Where I’ve Been

I haven’t posted in quite a while. I had planned to take a break at the end of last semester and over the holidays, but I didn’t think I would wait so long into January to post again. This is my last semester of college and that idea has stressed me out more than I thought it would. Getting back into the swing of classes mixed with my internship and a part-time job is a lot. Simultaneously I’m starting to have to think seriously about my future. Thinking about all of these things at once has been a bit paralyzing and unfortunately, I let my blog fall to the wayside. I figured for my first post back, I’d fill everyone in on how my semester ended, what I did over break, and how I’ve been doing mental health wise.

Some of you may recall that coming up to the end of last semester, I was quite stressed. I had a lot on my plate and was unsure what some of my professors were looking for in terms of the projects they assigned. I spent many long hours in coffee shops around Nashville finishing up papers and presentations. Luckily my professors liked my work, and I ended up with the grades that I was hoping for. It was a huge relief! I was really feeling my anxiety in those last weeks and my insomnia was pretty bad, but I was proud of myself for pushing through and finishing strong.

After that it was off to Wisconsin to be with my parents over winter break. First things first, Wisconsin is cold! It was cool to see all the snow and to walk on a frozen lake, but I definitely couldn’t be there long term. I’m very impressed with my parents who seem to be handling it well. I also got to spend time with my brother when we went to his house in Maryland for Christmas. It’s always good to see him and he made delicious cookies that I ate too many of, so all in all break was really nice. But there were aspects of break that were a little hard for me. When I went to Wisconsin, it was my first time seeing the house and my room in that house. My roommate came home with me for the first few days, and it was weird to not be able to answer her when she asked where something was. It was an inner battle to remind myself that it was home when in some ways it felt like I was a guest. Not when I was with my parents, but sometimes when I was getting used to the layout or trying to figure out where we were when they drove me around town. Going home looks different for me than it does for my friends and sometimes I am jealous of that. But, when I’m starting to have those thoughts I try and spin it to be positive. I got to see a part of the country I hadn’t seen before, I got to drink cranberry wine, and I got to spend time with my parents who I don’t see as often anymore. It’s always important to find the positives when you’re starting to focus on the negatives.

In terms of where I am in terms of my mental health, I’m struggling a little. I’m still having trouble sleeping. I was talking to my therapist about how there will be words said and things that happen that make me feel anxious during the day, that I shove to the side because I’m in the middle of class, or at my job, or working at my internship that all pile up and come into my head again when I lie down at night. I told her that it is kind of like when you are flying and you turn your phone on airplane mode and then when you land, you turn it back on and all the notifications and messages ding one after another. That’s how my brain functions at night. This has been getting in the way of my sleep. I’m going to take her suggestion and try some meditation, but we’ll see how it goes. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have felt a little paralyzed with all the things I’m having to think about this semester. Starting to plan a future is scary. Having plans get formed and then fall through and then making new plans seems to be the new norm. I struggle a lot with the concept of the unknown and all of the unknowns lately are not helpful in terms of my anxiety. There is going to be a longer post about this coming soon, but based on what we talked about in therapy last week, it has become clear that on some level I’m still dealing with grief. My cousin Kimberly and my Granddaddy played a big part in my life and I’ve been dealing with their deaths little by little. Coming to this realization in the midst of everything else is difficult, but it’s better to deal with my emotions, rather than push them all down. Even though I’m struggling, I’m trying to focus on the good things happening and making time to do fun things with friends. I want to work to be more present this semester instead of only focusing on the future.

I am looking forward to continuing this blog this year. I have some ideas for my next few posts. Some are hard to talk about and others are just fun. I hope that you all will continue to read. Your support means a lot to me! I’m going to try to post once every two weeks. So be on the lookout! Let me know what you all were up to while I was gone as well! Hope you have a great week!

Rachel (: