point’, and I have breathing space. All I have to do right now is focus on my current activities, and that means that I’ve got plenty of time to figure out what I like.
Because, you see, I became so stressed over the last couple of years, and so focused on reaching goal after goal after goal, that I forgot what I even wanted to do. It’s such a cliche, but I tied my sense of self with my accomplishments, and once I reached my goals, I temporarily lost my identity. It was disorientating, having to rediscover what I do for others, versus what I genuinely enjoy.
Do I actually like going out with friends, or do I go to prove that I’m not a stereotypical awkward introvert? Do I really enjoy eating out every night, or am I trying to show off how cultured and hip I am?
Honestly, I’m both surprised and comforted by what I’ve discovered.
Some things about my personality and aesthetic have remained constant throughout my entire life. My favourite colour is still blue, I remain stubbornly infatuated with fractured fairy tales, and I still fall in love with every dog I see.
Other things, though, have changed – or, perhaps, my perception has been altered. I used to think that I hated large social gatherings, but now at university, I am constantly hanging out with people I care about, and that quality time leaves me happy, rather than feeling drained. I thought I hated exercise, but turns out I really enjoy physical activity that involves learning a new skill, like rock-climbing or boxing. I honestly believed that I loved eating out, but I actually prefer cooking my own meals.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that some things never change, and some things constantly evolve, and all of that is totally and completely wonderful. I’m figuring out who I am, even as my sense of self changes, and I’m really happy that I have this moment of peace. Life is good, and I am waking up with an easy heart every morning.
How am I?
I’m grateful and thriving. It’s a strange phrase, but it’s the most truthful statement I can make.