Lifestyle Uncategorized

Raise Your Hand If You Have Your Life Together

Last night, I was watching St. Elmo’s Fire, and Demi Moore’s character (Jules) says, “I never thought I would be so tired at 22.”

I’m 22 years old. I work 50 hours a week teaching. I work 10 hours a week writing. I have an apartment and bills and students loans. I have friends and a boyfriend and my family.

My room is pretty much always a mess. I constantly feel like I’m behind (but never in paying my bills; don’t worry, Mom and Dad.) I’m always missing a call or a text message or an email.

And I’m just so tired. 

In high school and college, my view of the people who had graduated was they had life pulled together, they knew what they were doing, or even that they could do what they wanted. Now that I’m on the other side, I’m realizing just how ridiculous that view was.

I’ll admit – a part of my exhaustion comes from the chronic fatigue and pain I deal with. But from talking with other recent graduates, I know that it can’t be all that. Because they feel it, too. That deep exhaustion.

Now, I thankfully have my life pulled together more than Jules does in St. Elmo’s Fire. I didn’t have an affair with my boss and then lose my job, my father doesn’t hate me, I don’t have a “step-monster,” my possessions aren’t being repossessed, I’m not addicted to cocaine … my life is definitely better than Jules’. That doesn’t mean that I’m not struggling.

I had hoped that I would leave winter break feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world again. But that is far from the case, probably because I had 2 infusions, recovered from them (a solid 5 days each), and did a ton of traveling. I’m hoping that I’ll be in a much better place come Sunday night after a weekend of rest, relaxation, fun, and (unfortunately) work.

One of my best friends graduated a few years before I did. When she visited in November, we were talking, and a conversation along these lines came up. She said something that really resonated with me, and was something that I really needed to hear –

No one really has it together their first year out of college. 
I kept comparing myself and my feelings and my achievements (and lack thereof) to other people. But she pointed out that not a single person we knew actually had everything pulled together. And those who had everything? They struggled with it. I’m the perfect example of that. 
I guess the moral of the Friday morning rant (although technically it’s Thursday night, since that’s when I’m writing it) is that you need to stop comparing yourself to other people. This is especially for people who are about to go into a huge life transition: high school to college, college to grad school, college to “real world,” and any other life transition within and without the “real world.” Don’t compare yourself to the people already there. You don’t know if they actually did (or do) have it all together. Honestly, they probably didn’t. 
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