Hello everyone!! Happy happy Monday!!
As you may have noticed, I was MIA last Monday, and I’m so sorry about that! My life has been an absolute whirlwind since I got back to school. As you may have read in my last post, I was right in the middle of Sorority Recruitment, Round 2. I am beyond happy to announce that I am a new member of Kappa Alpha Theta!! I am absolutely loving every minute of it. It was fun rocking the GDI life (God Damn Independent…no, I didn’t make that up) for a year and a half, but it feels sooooo good to finally be a part of a community.
That being said, I am completely and utterly overwhelmed. I came to Miami vowing to myself that I wouldn’t make the same mistake that I made at SMU – aka waiting for life to happen to me. I didn’t get involved at all at SMU because I thought I was too cool to be part of any clubs. Instead of going to the big fair that they have the first night of school that showcased all of the organizations, I was busy hopping a fence to get into a bar underage. Yeah, I had fun that night, but I really could have used a community or an activity to keep me busy when my plans to be in a sorority ultimately fell through.
Flash forward a year, and I’m doing all of the things freshman Maggie was dreaming of doing. I’m taking 17 credit hours of classes, each of which I love. I’m finally part of a sorority. I’m halfway through my 200-hour yoga teacher certification. I’m part of a book club and a Bible study. I have my first meeting with the Body Project on Wednesday, which is a body positivity club on campus. My days are literally scheduled down to the minute. I’m doing all of the things.
Last night while I was trying to fall asleep, I met another Ghost Child. If you’re new to the blog and are like WTF is a Ghost Child, check out my post, Becoming Captain of My Vessel. (If I did that right, you should just be able to click on that, and it will take you to the post…I’m getting the hang of this blog thing!) Anyways, I’ve felt this constant presence sort of looming over me this week, following me everywhere I go like a big ugly gray cloud. I’m familiar with it…it isn’t a new feeling. It always returns when I feel like I have spread myself too thin, or like I’m balancing all of my obligations like one of those circus people who spins plates on top of sticks. As I was laying in bed, I was running over my schedule for today obsessively.
“Okay so I have to get up at 8, meditate, shower, do my devotionals, write my blog post, study for my 4 exams this week, go to bible study, go to my new member meeting, go to the gym, go to CVS and get toiletries, schedule a time to get my nails done for my social…wait shit I have nothing to wear to that. Okay, I need to order an outfit for that too. I have to plan my sequence to teach yoga tomorrow and memorize it so I don’t screw it up, and hopefully, Natalie will let me rehearse it on her. I need to be asleep by 11 so I can get up tomorrow at 7 to teach. Oh yeah, and at some point, I need to eat too. Shit, I also have to call my yoga instructor to go over my sequence and call the realtor for my house senior year to make sure they got my paperwork. And, I need to read a few chapters of my book club book because I’m really behind on that. Wait, how did my sequence go again? Was it Warrior II to Triangle or Warrior II to Extended Side Angle??? FORK, I can’t do all of this!!!”
“You can’t do it. You are going to screw it all up. You will always fall short.” That is what my Ghost Child has been whispering in my ear all week. And boy, has it shown.
On Monday, when I sat down to write my blog post during my 30 minutes of free time between teacher training and my new member meeting, my mind went completely blank. I was writing some sort of B.S. on being grateful for the little things in life even though my body was literally shaking with stress and I was pissed off at my lack of ability to write anything. “I can’t do this,” I thought. I decided I would rather not post anything than post something that was obviously just word vomit. (If you read it, you would honestly be glad I didn’t post it.) I went to bed stressed out and angry that I let myself slip up when I was only 7 or so posts in. I woke up Tuesday morning to teach yoga, and I FORGOT MY SEQUENCE HALFWAY THROUGH. It was mortifying. The week before I had taught a killer hour long class, but for some reason when I reached the 30-minute mark I told myself I couldn’t keep going and I choked. I was like a deer in headlights…I couldn’t even cue a decent Down Dog. I held the students in poses for way too long until eventually, my trainer had to take over for me when it became too hard for her to watch. I bawled my eyes out in the bathroom after. On Wednesday, I had my first social. I showed up to my temporary big’s room to get ready and immediately felt like I didn’t deserve to be there, for no reason at all. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, but I kept telling myself there was no way I was cool enough to hang with these girls. Eventually, I loosened up and had a great time, but when I got there DAMN was I awkward. On Thursday I couldn’t muster up the courage to tell someone that I care about how I really feel about them. On Friday I scrambled to put together an hour-long presentation on lower back injuries that I had to give on Saturday for teacher training and ended up in tears. I have literally been apocalyptic stress ball just crumbling under pressure all week, always with this Ghost Child on my shoulder reminding me that I couldn’t do the things I knew I could.
Let’s call her Clara.
Practicing the steps that Geenen Roth taught me, I must name, love and question my Ghost Children. So, “I can’t do it,” becomes Can’t-Do-It Clara…or just Clara.
Now, to love and question Clara. How am I supposed to love this thing that lives inside my mind, constantly feeding off of my stress, growing stronger and louder every time I add something else to my to-do list? She and Nelly must be cousins or something. I had a talk with Clara last night while I was in bed. It was the first time I’ve ever confronted this feeling. (No, I’m not a forking weirdo that talks to imaginary things in the dark…I was coming face to face with this feeling that’s been haunting me.) I told Clara it was okay. I understand why she’s there. I have so much on my plate, so obviously I’m going to be stressed. There’s that damn saying, “You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé.” Okay, yeah, but Beyoncé has a personal assistant, a full-time chef, a stylist, a media consultant, nannies, a chauffeur, a private jet, a maid, and whoever/whatever the frick else she has that helps her do all the things. I have to do all of the things, and I have to do them myself.
Here is the lesson that Clara taught me last night that finally allowed me to relax and fall asleep…
I don’t have to do all the things, and I certainly don’t have to do them all alone. Asking for help is a weird feeling. I get nervous asking for help from friends because I feel like they already have enough going on. I always feel like I have to portray that I’m getting everything done without any hitches or problems. For example, I have 4 big exams this week. FOUR. The only class that I don’t have an exam in this week has one scheduled for next Tuesday. So I basically have 5. Cool. I think I have only utilized office hours once in my year and a half as a college student. My professors have time built into their busy schedules to answer students’ questions and I have only taken advantage of that once. I study for everything alone when I could be collaborating with other students in my classes and forming study groups. I plan my yoga sequences the night before when I could be using some free time during to bounce ideas off of the people in my training. I beat myself up when I look at my to-do list at the end of the day and see that I only have half of the items checked off.
College is TOUGH. Balance is an illusion. Everyone that looks like they have it all together is faking it. The only time I am balanced is when I’m practicing yoga. I’ll be wobbling on one foot, trying to get my leg up in Standing Splits. I only find balance when I surrender. I stop wobbling when I let all notions of doubt slip away. And if I really can’t find my footing, I allow the instructor to come over and adjust me until I find my strength again.
Trying to do it all in college is like finding your balance in yoga. Sometimes you’ll be standing tall on both of your feet in Mountain Pose…strong and grounded, ready to conquer your practice. There are days where I make time for class and homework, go to the gym, and still make it to Uptown at night. Sometimes you’ll be a tangled mess, balancing on one foot while trying to sink into Eagle Pose. (If you don’t know what Eagle looks like, Google it. Your limbs are literally tangled around each other.) There are days when you have a million and one things to do, where you feel like you’re being held underwater by an ocean wave, desperately trying to come up to the surface. One of my guy friends who is a surfing fanatic was listening to me bitch about my exams this week and how I didn’t think I could do it all. He said, “You can’t ride the waves, but you can learn to surf.” As cheesy as that is, it’s true. Every day in college is a different beast, a different wave, a different pose. The best thing we can do is learn to keep our balance. Sometimes on two feet, sometimes on one, sometimes bearing all of your weight on your hands, sometimes standing on your head (I can do that, it’s pretty dope). Through all of the twists and turns and changing tides, we need to remind ourselves that it’s okay to ask for help and that it’s okay to not do ALL of the things. We need to remind ourselves each day when we go to bed that we are enough.
So, Clara, thank you for teaching me this lesson when I needed it most. You can be a real bitch sometimes, but you serve to remind me that I can do anything I set my mind to. You remind me when I feel like I’m going to fall, to remember to breathe. I love you.
If anyone else is feeling like this right now, confront your Ghost Child, whatever it is that you decide to call them. And then, go out and do all of the things. Or not. Whatever you decide to do, you are enough.
In grace and gratitude, in love and light…xoxo