Stress and New Beginnings

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I find myself thinking a lot lately about confidence. I haven’t been writing much (obviously) and I feel like I am so caught up in my own head about it. I think of at least half a dozen blog topics a week, but I do nothing with them – not even write them down unfortunately. I feel tired of my own voice in print, worry that I am in a rut. I get afraid that I will sound stupid or cliché. I get stopped by that nagging thought that if something isn’t very unique and striking, it’s probably not worth writing down at all.

A lot of this is just white noise, of course. I know it’s there if I scratch the surface, but who wants that? So instead I just don’t write anything down. Suddenly my life is much too busy with television shows and films and sleep. It’s not that I’m not busy, but probably I am a lot less busy than I act.

That’s my why I haven’t been writing. I’ll try to do better. Our little pack has a whole new motivational plan for us all to be writing together. I imagine you will see the results, or not, from me as the case may be.

So, onto my life.

One of the things that I have noticed in reading through old Baby Me journals is that I never just let myself be upset or angry or even just meh. I always would talk about how unhappy I was and then end with this idea that I needed to be upbeat, I needed to stop being such a downer, or whatever the case may be. I don’t really know entirely where that came from. Possibly there was a gendered element in there somewhere, possibly there was some religious concept that Christians weren’t unhappy. But more likely it is just that my family isn’t very good with emotions of any kind and negative ones felt more difficult to manage.

I am going to try to talk about things without qualifying them and we’ll see how dire it sounds when I read it.

Things are not dire, which may be a part of the problem in a weird way (is that a qualifier at the top… who knows!). Even when things are very shitty I tend to ultimately do better if I feel like I have something to grab onto and fix. Right now I am just restless and feel stuck, concerned I am spinning my wheels and not doing… something. What I think I am not doing is fairly unclear to me. I have two jobs, which are making my life chaotic in a way I do not approve of as a rule. But it is certainly doing something. Both of my jobs are contributing to my experience in some way, and I am grateful for that. But in the newest one I feel very adrift and not at all sure of what I am doing.

I will have to get going on grad school applications soon, but they aren’t even available on their respective websites yet (sometime this month, probably?). In both cases, they aren’t due until the end of the year, leaving me with quite a bit of available time to work on them. I am in no way looking forward to doing this, and suspect I will procrastinate a lot once they become available, but they will be something specific for me to work on.

I am vaguely stressed about a lot of things. I will lose my health insurance soon due to the gobs of money I am making (or you know, over $1100 a month). It feels strange to be stressed about that, as I didn’t have health insurance for a large part of my life, but now I am on medications that I should probably stay on for the sake of sanity and all that nonsense. Plus I’ve had full coverage for almost 4 years now and I have gotten accustomed to that being one thing in my life I don’t have to worry about. What if something happens in the interim year?

I feel like I am having general post-college ennui more than anything. This realization that I was good at school and good at that structure. I liked having my life broken into quarters, I liked regular feedback every few months. I liked the feeling that I was actively working towards things and I could lay out on a chart what those things were. Must take classes X, Y, and Z to graduate by this date. They were all steps I understood and, while they were obnoxious, I was pretty good at following the rules. Good at deadlines, good at class participation, good at school socialization. And then I find myself worrying that perhaps I am not nearly as good at non-school life (even though I realize that a lot of those skills are very transferrable). But you know. I worked day to day jobs for a really long time before I went back to school – like a decade. And I was an okay worker, but I was also extremely depressed and generally miserable almost all of the time. When I went back to school it was such a complete change of everything. And it was a good change, even when it was scary (often). I think part of why I find myself so jumpy and restless now is the worry that being in this day to day working life means going back to what that meant before, which I clearly did not excel at.

There’s not a lot of reason to think that, probably. My life is pretty radically different. I feel very motivated. But then I worry, if I am so driven by these particular goals that I can see so clearly, what happens when I get my Master’s? What happens when I pass that milestone, and don’t have more school to jump into (I don’t think I plan on my PhD at this point)? Is the goal then just to finish enough supervised hours to have my own practice? What then? Will I fall into a state of restlessness and vague dissatisfaction without these very specific goals? What if I do not have the very specific goals? Why don’t I seem capable of setting out my goals in a totally self-motivated fashion, in the extremely organized way that I wish they were? What happens if I am not self-motivated enough to accomplish all the things I vaguely dream of accomplishing, because they are too vague? Am I really stressed out because I don’t currently have the goals for basically the rest of my life laid out on a literal map in front of me, with color coded signs and flags? Probably the answer is yes, in case you are all wondering.

I could talk about how many great things there are in my life but I’m not going to, not this time. I will just let this stand. Life transitions suck and I pretty much always lack confidence in the landing.

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