Monday, September 14, 2015

on doing the best you can.

this is something that has been on my mind for a while, and while i may not be able to articulate my feelings perfectly, i figure... if i've been thinking about it for this long, i might as well jot it down and throw it out to the universe. so, let's see how it goes! 

last week, i almost had a full-blown breakdown in costco (that saturday shopping zoo after an exhausting week isn't worth the samples... it just isn't). and today, i couldn't get out of bed all day. we didn't make it to the grocery store this weekend (apparently should've spent a little more time in that costco on the bulk goods), so i munched on stale trader joe's tortilla chips and white chocolate chips all afternoon, and my husband made us some eggs for sunday dinner. the clean laundry is still sitting in the laundry basket, waiting to get folded (i did laundry last monday). i've wanted to paint my nails for a good six weeks now, but they're still as plain as ever. and you know what? that's okay. it's all okay. 

i used to live in this tight little "type a" world, where i lamented over ninety-two percents for test scores and got stressed when i got dirt spots on my shoes. and while i have a shiny diploma with the phrase "magna cum laude" about .5 inches tall on it and had a few nice pair of shoes in my closet, it's not everything. and it doesn't make me any better of a person. i have come to realize something-- that it's okay to not be perfect. it's okay to have faults and struggles and leave it all on your sleeve for the world to see sometimes. it's okay to deal with tough stuff and to let details fall to the wayside sometimes. it's all right to let your hair down, to let out a good cry, and to just let yourself be real for a second. 

we're all human-- vulnerably and perfectly imperfect human. and as the seasons in our lives change, we all experience trials and triumphs. but it's those peaks and valleys that keep us going; they make the beautiful times in life even sweeter. and i think, as we're in this fast-paced world with the ever-growing influence of social media all around us, it's so easy to feel pressured to live a "perfect" life. to compare ourselves to others and to think about all of the things we don't have that we see our friends and acquaintances possessing. and while it's absolutely fine to yearn for a beautiful, pinterest-inspired life, it's also okay to let yourself feel-- to let yourself get messy, take things a step at a time, and just do the best you can

whenever i sit and reflect on the last seven years of my life, all of these emotions rise up out of my stomach and i want to smile and cry and laugh at the same time. it has been a beautiful ride. but it has been oh, so hard. at some point during my freshman year of college, i became labeled "the sick kid." i was always sick, or so they said. and seven years and a second bachelor's degree later, and the title has stuck. i have gone through what feels like some twisted version of groundhog day, where i wake up and experience the same illnesses and mystery diagnoses and diagnostic tests over and over and over again. like i am always saying, "it will get better when they just figure out what's going on and can get me a treatment," "it will get better after this semester when i'm less stressed," "it will get better when..." i don't really remember what it feels like to wake up after eight hours of sleep and feel energized and ready for a new day.

and although i have suffered in some ways, i have learned so much and been blessed immensely. i feel overwhelmingly grateful for the incredible experiences that i have had during this time frame-- the people that i have connected with, the places i have explored, and the lessons that i have learned. i've loved it. but i believe that part of the reason i have been able to love it is because i have been able to let go. to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies and to just let myself live. to try my hardest, but to cut myself some slack. to take comfort in knowing that i'm doing the best i can and pray that others can see that and be okay with that and to take comfort in knowing that God knows my heart, my capabilities, and my intentions. and he knows that i am doing the best i can. and to learn to loosen up and cut others some slack too. because i don't know what they're going through. i don't know their secret battles or what their past seven years have looked like. and they'll surely appreciate extra support along the way. 

 i'll say it again: we're all human. and we're all part of this same exciting, messy world. life comes at us too fast sometimes, so let's be kind to each other. let's acknowledge people's efforts and try to gain insight on their circumstances. let's throw out enough good vibes and support to keep those around us afloat. and if you ever find someone crying in a costco, put your arm around them and buy them a frozen yogurt.

thank you to all of you people in my life who have supported me. who take me as i am and love me unconditionally, messy-haired and all. i know it hasn't been an easy road to follow along with my illness(es) over the past few years, but i really appreciate it. i earnestly and honestly mean that i couldn't have gotten through it without you. i have needed you and continue to need you. and i am grateful that you've been okay with me just doing the best that i could and helped me enjoy all of the good that is still around.

to all of you out there who are dealing with something: you're doing great. you're okay. you'll get through it; just keep doing the best you can. 

and if you need a pick-me-up, i've got some chocolate chips on my nightstand calling your name.

((photo from the one time i cooked mateo a "fancy" breakfast, even if it was the only time i cooked during that week of school...!))

p.s. speaking of "doing the best i can"... i'm actually too tired to proof-read this soooo.. please forgive/laugh at any mistakes. besos. 

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