Next week will be my “final” spring break. The reason why final is in quotation marks is because unless I decide to get another professional degree, then this is the last time I will have a week break from school work. So, for my final spring break I have decided to embark on an adventure that I believe will change my life in a positive way. I would encourage everyone who may have a vacation or a break coming up to take it and run with it. Like the guy in the hobbit. Taking a break is crucial to life and just our overall well- being. However, many people believe that by taking adventure that they need to go off to some foreign place, when they can just take a walk in a different area of their neighborhood or campus.
If you want to stay indoors and may not want to venture outside yet, sometimes exploring your mind and being by yourself can be helpful to your growth. I know it was for me. By taking an adventure in my mind I learned that I only create a dating profile when I was bored. Even taking an adventure in your studies can happen. For example, one night when I was working on a paper about the mortgage crisis and I started to research different avenues of my topic such as past mortgage rates past and present and have a lot of legislation that we only believed to affected one area of policy affected the housing crisis. I know somebody may believe that finding an adventure in school work to be nerdy but, I enjoyed it and still do.
For me I promised myself that each year I would explore a new country because it was a feeling of excitement I felt when I explored Morocco through study abroad and that same feeling comes to me when I went to new country. I always want to feel that feeling at least once a year because it serves as a restart button. I may have not changed, but I know that I can start over especially when life seems distress. Plus, adventures provide new perspectives that some may not consider.
My challenge for you is take an adventure, smile and just allow yourself to enjoy it.
Time management does not always work out in graduate school. I can always map out what i will do and try to maximize my time by doing readings while riding on the train. However, when you also work while in school or even having a lot of family problems going on during the semester can alter your schedule in a drastic way. That is the case for me. This week I have been physically and mentally exhausted from papers, work and just life in general. Most days I want to lay in bed, pull the covers over my head and just hide from my problems that are still waiting for me when I take the covers off. I created a schedule that I was going to follow because I knew myself and I thought I would break it up so I would have a limited amount of work each day. However, it’s funny how life will through a wrench in your plan.
This week’s pre-determined schedule did not work because it is always hard to determine what each day will bring after planning things out. For me, it’s back to the drawing board. Each day this week has truly had it’s surprises. I admire how some people have their schedules set in place and things just go their way. That’s not possible for me right now unless I make some changes, even though I know I cannot control certain situations from happening such as death or the train breaking down. But I know that I can always shift my perception from thinking everything is going downhill, to this is a bump in the road and I will get all my work done. If your reading this and you feel as though your time management skills may be like mine, just know we all have our moments when things do not go the way we manage. But it’s what we do when things go wrong that determines how far we willing to go for our goals and dreams. If your reading this and everything around you seem to be falling apart, I would say even if you plan out everything and it does not go according to plan, I challenge you to keep going and smile. Don’t worry we still will achieve our goals. But if we don’t keep moving forward even when things go wrong, we cannot accomplish them.
If you have been reading my blogs all February, then you know that I have been discussing love especially self-love and while in graduate school. This entry will be a bit different because I want to write a letter to the love of my life. But this letter is not necessarily to the person I hope to spend the rest of my life with (it could be though) but rather to my future self. Some may find this strange, but know that if you do not have unconditional love for yourself, then nobody will fully love you the way you deserve.
Dear Love of My life,
I would like to first say that you are truly an amazing person. You have truly stuck by myside when there was less than $5 in my bank account several times. Rather than give up and tell me to stay in bed you encouraged me to not look at this as though this were my destination rather my first bump on a road to greatness.
I thank you for loving me during the times when I was at my lowest crying in my colleges bathroom because I did not know what to do about all the work piling up. I thank you for being next to me at my lowest moment when I would cry about how I would earn money and obtain experience while studying in an accelerated program. Rather than walk away, you sat next to me and reminded me that I had a great deal to accomplish. You me told that all of the great things I wanted to do, I needed to take things one step at a time.
You taught me that I was beautiful. For the longest time, I did not like looking at myself in the mirror and always believed that I was not attractive because I had a larger stomach than most. You taught me that no matter my size that I was still amazing and can still dress in away that made me look appealing to myself. Also, you reminded me that if I am find myself beautiful is all that matters. Even when I was sick and felt a wreck, you showed me the strength deep down.
The most important lesson you taught me was no matter if I went to graduate school or choose to get a job straight out of college that I was still amazing. You showed me that my confidence was never lost rather hidden for the right moment. You taught me to always protect my peace and energy, while reminding me that not everyone deserves to be near my radiant spirit.
In sickness and health. Richer or poorer. To death do us part. I promise to love and commit myself to you in a way no one would ever imagine. If I am growing, no one can ever take you from me because with each passing day we are coming together as one.
If you read this letter i hope that it helped you. Remember that your first love of your life is yourself. When you show unconditional love for yourself the right person will come to you.
I hope if your reading this whether you are in a relationship or single that your valentine’s day was wonderful. For me it was a day of relaxing and figuring things out in my life. I did not spend it with a boyfriend because as many people know I am not dating for a year. I honestly did not even do no school work. But during the day it made me think of how many women and even men want relationships and will do just about anything to get/ keep a partner. However, that has never been me.
I will admit that at times I do want to be in relationship at night. But, I have learned thus far in my graduate school journey that I must be responsible for my own love and happiness. I cannot wait for someone to come in and love me or create the happiness I desire. When I love myself it not only places a glow upon me, but it allows for people to see how I want to be treated. Also, self-love shows people that its ok to love yourself no matter what. When you love yourself in your sad and happy moments it allows you to see the growth inside of you. It also teaches you lessons that you may have once considered irrelevant. In regard to happiness, happiness can be as simple as smiling at the fact of being alive. When you embrace the small moments, especially in the craziness, it not only helps to get through the small moments but it helps you to appreciate things even in the down moments.
Personally, in graduate school I have had mental break downs where I did not know what to do. I would cry and scream and honestly, I may do these things again before the semester is out. I would even focus on meaningless task when I knew I had an assignment due. Then I would procrastinate. However, when I begin to express gratitude for the things I am doing or even my mini successes, I begin to feel as though that everything will be ok. So if your reading this, I want you to go out, be happy, love yourself, express gratitude for the little things and smile.
Have your ever made so many mistakes, that you began to question why in world the universe would give you certain task? Well if you have asked yourself that question, then you are just like me. Within the past 24 hours I have made multiple mistakes that I promised myself I would not make and ignored my intuition when it said to leave certain things alone.
The first mistake I made was with school. I completely procrastinated on all my assignments that I had due. Even when I had a schedule that I was going to follow to get all of my assignments done. Did I follow it? Nope. I was on social media and doing everything else under the sun/moon. The whole time my intuition was telling me, get off your phone and other media and finish your homework and work on your personal projects. Then when I finally did sit down to do my assignments, it was rushed and it honestly showed that I put no care into the work.
The second mistake I made was with social media. I was in a group that was solely focused about dating and was talking to people as though I was interested in pursuing something romantically with them. My intuition was telling me to get off social media and was reminding me that i knew full well that the only reason I was doing this is because I am procrastinating what I needed to do. I then began to feel bad because I knew that I was cheating my year of no dating.
I knew full well I should not have been doing either one of these things. I knew that I should not have been doing any of those things. I should have been choosing to better myself and grow, rather than focusing on temporary fixes. Some may read this and believe that I am being hard on myself, however, when you know what you are capable of, you know you should not be settling for less. Despite my screw ups, I still love me. I hold myself and apologize and move forward knowing that if I choose to do the right thing in the next moment, then my wrongs are not as bad. So to anyone reading this, remember even when things do not go according to plan and you mess up, Love yourself enough to apologize, hug yourself, continue forward and smile.
As many people know from one of my previous entries, I have chosen not to date for a year. Through this experience, I have truly fallen in love with myself. I know some may consider this to be conceited. However, I believe by loving yourself, shows others how you want to be loved. In the time that I have chosen not to date I have learned so much about self-love. For me, self-love is treating yourself as though you are the queen/king of the world. When you show self-love to yourself, it gives people the view of how you want to be treated and cared for. Self-love is crucial because as Ru Paul has said, “if you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” When a person is glowing in self-love, it shows people the type of love you need and deserve.
Self-love is crucial especially, in graduate school. For many years while in school, I can admit now that I did not love myself throughout school. I always put my academics first to neglect the fact that I was trying to hide the pain that I was feeling. However, when you hold things in for too long, the emotions being concealed seems to pour in to everything you are doing. To try to prevent that from happening I would try to find someone else to give me the love that I thought I could not give myself. However, through a lot of trial and error, I know that the void of self-love cannot be filled with anything else. When that space is filled with love coming from yourself, everything around you begin to change and you will feel different.
To me self-love is a day to day feeling that needs to be felt no matter what. For a long time, I lacked self-love for several reasons. However, the main reason was I thought that the love I was missing could be brought by someone else. Little did I know, that was not the love I needed. The love that I was seeking, took my self- esteem and love for myself to a place that I did not even know I was there. I realized how important self-love when I was 18 years old and my then ex- boyfriend (with whom I hoped to get back with) had made me fed up with my emotions not being considered. I decided that I would begin to put me first and make sure that the love for myself was stronger than any love anyone could give me. I am not going to lie, there were times where myself love was low, but then I looked in the mirror and say “I love you and I am sorry for the pain I put you through. Please forgive me” and I hug myself in the process. I say I love you to myself daily and when I start to feel depressed, I say the statement. My advice to you is say I love you to yourself, give yourself a hug, and smile while understanding that the love you have for yourself is better than any other kind of love.
Even though I have only been in graduate school for a few months and will be wrapping the program up in May, once of the most important lessons I learned is that I have to trust myself more. For most of my life, I have struggled with trusting my intuition and being organized on the inside. However, I have learned that graduate school has its own category and the mechanisms you once used for undergraduate, does not work for graduate school. Trying to find new ways of handling things has been challenging. I honestly wish I could say it was easy for me to find a way to cope. I am a few months away from completing my program and I still have no clue of how to manage everything I am doing. When changes happen so rapidly in your life, people expect for you to flow with the changes easily. However, that is not always the case. It can be hard to figure out what your next step is, especially when you spent so much time doubting yourself. However, I can say once you begin to step away from your work and just take a breath, trusting yourself can be a little bit easier.
Since I am in my last semester in graduate school, I can honestly say no I have not completely trusted myself during this process. And I have stayed in bed many times when I knew I should have been using my time to complete new task. I should know by now that if I choose to stay in bed or even lay down for a minute, then the likelihood of me getting up to do my work was none. I need to have trust in the fact that I am in this graduate program to help mold me into the professional I know I am meant to be. I need to trust myself to get up, get out of bed and do what I must do. Even if I do not have the right motivation, I know that I am worth putting effort into something. my advice to anyone reading this is, trust yourself to know that everything you do is for a reason and provides a lesson. Even if the lesson sucks, it was needed to help build the trust inside of you.