Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Year Closer

I did it. One year of grad school over, and another to follow. I don’t like to think about it very much, simply because the idea of leaving academia in search of a career scares the heck out of me. School was my only focus for months, and as a result my work at the community center suffered, as did my overall health and social life. I wrote my final papers and proposals in a haze of fatigue and tear-filled vision, my walls finally crashing down and hard. How long have I been like this, you ask. Too long, dear friends. Too long.

The Meals with Morri front page was up on the screen of my laptop on a daily basis yet untouched, a neglected hobby you once couldn’t tear me away from. At one point I had so many recipes and photos it took, I kid you not, weeks to get them all down. It’s been over three weeks, and not one recipe was recorded, with only one meal photographed. I didn't even celebrate my site's second anniversary back in April. Something was seriously wrong. 

Mother's Day Dinner: Grilled scallops & crispy polenta salad

I don’t take the idea of depression well. It’s a phenomenon that happens to other people, whereas all I experience is a funk that won't go away. All the stress and the obligations and the things I simply wasn’t doing were purposefully replaced with over-activity and worrying. I wasn’t eating enough, sleeping enough, or being enough… and people noticed. All I wanted to do was sleep and read, a red flag telling me to slow down if I ever saw one. But I didn’t slow down. I just kept going and going and going.

I know I said I wouldn’t use the “h-word” early on in my writing, but I’m using it now. I hated it. I hated that I couldn’t do it all. I hated that people and activities I loved with every essence of my being were left in the dust while I scrambled to make everything work. The past wouldn’t stay where it was, and the future was a mixture of uncertainty and terror. Never mind the present, I said to myself, because if I work my butt off now I will have everything in place for later. That’s the thing about time, though: it’s always the present.

So with summer school starting next week, I’ve decided to change my focus. I’m not working at camp this year, sadly, but I will have the energy to get through school and also spend these months being with friends and family, starting new hobbies, and going on adventures. 

After all, Life isn’t about how much you do but how much it means to you doing it.

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