My oh My what a year 2016 has been. To be honest this whole 2nd year of grad school has had me feeling like I’m on a merry-go-round waiting for the stop.
I came into this second year of school invigorated and ready to take on the year and tackle what came my way. Instead to be frank I got my ass kicked every which way. Yup I said it. I admittedly got beat down and for once stayed down.
School was challenging, my home life felt stressful, friendships were falling out, my past relationship almost incomprehensibly hard to deal with and then I chose to add on to all that by getting a second job hostessing.
I burned out quick and bright our first semester and told myself I would get my footing and come back swinging this next semester, but while I stood tall, it felt like my hands were filled with lead.
I gave up on myself. I think that’s the first time probably since I was 21 that I can say that honestly. I did not conquer my second year of grad school, I survived it. I had a few shining moments- this isn’t like a woe is me post. I can recognize my blessings and lessons learned and I had a many from working with amazing professors to new writing opportunities and having the love and support from friends and family near and far wanting me to succeed.
With 2 weeks till the end of the semester and a summer in Chicago beckoning to be explored I am finding my footing again. It’s hard though. Getting back up after getting knocked down time and time again is hard. The one thing I can say about 25 year old me versus 21 year old me is that I was able to clearly communicate and articulate my emotions and thoughts to my loved ones- even if for my best friend that meant calling every day to vent about my stresses. My wonderful best friend going through her own year of grad school and would still take the time to listen to me and talk me down.
My fellow co-hort member Courtney and best friend who kept me motivated and provided small acts of kindness like a journal to write my feelings down and making me get up and have breakfast with her the morning after my break-up.
My Mom who sent me inspirational verses and texts just to remind me of my faith and that even if I was losing hope in myself and my purpose that there was a master plan for my life.
My baby sister who I can say with upmost confidence is more of a friend than we were growing up and just provided funny things to keep me smiling whether it was inside jokes, pop culture references or pics of my precious nephew.
Speaking the truth is hard. It’s scary. It was blindingly overwhelming at some points where I was sleeping in, not working out, binge eating, and throwing in the towel- literally I was running on ‘E’ at every point in my life. I lost my motivation and inspiration. Social Media of course could paint a different picture, but sometimes seeing fellow friends, writers, and sister’s succeeding and pushing forth was really what helped propel me forward.
Now I’m finding a good stride in my writing and an outlet in which to express my voice and perspective in a way that excites me. New collaborations, my internship, blogging…I’m really figuring out as a writer how I want my art to be communicated to the larger world. I realize now what I have to say- and that’s my truth.
I may have not excelled the way I envisioned I would, but my triumph came in recognizing my flaws and choosing to strengthen them rather in than wallow in them. To choose grace over guilt, and to let go of parts of my life that I frankly couldn’t hold on to anymore. There’s beauty in the breaking and in letting go and I’m looking forward this next chapter of my life.