Balancing Act

Look at me, I’m overthinking again. What’s new?

I’ve had several weekends in a row where I’ve been on the go and traveling, which have been very exciting and fun. But I am beyond grateful I am taking time for myself to just relax and enjoy some quiet solitude. At least until I stop thinking about how I should best spend my time.

Innately, especially at college, weekends are my time to do absolutely nothing. I get lazy about doing my homework, I spend most of the time on the computer, and allow myself to take a breath after not really letting myself relax all week. But then I hear from or see others out doing exciting things. Even when I know I crave this downtime, I feel guilty.

I think this comes from a worry about balancing my priorities right. I love the people in my life, family and friends alike. I’ve found a great support system. But then I also dedicate a lot of my time and energy toward academics and my goals. Both are very important to me. Simply put, I’m a workaholic. And it’s almost easier that way for me, which kind of bothers me.

Call it irrational, but I feel like if I didn’t check myself, I could easily end up as a crazy dog lady working constantly and never keeping any relationships. I know I wouldn’t let myself get to that point, especially when I’m consciously aware of it, but when I do come to these weekends where communicating with others like a normal human being feels impossible.

Which I probably am using up too much energy on school, but I can’t see myself doing it any other way. Heck, I’m taking 19-20 credits this semester alone. I plan to graduate a year early and probably go on to do more school or whatever I see fit. Even in middle and high school, I never gave myself a study hall or an open period until senior year, which even then, I was drowning in stress. I know if I gave myself more free time, I would just get bored. I always need something to think about and be doing. Otherwise I feel like I’m not doing enough and just worry about another problem. What a vicious cycle.

And in those times where I do go out, in the back of my head, I’m still tethering on the thought of what task I need to accomplish next and homework I have left to do. Rarely do I give myself a true break during the school year. Heck, I started this blog this past summer so I would still have something to work on and think about rather than feel like I’m wasting my life away binge-watching TV.

I feel like such a hypocrite when I say how much I treasure and value the great people in my life, yet simultaneously avoid everyone to finish that one paper my depression allowed me to procrastinate but my anxiety is panicking now for me to finish it.

I love that I have these big goals in my head, knowing what I want and working toward it. My work ethic is something I pride myself on. I just can’t let it overcome me. My head is already thinking years in advance of how I want my life to be, that I can easily disregard the present moment.

That’s why I admire the mindful mentality so much. It’s what I strive to be. To ground myself in the present moment of what is happening and who I am. Sometimes the schoolwork can wait. I won’t be in school forever. I’ll get to a point where it’s just me, living life, and at that point, I’ll need those great people around me the most. But if I forget about them now, they’ll easily forget about me then. One of my biggest fears is being alone forever. Very irrational, but it’s true. Someone who is constantly searching for a moment alone can’t stand the thought of going home every evening to an empty home. Because craving alone time and feeling lonely are two completely different concepts.

Last year, my goal was to socialize with others once a month. It’s already been two months into this semester and I’ve already surpassed that immensely. But that doesn’t mean I feel like I can’t do better somehow. What I really need the most is people who accept the fact I’m probably busy 99% of the time, but still keep in touch and are there when I need them. And I need to realize how important they are and show it, even if that means going out sometimes when my instinct is to sit down and multitask between writing up an assignment or blog post whilst watching another TV episode. I’ll have all the time in the world at some point to do that. The work and the TV isn’t going away any time soon. But my college years won’t last forever, and these people presently here with me may come and go. I might as well cherish them while I can.

I don’t know if I’ll ever really master that balance, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try. I know my limits when it comes to seeing others, even in low-key, relaxed situations. If I can set my mind to any goal I conjure up, I don’t see why I can’t make a goal of balancing my priorities and seeing everything I can accomplish. Right after I finish this next episode.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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