Something that I find really funny is when suddenly I have a realization that I think is monumental, but then I realize that it’s been said a million times before. Has this feeling ever happened to you?
I construct this clichéd thought with my own mind, with my own experiences, and then it forms in words as a sort of mantra. “You can choose how you feel.” This is what came to my mind a couple days ago. Duh. I’ve heard that so many times, seen it painted on so many posters, pretty pieces of wood, in words in a picture frame. Clichés don’t help me. I don’t know how much they help anyone.
Maybe they are clichés because they’ve become true for so many people, still though at different times of life.
I’ve struggled with anxiety for a long time, I over think nearly everything, and my emotions often swing up and down a hundred times throughout the course of a day. My mental state is very much dependent on my environment and that which occurs around me.
So, after a week of peacefulness in nature with Outdoor Adventures and a week of living perfectly with my roommate Jen on a somewhat tranquil campus, I was totally unprepared for the “chaos” that would ensue when everyone else came to campus to move in. My dorm filled up with stuff and people and noise. Boxes all around the apartment, I found myself getting anxious and annoyed that our space wasn’t clean. Stressed when coming back to more people in our dorm at times when I just wanted to come back to a place of peace and calm after a long day. Most of this I couldn’t change… yes I could set reasonable expectations with my reasonable friends, but there were also things I would just have to accept. I don’t want to be known as the one who is always complaining about how things are.
I could tell that I was quickly losing that peace I’d found when I first got back to San Diego, and I was scared. Scared that I was falling into a place of anxiety, stress, and fear within the first two weeks of school. Worried that it would just get worse and I wouldn’t be able to get out. Then something switched.
I dont’ remember exactly when or how this change occurred; however, I realized one day that if I didn’t want to be stressed out by a messy room, I didn’t have to be. If I didn’t want a room full of peopel talking happily take away my peace then it didn’t have to be that way. Yes, my surroundings are a part of my life, but they dont’ need to affect how I feel deep down. I work so hard on myself, my happiness, my peace. I did not want to let stupid things bring me away from that. For the most part, it has been working. Of course, it’s a work in progress and I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t need to let what happens around me determine how I feel.
Now, I have been looking up what quote my cliché reminds me of the most, and honestly I can’t find one. “You choose how you feel” was what I’d thought up. What I’ve found on Google goes more along the lines of “You can’t choose how you feel…” I guess I was slightly off, but I know I was on the right track. Here is one saying I found that I really like, “What consumes your mind, controls your life.” That is along the same lines as what I had realized. If I stopped letting those things take up so much of my mind and emotions, they would have less of an impact on how I feel. Something I’ve also been learning more about is the opposite… If I tell myself that positive things will happen, that I love my life, that I have amazing friends, that I love my classes, that I can go to yoga almost every day, go to the ocean a few times a week, be surrounded by people who I love, by people that inspire me, that make me a better person.. Then all of that is possible and it will happen. When I tell myself that, it becomes what I believe, and then it happens and becomes the truth… Something I will talk about in another post is the law of attraction.
I am so thankful. Coming back to school has not been easy. Leading pre-o was difficult, staying on my A-game for 3 days. Living with three roommates hasn’t come without challenges and compromise on my part. Diving into five classes and a new job has been overwhelming not knowing how I will handle it. I’ve really realized, though, that there is no use in wondering if I will not be able to handle it. I might as well just go into all of this with confidence and with the attitude that of course I can do it. It will be hard work, but I can do it. I am so thankful that I am in a place where I can have these realizations. Where I can take anxiety and stress and turn it into a lesson. Turn it into something beautiful. I am thankful that I have the desire and the courage to do the hard work. Because in turn I am rewarded with these lessons. I have a long way to keep going, for which I am also thankful and excited. There are still things that are too scary for me to do, things that I have yet to open up, to release, ways of uncompromising, vulnerable living that I have yet to reach. The universe does not give me anything I can’t handle. Timing is perfect 🙂
(Also shoutout to Jen because I am so grateful to be on such a similar path as you. I am thankful for your courage to do this work and learn so much along the way. I am so thankful for a friendship that can be so open and non-judging and even though we can still get in arguments, our friendship is important enough and you are open enough that we can just talk openly about anything to figure it out.)