regrets

regret (noun): a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.

This past week I have been stuck in the past. I haven’t truly realized it until now, but that’s exactly what it’s been. I’ve been overwhelmed with depressing emotions: sadness, fear, anxiety, and, most of all, regret. This overwhelming feeling of regret was what was really getting to me. I have never really regretted things before, and I had no idea what to do with this new emotion. 

Let me give you some context. I’m still waiting to hear back from graduate schools. I cannot plan any part of my future when I don’t know if/when/where I’ll be starting school again. “Where am I going to live?” “Where am I going to work?” “How often am I going to be able to visit home?” “How am I going to move all of my stuff?” I absolutely CANNOT do anything to answer any of these questions and it has been driving me absolutely INSANE.

In a desperation to know something concrete, I started looking toward my past. (Easy to do when pouring over transcripts and finishing the last of my applications.) “What if I hadn’t taken those classes together?” “If I hadn’t crammed them in, I would have done better in them…then maybe I’d already be in grad school.” “Maybe I should have gotten rid of the extra distractions.” “What if I had slowed down and spread out my classes over three years instead of finishing in three?” Maybe then I would have been able to go right in to grad school instead of spending a year at home.” The “What if’s?” and the “Maybe I shouldn’t have’s…” have been NEVER ENDING and it really has been taking a toll on me. 

I was talking to a friend one night earlier this week and finally just asked; I had to know what someone else thought about regrets. He said, “If you regret the past, then you regret yourself because the past is what makes you who you are.” I didn’t like the way he said it at the time; it was like he was pointing out every single flaw that I have in one simple statement. That one simple statement instantly built up all my walls and put me on the defense. I couldn’t believe that someone I care so much about could so easily tear me down like that. Obviously, I overreacted. But, really, he’s pretty smart and I’ve come to agree with what he said. 

I am generally a happy person. I worked really hard to finish college in three years. I could have done it differently, but I learned a lot from doing it the way that I did. I love working as a physical therapy aide, and feel that spending more time in the clinic is something that I definitely needed to experience; I feel more prepared for school. And, even though I never thought I’d admit this, I usually love living at home. I’ve become close with my family and it is nice to have a home to go to at the end of the day, and not just a small apartment. 

I felt singled out when he said that the other night and as if the spotlight was on my flaws, and to say that admits that I do have them. I do. I’m not perfect, hard as that is to admit. I am flawed. Past relationships and experiences have truly made me the person that I am today. I don’t trust easily. I second guess things. I am my own worst critic. I often apologize too frequently and for things that I didn’t actually do. I overreact. But instead of focusing on those flaws, I am going to focus on the positive aspects that have come through my experiences and shaped me. Once I do trust someone, the bond and relationship that forms is wonderful. I work diligently and thoroughly on every task assigned to me to make sure that I have finished it to the best of my abilities. When I do realize something less than ideal about myself, I usually do my best to correct the situation. I am incredibly passionate about the people in my life that I care about.

I’m not yet where I want to be for the rest of my life, but I have come to be content with where I currently find myself. I cannot let myself be overwhelmed with things that are in the past and are out of my control. Earlier in the week I was watching The Big Bang Theory episode in which the guys acquire a time machine. I thought to myself, “Man, I’d love to have one of those.” Today, though, I can honestly say I wouldn’t. I have made mistakes, yes, and I sometimes kick myself for them. But I have learned from them, and that’s the important part, right?

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if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

AHHHHHHH!!!! (Can you tell I’m a little frustrated?)

First and foremost, I (usually) don’t have anything against technology. I am completely guilty of constantly being plugged in; sometimes I swear my phone is an extra limb. Occasionally, though, having to do EVERYTHING on the computer is beyond frustrating.

What am I doing? Grad school applications. So, no pressure or anything, but they have to be PERFECT. I’ve heard horror stories about students who think their apps are all submitted and ready to be reviewed and the application is never received!! Luckily, most of my applications have been through a SINGLE portal system. I put all of my information in, pay a ton of money, and then they take care of sending everything out. There’s even a safety net and schools that know I’m intending to send an application to them e-mail me to make sure that I remembered to send it! In the end, all I have to look for is a confirmation e-mail that my application was received.

BUT THERE IS ALWAYS ONE….

that HAS to be different! I didn’t mind when I submitted it as a paper copy. I LOVE KILLING TREES!! I would prefer to have the paper IN MY HANDS and deliver it to someone else’s. Then, there’s no technology “glitches”. If I mess up, IT’S ON ME! No big deal or anything, this is just my FUTURE we’re talking about. It’s not like the PAYCHECK that wasn’t deposited in to my account yesterday. That can be fixed; I knew to look for that. If this particular school doesn’t receive my application, they don’t know to be looking for it, and they probably DON’T EVEN CARE (except that they’ll be missing out on MONEY). 

I may sound like I’m an old fart, complaining about technology like this. But, in reality, I’m sitting here on my computer typing out my frustrations thanks to the same technology I’m complaining about. Irony at it’s finest.

 

well♡ loved, take 2

I have started this post four times now. I thought that sitting down and putting my thoughts out there would help me feel better… that it would make me organize my very scattered brain. It’s not working. So, I started going through old posts, hoping that something would inspire me, or at least something that would calm my frazzled nerves. That was a success.

Reading this old post has brought a sense of calm over me (and maybe a few tears to my eyes). Even if the feeling is only temporary, I know that I will always be well ♡ loved.

catch up!

The last time I posted was in April. Let’s rewind….

  • I finished up my spring semester at Mizzou (Yay!!). And one other small thing, I was on crutches (Boo!).
  • The first time I really spent any time walking was graduation weekend in May. I was in two ceremonies, and I walked across the stage both times. (Goal: Achieved!) I spent all summer fighting with my foot/ankle and trying to stay out of the sun (it’s a redhead thing). I took one more class over the summer and finished out the lease on my apartment.
  • A couple days before I moved home my five year relationship ended. Looking back, it wasn’t as shocking or world-ending as I thought it was in the moment. It was truly for the best.
  • And then I moved home…

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE living at home. There are so many advantages… it just has some challenges that I wasn’t expecting. There is never ever a dull moment around here. I couldn’t have said this a couple of months ago (and it’s really hard to say it now) but I am truly thankful to have a year “off” … but I don’t know that it’s really a year off when I’m doing now more than ever before. I work part time at a Physical Therapy clinic as an Aide (LOVE my job and my coworkers!!) … I volunteer once a week at Ride On St. Louis … I’m taking classes … I’m teaching Sunday School to the 2/3 year olds. Needless to say, I keep busy. But it’s a different kind of busy than when I was on my own in Columbia, and I’m learning different ways to (better?) manage my time.

I think that about catches you up… but that’s not what brought me back to writing to you, whoever you are, tonight. I’m here to try and make some sense of my thoughts. What’s stressing me out tonight is relationships.

I have been on the “Quotes” section of Pinterest the past few nights, usually until I can’t hold my eyes open anymore, with one person on my mind, trying to figure out how/what to feel. I realized tonight that I was approaching it the complete wrong way. I may be able to identify with some of the quotes that I am reading, but someone else’s words should not be defining what I feel.

Speaking of definitions… this is what Webster’s has to say on relationships: “a connection, association, or involvement.” Connection. That’s exactly it.

Rewind, again. I believe that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. I believe that there was a reason that I ran into that particular person that particular morning; there is a reason that our paths crossed.

There is a reason that, despite every warning flag being waved high, I still feel a strong connection… and a resolute desire to explore. Every logical, rational, coherent thought that I have screaming in my head to just walk away is overrun by a pressing desire to give it a shot, a real chance. Don’t we owe that to ourselves? Maybe the timing isn’t right and the situation isn’t ideal. It’s downright complicated, but aren’t complicated things more fun? The simple stuff that is handed to you isn’t what makes memories. The things that are hard work or that you have to wait for? That’s the stuff memories are made of. I’m ready to throw the rule book (the one I’ve lived my entire life by) Out.The.WINDOW.

My favorite Pinterest quote for the night is from Judith McNaught.

“There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.”

rambling thoughts…

I’m a planner, in case you haven’t figured that out yet. I pretty much do anything to make sure that my plans aren’t changed.

The plan was to start graduate school this summer. I didn’t get in. That plan isn’t happening. And it’s scary.

I’m taking a year “off” in order to take a few more classes, work, and do some volunteer work. But I can’t help wondering, “What if?” What if I do all of this and don’t get in again?

As you may know, I believe everything happens for a reason. And as much as I hate to admit it, I know that things are going to happen the way that they’re supposed to happen; no matter what I do, if things aren’t supposed to happen, then they’re just not going to happen.

All of that is rambling, I know, but that’s the way things happen in my thoughts, and I’m still trying to sort through them myself. All it’s doing in the mean time is causing stress.

I’ve been researching a back up plan to try and help ease my anxiety about going through all of this, but sometimes I wonder if that is just adding to the stress and making it all worse. I can’t figure out the balance between “giving up” on my dream of being a PT and being reasonable about the options that are being presented to me in other areas. How do I know if these other opportunities are the ones that I’m supposed to take?

Unfortunately, I haven’t figured out an answer to all of my questions, and I’m not sure that there is going to be a clear answer. That’s what scares (and stresses) me even more.

Something that’s helped to get me through all of this is simply writing things down. I start lists of things I’d like to do. I sit and daydream about what my life might be like if I were to become something other than a PT. I focus on the positives that could come out of those situations, and I keep track of those things. I have a list of things that got me interested in becoming a PT. With those, I am looking for a “back up” plan that would allow me to achieve most of those goals, or goals that are similar. And, of course, all of that is in writing. Maybe there’s a better way to do it, but that’s all I’ve figured out… for now.

Natural vs. Unnatural

Stress. It’s a crazy thing.

Last week my hometown flooded in a matter of minutes. When I was home over the weekend, I was shocked to see the damage first hand. Sure, I had seen the pictures on line and in the news, but to see something first hand is different. They said the creek that runs through the center of town rose 5-6 feet in less than 30 minutes. That’s crazy!

I couldn’t help but notice the damage in our small park, one of the central parts of our small town, and located right next to the creek. I saw picnic benches overturned, soccer goals hung up on trees at the opposite end of the park, among many other things. Even a culvert pipe was hung up on the new bridge, and no one seems to know where the pipe came from! What struck me the most was that the majority of damage seemed to be to “man-made” objects, to the things that we placed in the park to make it more functional and enjoyable. Throughout all of the damage, I only noticed one tree that was pulled out of the ground.

And it got me thinking…

We are natural beings, if you will. We add unnatural things all of the time… clothes, makeup, cars, accessories, etc. The stresses of life constantly change the “unnatural” things in our life.  For example, one morning on the way to work you’re exhausted and not paying enough attention, you end up totaling your car. It’s easily replaceable and the scratch on your head heals. A couple of months later, you’re still not sleeping well and fall asleep on the drive home from a long conference. Your car is not only totaled, but this time you’ve got some more serious injuries and spend some time in the hospital.

I know that this is an extreme example, but I hope you’re seeing where I’m going. Stress wears on you, just as it wore on that tree in the park that was uprooted. It is crucial to take care of yourself and of your stress before it takes care of you.

Our quaint, little park was closed last week, and I couldn’t get a good picture of anything (stupid crutches…), but I did go out to the creek behind my house and take a few pictures that hopefully illustrate my point. Take care of yourself.

A big thank you goes out to my little sister for taking me out on our four-wheeler and helping me to take pictures.

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You can tell on this side of the tree that it is strongly rooted in to the ground. It stands strong and tall.

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On this side of the tree you can see that the water (stress) has eroded away at the roots. It still stands strong and mighty, but not nearly as strong as before all the stress exposed the roots.

 

 

 

 

help yourself to help yourself.

I was having trouble coming up with something to write about this week. This is a busy time of the semester as it is, and I am still fighting this foot injury. So I googled “stress” and I clicked on one of the links. The beginning of the article states, “We generally use the word “stress” when we feel that everything seems to have become too much – we are overloaded and wonder whether we really can cope with the pressures placed upon us.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

…but what does that really mean?

Stress truly causes different reactions in everyone. For me, it means trouble sleeping, over eating, procrastination (avoidance), muscle tension, tension headaches. Which leads to irritability, weight gain, trouble keeping up with assignments, soreness, and just plain crabbiness. I once had shingles, which the doctor attributed to stress.

Not so fun.

Stress is a really controlling thing, so fight it back by taking control of it. Not everything can be controlled, I know, but a lot of it truly can. Help yourself to help yourself.

Here are some ways to help deal with stress. Find what works for you.