I hope you’re all having a stellar week so far. Mine has actually been rather low key, which, if you know me in real life, this is typically far from my M.O. To be honest, while it feels completely out of my element and I keep having moments of “I must be missing something” or “what did I forget to do”, it’s been very much welcomed.
I’m not the person who is “good” at enjoying a mellow day, relaxing, spending ample hours at home with nothing on my to-do list. I’m go go go, always looking ahead at the next thing on my agenda or preparing myself for something. I’ve purposefully avoided many lull moments out of fear of not being able to handle them. For me, sitting around all day with nothing to do is EXTREMELY stressful. My brain just bounces around, thinking it needs to be doing something when in reality I’d like it to just shut up. I feel edgy, antsy, uncertain. I try to find things to do, but then realize that nothing actually needs to be done, I’m caught up, everything is under control. It’s weird.
It’s a good change of pace for myself, and it surely is testing me in ways I’m not used to. I’ve been almost craving some mellow time for a while even though I knew it would make me angsty. I think I knew the benefits would outweigh potential risks and as a psych person I’m all about that risk benefit analysis. Insert nerd emoji.
What do I mean by the benefits outweighing the risks as they pertain to me giving myself and my brain some time to simply chill? I’m becoming quite a fan of challenging myself these days, but not in ways I’m used to or even comfortable with for that matter. For me, physically challenging myself is normal. Taking an extra class or taking on another project is normal. Working multiple jobs during school is normal. Saying yes is normal. Opting out of sleep for the sake of having higher productivity and work completion or waking up at 3am to hike is normal. I’m good with these forms of challenge. But, challenging myself to take a step back and allow my being a break is not a normal form of challenge – which is exactly why I’m doing it.
Historically when I’ve taking a “break”, it was faaaaaaar from what most of society would consider a break. And, you know what, that’s okay. It worked for me. That said, I’m at a place in my life where I want to keep testing my comfort zones because many of them have been set in place as protective measures and I realize that for personal development and self-growth to occur, I need to explore these boundary zones if you will.
For a while now I’ve felt this internal nudge to just do something radical in my life. Something different than my usual M.O. Now, I’m not calling a mellow weekend and half of a week radical, but it’s a beginning. Progress is a process my friends, and the journey is often what counts the most. For the time being, I’m testing a lot of my current life, trying to find my edges and sharp spots… the things which make me push back and crawl into the safety of things which I have defined to be okay.
In a way, I’m letting go of the power that I’ve felt I needed to have for so long. I’m letting go of the control, or trying to. I’m a work in progress as we all are – constantly evolving and figuring out where I’m headed. In a bizarre way, it’s actually super cool. I feel like I have a better grasp on things right now even though I feel rather uneasy about a handful of life things. Almost as if by letting go, I’m giving myself permission to go and do whatever makes my soul happy versus what makes my ego and comfort zone happy.
So, what I have been up to since Friday (when this entire fiasco began): ample mental journaling and buying a new notebook because I want to start writing my thoughts down again and see where it takes me, two trail runs, a walk around a local park (which I opted to do instead of my pre-planned bike… *pats self on shoulder*), skipped class to sleep (don’t worry I have a 98 the world won’t end), listened to a handful of personal development podcasts, worked a chunk of hours with a space-heater next to me the entire time (hello winter in New Hampshire), posted things on Poshmark because minimizing, taken a handful of naps, and have tried to give my brain space to process some big decisions.
And you know what, I haven’t spontaneously combusted… yet 😉
“If you want your life to be a magnificent story Then begin by realizing that you are the author…” ― Mark Houlahan