It's 6:14 PM central time, I just woke from a half-an-hour nap, and everything I write in this post will probably be shit. And that's okay. My roommate and our dog are lying on my bed, one typing and the other sleeping, and it's just slightly too cold in the room. I've been mentally kicking myself in the butt since yesterday to get this post started, but writer's block, laziness, school stress, and even our resident friendly ghost, Kevin, seem to be pulling at my strings.
A "no-pressure" lifestyle is really hard to stick to.
A few months ago I wrote about how after this last crazy spring semester, I was pulling back and taking a more relaxed attitude about the future, which includes taking some time away from academia after completing my master's degree to just work and rest my brain. But every day since writing those words, it's been a constant battle between what I want to do, what my body is telling me to do, what my mind is tricking me into doing, and what society expects me to do. More than anything, I can't seem to break bad habits, such as taking on too much work at once or not being able to say "no" when someone asks for something. It's been hard resisting the urge to apply to doctoral programs and even harder not to plan too far in-advance and just take every day as they come. I've already failed in some ways regarding this but I'm trying not to beat myself up too bad. I usually just nurse personal wounds and failure with a good video game. Self-therapy at it's best.
I think of my dad a lot these days. An incredibly intelligent and disciplined individual, my dad has adopted a "no-stress" mindset. My role model in almost every sense, I've struggled to rationalize how different we are in this way and that we can't share this mindset despite my trying to take up something similar. Rationally, I can argue that after decades of working as well as being a veteran, taking an easy, stress free approach on life seems only fitting for my soon-to-be-retired dad. He deserves it.
I haven't earned that privilege at 23.
The irrational part of my mind, the unsettling anxiety that cripples me in the day and shouts at me during the night, tells me that I'll never do enough to earn the right to relax, that life isn't easy and I shouldn't want it to be, and that I need to work hard for everything I get lest someone get it before me.
It's so tiring.
So I'm keeping it simple and am trying to tackle goals that will make life simpler in the long-run. Here's the list:
Crystal's "super possible" to-dos for now:
Get a teaching job post grad school
Pay off school loans ASAP
Spend time with family
Travel with besties
No pressure, right?
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Some pictures of me and some of the places I've seen! I'm not a professional photographer so don't expect anything grandiose!