Happy Slump Day!
Greetings from the second week of second semester on what most would call “hump day” but for me is more of a “slump day”! Maybe it’s just me, but I’m having major back to school, back to reality, back to real life blues right now. I thought I had set myself up with a fantastic schedule by having all my classes fall on Mondays and Thursdays with just one quick class on Wednesdays. In other words, I managed to leave my Tuesdays and Fridays completely free. I’ve never been able to have all my classes line up in a way that allowed me days off during the week, so I was beyond excited to finally experience the “joys” of having a more open schedule. Unfortunately, that’s not how it’s turning out. I don’t feel any joy in this situation whatsoever.
I’m sure when the semester starts to pick up and I have tons of work to do it will be nice to have two days off to focus on whatever work needs to be done. But as of now, all this extra freedom has done is make me feel lazy, purposeless, and pathetic. I woke up yesterday for my first Tuesday all to myself thinking it would be amazing and productive and enjoyable not to have any obligations. And at first, it was! I optimistically set an alarm for a reasonable hour, about 9 a.m., which is pretty late to most people but it was my day off so I knew it would be unrealistic to expect myself to wake up at the crack of dawn. But even 9 o’clock felt like a stretch when it finally rolled around. Having no obligations makes it far too easy to hit “stop” instead of “snooze” and to roll over and sleep until my body naturally decided it was time to start the day.
When I finally got out of bed, probably closer to 10, I didn’t really know what to do with myself. The only concrete goal I had set for the day was to get a workout in, which I did eventually, but other than that, I was lost in the excessive free time that I wasn’t quite prepared for. I spent pretty much the entire day watching YouTube videos, which is my guilty pleasure and something I could, and did, spend hours doing. I am so painfully aware of what a mindless way that is to fill the precious hours of my day, and yet I could not find the motivation to go do something more intellectually stimulating like reading a book or at the very least switching my YouTube binge watching over to Ted Talks instead of videos about random people’s lives. The only thing I really accomplished in my whole day off was doing a 45 minute workout followed by a refreshing shower, which was great and made me feel semi-good about myself, but certainly didn’t make up for the hours I wasted online. Curse the invention of the Internet! I would be much smarter and more well-read if I didn’t have access to all the mindless entertainment in the entire universe right at my fingertips.
Well, I suppose that’s where motivation comes in. To be honest, I had a total existential crisis/mental breakdown/overall what the heck am I doing with my life freakout last night and the tears were bountiful. If there’s one thing I can do, it is cry. Oh, I can cry and cry until you think there’s no possible way there is anything left in me to cry, which is when I will astonish by crying some more. There is no shortage of tears in this body. Perhaps that is my greatest talent? I’m not saying this for pity, but rather to say that the cry was therapeutic, as cries always are. I am a firm believer that a good cry is sometimes just what humans need to get whatever emotions they are feeling out of their system so they can start moving on. Sometimes many cries in one week is necessary too, because at the end of the weird funk you’re going through, it always feels good to have released some of that energy in a very physical and real way.
After having a whole day of doing essentially nothing, I felt as purposeless and directionless as ever. It’s hard being in this phase of life where school is your life but graduation is slowly creeping nearer and you don’t really know what your life is going to be like in a short 365 days. I really don’t like it. I feel like I’m in this uncomfortable half-phase where I should be stepping out into more “real world” jobs and activities, yet I’m still a student trying to get all my credits done and enjoy student life while I still can. Clearly, the in between doesn’t sit so well with me. I want to be in or out; I can’t be both. For me, the hardest part of all of this is the lack of a goal at the end of it all. I have no idea what I want to do after graduation. I am so terrified of starting a new job where I’m expected to actually apply knowledge and skills that I may not actually have. And I’m even more terrified of ending up in some comfortable job that doesn’t make me happy and being too afraid to leave and try again. I’m also afraid of just being normal. I’ve always had so many big dreams and ideas that I’ve just half-assedly (is that a word? It is now) considered and jotted down in a never ending note on my phone of possible career paths and company ideas that might never happen. And that in itself is freaky. Can you imagine being on your deathbed thinking, ‘damn, I really never did all those things I said I was going to do.’ Well shoot me in the head and call me Nancy, if I never do any of the things I said I wanted to do, then… what the heck man! I would really be disappointed in myself and would wish I hadn’t been so lame and insecure my whole life.
As I talked about this last night with Michael who, bless his soul, just held my hand and reassured me as I bawled my eyes out, I realized another hard part about this whole “growing up and becoming a real person” thing is that I’m a woman who wants to have babies. The problem here is the woman part. Not actually- I love being a woman and I think it’s an amazing and miraculous privilege to be the vehicle for new life to enter the world- but it’s also the part about having to be the vehicle that stresses me out. It’s common knowledge that the the risks of pregnancy and complications with the babies’ health gets higher the older we get, so if I want to have a lot of children, which I do, I can’t wait until I’m 35 to have my first one. And I don’t want to, either. I would love to be relatively young (by relatively young I mean late 20s) when I have my first kid, especially if I plan to pop out a few more after that. (Talking about this makes me uncomfortable because I am SO far away from actually being ready to be a mom, but just gotta consider these factors when thinking about my future). So doing the math, if I graduate when I’m just three months shy of 24 (holy scheiße that’s old I swear I just turned 20), that only gives me like four or five years to a) pay off my mountain of student debt and b) start a career for myself that pays well and fulfills me and gives me a sense of purpose and joy, which I guess is what fulfillment means. Obviously having kids doesn’t mean my life is over and that I’ll never get to do anything career-wise ever again, but it does put a weird little dent in my life. And also making money is pretty important when it comes to surviving in this world, especially with the added financial burden of creating offspring.
So you can see I have thought about this a lot. Too much, maybe, but I am a Pisces and being an overthinking and oversensitive being is what I do best. Just blame it on my star sign. I didn’t ask to be born such a sensitive and anxious soul! The whole point of this ramble is to say that I am In A Slump. A big heckin’ slump that I can’t see over or around and I can’t go under it and I can’t go through it. Is this what those kids songs were really preparing us for all these years? The “Bear Hunt” is actually a metaphor for navigating life and sometimes you come across things that you can’t go under, can’t go around, can’t go over, but maybe you can go through it? Turns out they’ve been preparing us for adulthood before we could even understand it. Also, I’m an English major and am far too experienced with overanalyzing things to death and determining that there are hidden meanings in everything, so I’m just reading too much into it because after nearly four years of dissecting the crap out of every word in every book and every poem known to mankind that’s the only way I know how to use my brain. (Jk, I wish I had read every book and every poem ever written but instead I’ll just be watching YouTube all day losing brain cells and doing nothing with my life.)