I'm here- I'm still alive!
So I'm sure you're wondering, "Where did you go? Why did you stop writing? I missed you!"
I've missed you SO much too and I'm ecstatic to have the bandwidth to come back to writing! These past couple of months have been EXTREMELY challenging, which caused me to retreat inward and go into a ~healthier~ version of the survive mode I'm used to having to run on.
As a teacher, pretty much the whole fourth quarter is a whirlwind- between testing coming up and the kids coming back from Spring Break with only summer on their brains, it's extremely hard to keep the motivation alive when all you want is for testing to be over and to be laying on a beach somewhere with some peace & quiet.
I can't lie and say I have a ton of tips for times like these because I navigated it so well because the reality of the situation is that I wasn't the best navigator- I was just getting by. I allowed my mindset to turn on me and shift anything I enjoyed- teaching chorus after school, social gatherings, bringing wellness content to my community- into a chore.
I started resenting taking the time to work on anything that I wanted to work on because I felt like my time could be used better elsewhere, but the question I've had to start asking myself recently is "where? Where could this time possibly be better spent if it's not in pursuit of the things that bring you joy?"
And that, my friend, is the North Star above the seas of change I'm currently navigating. As a 24 year old who graduated college in the depths of the pandemic, I feel like I lost the ability I gathered towards the end of my college career to follow my passions on the day to day instead of drive headfirst into a brick wall of burnout by going too hard on the things I was "expected" to do.
Let me back up a little bit...
When I was a kid, I developed this little thing you may know about called "perfectionism." My perfectionism was concentrated in the world of academics. I always wanted to be top of the class and the smartest person in the room because I firmly believe "knowledge is powerful" and I wanted as much power as I could gather.
This was all fine until high school came to a close. Now I actually had to start making decisions on what I wanted to do in life and I had been so lasered in on success in my academics that I forget to do one really important thing- explore how interested I was in each subject and think about how I could make a career out of what I really enjoyed. Don't get me wrong- I'm a firm mathlete with math, especially algebra, being my favorite. But I had literally no idea what I enjoyed so much that I could go get a degree and make a career out of it.
So what's a girl to do when she's going off to college with little knowledge of what she may want to do and the impending doom that the decision she's going to make is going to change her life? Listen to everyone around her of course! I looked into different degree types that others thought would be good for me and had a tumultuous first year as I struggled to find something I enjoyed. Eventually, I settled on a B.S.B.A. in Marketing because I would get the education I needed to be the businesswoman I desired to be.
Thankfully, out of this first year experience, I was able to start listening to myself a little more and fill my time with things I enjoyed- from going to fitness classes and baking to adding a second degree to my coursework simply because I was fascinated by the subject area (#PsychologyNerdForLife!). By my Senior Spring, I felt like I was finally starting to come into my own person (which had only taken 21 years...)!
Unfortunately, my Senior Spring happened in 2020, and we all know what happened that March...
COVID and the deaths of family members I experienced in 2021 left me a whole new person- some for the better and some for the worse. This time altered my priorities greatly and reminded me that every moment is precious. However, I feel like it took away my ability to look forward and make long-term decisions on who I want to be without anyone else on my mind.
And this is where my struggle sits today. I feel like there are an abundance of opportunities in this beautiful world that I'd love to pursue, either through my career, hobbies, relationships, etc. However, with all these ideas comes the stress of pursuing them and feeling like certain opportunities aren't "good enough" (because, ya know, perfectionism 💁🏻) though they're something I enjoy while others lean more into what I'm "expected to do" rather than what I enjoy. My methods of thinking have been like gunk on my cognitive wheels- slowing my ability to make decisions until it's pretty much reached a stop.
Over the next couple of months, especially as I enjoy my summer (the biggest perk of being a teacher 🙌🏻), I'll be taking the time to remove the cognitive gunk from my wheels and tap into who I am and what I truly want to do... for the next couple of years at least 💁🏻
One resource that's been super helpful in this process thus far has been my Joyful Journaling course. Now I know what you're thinking- "Is she really taking her own course?? Why would she take her own course?!" The answer is yes, of course I am, because I truly believe in what I've crafted here!
I remember putting these prompts together & making these videos almost a year ago today and thinking, "If I could just help one person, it'd be enough." I never fathomed that in that moment, the person I'd be helping is me... But hey- that's life for you!
If you're in need of some guidance in your journey because you're feeling lost, stuck, and just plain tired of the situation you're in, I want to help you! Use code WELCOMEBACK at checkout for 50% off my Joyful Journaling Course.
Overall, I'm not sure where I'll end up and when I'll figure that out- whether it's at the end of my 30 day journaling journey or 3 years from now. It's a scary yet exciting time to say the least. However, what I do know is this: Change is coming for me for the better- whether it's to teach me a hard-earned lesson or a reward for my hard work- and I will be moving towards my most-aligned self.
Thank you to everyone who has been on this journey with me- whether it's your first time here or you've been following since the beginning. I hope in sharing this journey with you, you grow towards your most-aligned self along with me 💛