Have you ever walked down the street on a particular windy day and see the leaves getting kicked up, soared to great heights and distances only to be deposited right back where it was before?
I am the leaf, and life is the wind.
Every time I feel like I am making progress in my job or in classes or in anything, I am instantly thrown down back to where I was before. Whenever I feel like I’m finally getting my life, I remember things that I haven’t done, that are past due or that I’ve simply forgotten.
For example, the other day I got out of class and was feeling really tired, so I headed straight to my room without stopping at the desk or talking to residents (which I usually do). So after taking a quick nap, something thing that I haven’t been able to do in ages, I started to clean my room.
Side Note: The art of power napping is a beautiful thing. The trick is actually taking a nap instead of taking a sleep. Short naps of no more than 30 minutes are ideal because you complete a REM cycle and then wake up feeling refreshed and not wondering what decade it is, or who the current president is. Also, I usually give myself time to fall asleep because I can’t sleep under pressure, so instead of napping I would be laying in bed thinking about random things for 30 minutes. So if I want to take a 20 minute nap, I set my timer for 25-30 minutes so that I am actually asleep for 20 minutes.
Side Side Note: For me, if my room is a mess, my life is a mess. So in order for me to concentrate and focus, I need to be in an organized environment.
Anyway, after cleaning my room I sat down and started writing my lab report, but I had this nagging feeling that something was wrong. I pushed it to the side, finished my lab and then went downstairs to start my laundry. As I was sorting my clothes, I pulled out my RA polo, and thought, “Good thing I didn’t need this today!” and tossed it in the washer.
It wasn’t until later that afternoon that I realized how wrong I had been. That I actually did need my polo because I was supposed to be interviewing students for the RA position with my boss!
Instantly my heart dropped to my stomach and I went into imagining the worst case scenario. Obviously I would be receiving disciplinary action because I failed to honor my time commitment. What if no one covered me and then my RD was put in an uncomfortable position, what if whoever covered me had to miss something important?
The struggle had never been so real until that moment. I felt a little defeated because here I was, trying to be the best RA that I could be, and I was dropping the ball repeatedly. I kept feeling that everything I had worked for was being negated by my flaws and short comings repeatedly. And I could feel myself sliding down the emotional hill into a slump.
Classes are difficult and time consuming, mix in a handful of particularly persistent trouble making residents, a dash of desperation, the looming proximity of the future, and responsibilities as an RA, and then you have a cocktail of my life (non-alcoholic of course, because policy).
Some how through all this, I have to find the inner strength to keep going and be positive. If I can’t get my life together, how am I supposed to tell my residents to get their lives? As a firm believer of leading by example and practicing what I preach, I have to be someone that my residents can turn to and see as someone who is trying their best to succeed.So I guess I need to hide that fact that I’m a hot mess a little better.