Its like everything I thought it would be, and yet not at all what I thought it would be.
To put it simply: never have I been so exhausted in my entire life. It's been two weeks and a full-time job has already knocked me on my ass.
I realize that as I was lamenting on the fact that I was still knee-deep in classes, I was also gifted with a very flexible schedule with ample nap time. Well, that's probably an exaggeration. But I know I had time for naps or just laying in bed before the next thing on my t-do list. In the working world, naps are a distant memory. So beautiful, yet so elusive. Five days of baking a week is no joke, and my legs/ back/ brain are definitely in agreement on this fact. I've been spending two days a week at Three Babes Bakeshop and three days a week at Natty Cakes, with average wake up times between 5:30 and 7:30 AM (that's right, AM, bright and early, the butt crack of dawn). After spending a whole semester at school with classes that started at noon or later, I was not exactly prepared for this. To be honest, I know that I will adjust to this new life, but for now it is making my mood a little haywire. I like to be open and honest about my good and bad times, because I wish to be an observer of my emotions rather than a judger. I don't want to be ashamed, and I don't think I should be.
So yes, transitioning into full time work, along with moving from a home I've had for two years has been a little bit of a struggle for me. Not devoid of good times by any means, but a struggle to be sure. But now that I am recognizing that and allowing that to exist ( or trying to), I want to talk about what I can do for myself to help with the an anxious time.
MEDITATION: This is such a tough one for me. I know I've talked about it in the past and how hard it is to stay committed. I notice that consistency with treatment for mental health is a huge wall to climb over. It's not impossible, I've seen many, many people hold a very stable relationship with meditation, but it is tough. So, I always seem to do better with external motivators. And, right now, this blog is a great external motivator for me. As soon as I put something out there, I feel like I need to do it! So as not to disappoint the average of 2 people that probably occasionally read this...maybe.
Either way, it is helpful to have somewhere to write my progress and experience down. And I think it will be helpful to do a little check-in every time I do it. Even if its only a few sentences. We'll see how that goes!
EXPOSURES: I believe I've talked about exposures before, but they are basically time set aside to focus on my biggest fears. It's an OCD tactic that I picked up in therapy, and it exposes you to the possibility of these fears materializing and forces you to sit with that anxiety. I've now done it many times, and yet subconsciously avoid doing it when things get hard. I think that, while you know rationally how silly your fears are, you still wonder if this is the time that you're going to physically explode from the anxiety. That the "bad" feelings will literally swallow you whole. They never do. Exposures are important, they allow you to face your fears and move forward.
REACH OUT: This could be done in so many different ways. But put simply, reaching out to people when I need support, and offering support to those who need it. I just came across The World Needs More Love Letters, and I'm looking forward to sending out some letters to people who need it. Its very little effort from me, but could mean the world to someone else. And, I'm not ashamed to say that it's very therapeutic for me as well.
I've also decided that therapy will always be an essential part of my life, and I think I would like to return to that. I wasn't sure if I should continue going to therapy, if it would be a crutch while trying to learn how to process my own emotions. But, I think everyone needs time and space to talk openly about what they are feeling, and I am no exception.
LET GO: Just breath. Allow mistakes. Try new things. Dance, flail, create as much skin-to-skin contact as you can, without judging. Observe. Reset.
I remember reading a blog written by the sister of Kath Younger from Kath Eats Real Food, and it was about how to claim your life back post-graduation. I didn't exactly connect with it then, but I finally understand that entering the workforce can totally consume your life if you let it. Not that there aren't useful skills/ joys to gain from work itself, but there is so much more to living than work ( though some days it doesn't seem like it). I think this blog is claiming my life after many years of a life focused on depression and anxiety, and perhaps only on the negative parts of existence.
Thank you so much for reading!
I'll be back soon