May 29, 2012
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Woah, y’all. Woah. For the last few weeks I’ve felt a little overwhelmed by what’s in front of me right now and I thought it was time to share some of that with you, reader. So…here’s some challenges that have been playing out behind the scenes at GUS:
In five fast months, my life has gone from zero to sixty in what feels like the blink of an eye. After years of working jobs that never felt like a good fit (no matter how much I loved the people I was working with), suddenly I’m doing what I love every day and getting paid for it. I’m learning more than I ever have before in an incredibly short amount of time. I’m moving in for the first time with a boy (!) and trying so hard to keep my little head above water as I learn graphic design, pack up an apartment, purchase new furniture and crank out a ridiculous amount of work (evenings? I’m working. Holidays? I’m working. Weekends? I’m working.). It’s at once exhilarating and overwhelming. I feel a lot of pressure to define my style and do really good work, even though I’m simultaneously just now learning how to use the programs I’m working in. I know it’s a lot of stress to put on myself, but I want to be one of the best at what I do so it’s easy to constantly work, especially when my laptop is always within arm’s reach.
At times that are stressful in my life, even if it’s good stress like it is now, I begin worrying excessively about seemingly unrelated events. I remember last year at this exact time, Adam, his twin brother Bill, Bill’s wife and my good friend Meagan and my mom and dad helped me move into my current place. Everyone left in the afternoon and my mom went to the grocery store to get me a few things. Except she didn’t come back when I thought she would. I called her. No answer. Called again. No answer. Finally, I call Adam and I’m like “WHERE is my MOM??!? I am FREAKING OUT!!” He tried to convince me that she probably also went to Target or Breed to get me some things and left her phone in the car. And of course that is what happened. But in my mind something had gone horribly wrong. It’s easy to see now that it was the stress of moving that was making me worry so much, but at the time I felt so scared that something horrible had happened!
This is so typical of me. In times of high stress, suddenly every headache is a brain tumor, every trip to Target is a potential car wreck. For whatever reason, I tend to obsess over these things instead of: I have an apartment to pack! I have work to do! I have a speaking thing to prepare for! In place of worrying about the things I do control, I begin worrying about the things I have zero control over. It’s a super effective method, let me tell you. During times of big change, I’m especially thankful for my friends and family in my life who are there to say: It’s okay. Calm down. Take a deep breath. Have a glass of wine. Or two. Seriously dude, chill out. For the love.
There’s a great bumper sticker that I see sometimes in Austin that says “breathe deeply” with text over a pretty graphic of a setting sun against mountains. It’s sort of cheesy but I just love it. I need that reminder. I need a setting sun and a deep breath and a glass of wine and time with the people I love. And I need those things every day. As I grow up I feel like I learn more and more about what makes me happy, what keeps me balanced and what I need to stay productive and healthy. But I’m still learning. This much I’ve got figured out:
Step 1: Breathe deeply.
(Photo from Les Composantes)