Hey guys! Sorry (once more) for the hiatus. Grad school is crazy busy. Plus, on top of that I was having some personal situations. Nevertheless, I am back. I usually like to post on odd-numbered days but seeing how busy I am, I have decided to try to post once a week. I can’t make any promises I won’t disappear again, but I’ll try my best.
Life has a funny way of coming together. We are born, we grow up and we die. But what happens between those lines? Well, life of course. However, we spend so much time trying to make life happen that we forget to stop and listen, to observe. More than that we forget to feel. We forget to take the time to actually laugh, to scream, to cry; and all these feelings just get bottled up. Much like Freud’s theory of the unconscious, these feeling will inevitably explode out of us. And a rainbow of anger, pain, and tears flows through us and out of us.
A couple of weeks back, in one of my classes; we were sharing creative responses to a peer’s past artwork. The process in itself became an emotional exercise because it touched upon the idea of being seen and heard by others. More than that, through the artistic response of others we were able to see ourselves and see how others saw us. In itself it was a beautiful thing to experience. However, as a classmate was sharing about a personal experience she had and how that responded to her peer’s artwork another classmate broke down. The topic being discussed touched upon a situation she had not been able to overcome and thus, had such an emotional and violent reaction to the topic. After her emotional overflow and her passionate explanation she apologized for her feelings and her behavior.
She was not prepared for what was going to take over her heart. She was not aware she harbored so many feelings for that topic. She however, admitted to not wanting to deal with the situation. She realized that it had happened in the past but she did not, or could not, handle it then. Since then she carried it and quietly fed it, without noticing; until that one day she let it all out.
Her situation made me realize how we slowly destroy ourselves. We place unrealistic expectations and pressures upon ourselves and expect us to take that beating day after day. It is one thing to have the outside world do this to us, but when we do it to ourselves it’s just plain destructive. We have to realize that we are not perfect, we are not robots and we can’t control everything. Bad things will happen to us, with or without reason; however it is up to us, in our due time, to work through it. The key is to realize that it did happen, and that we need to take time out to work it out. We can’t expect that bad feelings or situations to go away; it doesn’t work that way. We can’t expect that we can turn on and off our emotions when necessary. We have to realize that the more air we blow into a balloon the faster it will pop. We have to know when to let that air out, even if it’s little by little. It has to be a process which we have to work on. We have to realize that we NEED to take time out for ourselves. We have to realize that if we don’t take care of ourselves no one else is going to do it.
“But Wanda! I have so much work to do!”. Hey reader, I hear ya. Grad school is a crazy train fuelled by Redbull and kids with ADHD. In the real world there is no time to step back and enjoy the sun or the sound of the wind; but that’s where you come in. You as a person need to make a conscious decision to take care of yourself. You need to accept the fact that you are human and that you will burn out. And that it’s your job to take that day off, or go and take that sunset walk, or just sit underneath the Autumny tree. You have to make time to take time out. Care for yourself. Love every inch of who you are and what you are. Take that bubble bath, ain’t nobody gonna judge you. Eat that pizza, your mind will thank you. Know that there is enough time in a day for you to breathe, to scream and to cry.
It’s a process to know when to stop and when to make time. So it’s okay to break down every once in a while. You’ll get the hang of taking care of yourself as you slowly work towards it. In the mean time, if you find yourself crying or losing it, it’s okay, let it out. Don’t apologize for who you are. Don’t you dare say you’re sorry because you’re crying in front of a class. You’re human and you have a right to your feelings. Yes, crying in front of people will make them uncomfortable. And no, you won’t know who will react in a helpful way and who will simply walk away. Just know that you never have to apologize for feeling bad or for crying. You are human, you are imperfect and that is just fine.
Reader, care for yourself. Know your strengths. Know your limits. Don’t ever apologize for what you’re feeling (unless it’s irrational anger). Just remember to take time to work on your mind, your body and your soul. There is enough time in a day and there is space for you to do all these things and much more.