Oh sure, I can offer up excuses. I was exhausted and stressed and running out of food. It's true. But the sad truth is, when push comes to shove, when I'm really stressed out, it's either buy food, or go hungry. Because I just will not bother to make myself food when I'm stressed if it takes ANY effort. It's a bad, bad habit, but when I hit the end of my rope, I would rather skip meals than cook.
And I'm at the end of my rope. Or near it. Every day I feel as burned out as the day before. And it doesn't matter how much sleep I get or how much I accomplish, or how much I try to let myself relax and watch TV or read a book. Today, at the end of work, I landed up in co-worker's office crying.
I don't do well with stress. Correction, I tend to work just fine under pressure, but the big problem is, I'm a control freak. And when I'm dealing with things outside of my control, I just break down.
I don't know what to do. Today, I had a major melt down of the sort that I haven't experienced in over a year. I *thought* I was getting better, and learning to handle things better. And maybe I am, but today I completely relapsed. I spent the whole day obsessing over things that I really didn't need to obsess over. It was absolutely horrible.
And the worst of it is, I'm so stressed about visas and car selling and car smogging and stuff selling and apartment moving, that I'm not even able to be excited. Instead I am thinking about all the logistics and it's overwhelming and scary. And then I think about the "non-required" reading list a mile long that I got sent and I wonder, how the hell am I going to do this? Everyone thinks that this is going to be so great and I'm going to do so well and has such high expectations. But like ... I haven't been back to school is seven years. I don't know what the hell I'm doing! I can barely figure out my stupid Stafford loans. If I can't figure out my loans, how the hell am I smart enough to go to graduate school!
I know that deep down, underneath all the stress and angst and heartache that this is the right thing to do. Sometimes when I'm able to reach deep down, I remember why I'm going, and I get all excited and happy and amazed that I was afforded such a wonderful opportunity. But too often, I'm just thinking, "Crap, I have to clean out my car and drive 5 miles out of the way to the non-toxic dry-cleaner, and then I have to get my car washed and OH MY GOD MY HAIR IS A DISASTER, I HAVE TO CUT MY HAIR."
I dunno. I feel stupid whining about my life when this is all good stuff happening. I know I should be properly happy and grateful and not be a pain in the ass on my blog about how life is HARD when hellooooo, clearly I should be counting my blessings.
But guuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuys! Life is hard!!!!!
Ummm.... don't count your chickens before they're hatched or in your case don't count your worries before they arrive. My grandma always said 'You can't help anything with worry so go do something.'
I'm a great one to talk - I worry too but I do find talking to people helps - and not just about worries but just any old thing. Doing stuff helps too.
Man I could shove at least another four sayings into this :) Hope it gives at least a smile,
viv in nz
ps I'd kill for your opportunities.
pps It'll all be the same in a thousand years
keep your pecker up ;)
Hang in there, Arduous. You'll be throwing back pints in an English pub before you know it!
In the meantime, take a deep breath, make a list of what you need to do, enlist some help and Git 'Er Done!
I was going to suggest the list thing too. As a fellow control freak I always find it comforting to make a list of EVERYTHING, even the tiniest of details, that need to be done. (Feel free to add things like peeing and breathing to your list just to feel better about crossing things off.) Just making the list helps me feel more in control of the chaos. It will also help you be more efficient with your time...like seeing all the errands that need to be done in one part of town. Don't beat yourself up for being overwhelmed...it is an overwhelming experience even if it is a great one.
I'm sorry for your horrible day. I've had a similar day this week, so I'm right there with you. I would have broken down and ordered pizza last night, but my daughter kept me on track and with her help, we fixed homemade pizza. Finally sitting down to eat, I realized my efforts had been worth it, but yesterday I was very close to the edge.
Sometimes you fall over that edge - and I do many, many times. Other times, there is someone there to pull you back at the last minute.
I'm the same way - I'm good in a tight situation but cry like a baby when no ones looking because everything feels so out of control. It's normal to be stressed, nervous, anxious. So don't try to stop it. Maybe just accept that those feeling are part of the process and know deep down that they will pass. I've mentioned this before (though I don't remember where), but "Be the Tree." Imagine you are a tree and that all these things that happen to you are the wind. Sometimes the wind is gentle and things are great but when the wind gets tough, just bend a little and let it flow through you and soon enough it will be over and the gentleness will return. Be the Tree. Sometimes that helps me.
You'll be fine in grad school! Look at how intelligent and articulate you are.
By the way, "non-required" means you don't have to do it!!! Even if you just pick up a few and read them, that's better than nothing.
Besides, what's the worst thing that could happen, you could slack school and spend your year in Britain partying and eating takeaway? Oh no! That might set you up for an entire lifetime of slack, enjoyment, and dreadful undereducation.
If you need Stafford Loan help, just pipe up - I am in the learner helping group at a university and we are all financial aid questions all the time this month, with the start of the new aid year and all the weirdness with banks.
This is me exactly 10 years ago when I left LA for undergrad. Everyone kept asking, "are you excited?" and I was thinking, "um I have to move out of my apartment first"...and when the plane takes off, it doesn't matter how smoothly it went, you're done! You can think about what this all means and the opportunities on your long plane rides.
List + prioritize: what things have to happen and by when? And what things would be nice to have happen but don't really have to? I'll bet you can delegate, too. This is the last thing your friends have to do for you until you are away for a whole year - I'll bet they'll be happy to jump in.
Pu-leezz! Major life change here. Alot going on. Of course you're freaking out. Last I checked, you are human.
Once you get there AND get settled, I'm guessing the stress will seep away and you'll start enjoying things.
It's an adventure and no one said an adventure was easy. But it will be meaningful. Hang in there.
Going back to graduate school was hard for me too - I took the plunge while continuing to work full-time and at age 33! But that is nothing compared to moving to another country and all of the things that you have to do before you even get to leave. You have every reason in the world to be stressed! But hang in there - You will get through all of this and before you know it, you will be stressing about projects and papers that will keep you up at night!
I am so against any structure in life, so for me to say that making a list is a good thing is huge.
You poor thing, you don't get children to yell at when you are stressed. Okay, that did not sound right. You poor thing, you don't have a dog to yell at when you are stressed. Still did not come out right. Forget it, just yell at some thing in your apartment, it totally helps.
Or go for a walk or run, it may get your angst out. You know you WILL get everything done in time, it's just there is so much to do.
- make a list (crossing blogging out)
- go for a run
- go through your list
- yell at some thing if you must :)
"Today, at the end of work, I landed up in co-worker's office crying."
OK, this is getting spooky, 'cos I more or less did the same thing this morning (and for much less reason). We really must be twins! I didn't actually cry, but I came bloody close.
Everything WILL get done. When I moved to Canada from the UK I was so frantic with doing stuff that I didn't even realise I was leaving until after the plane took off. (hanging around airports, long flights, and the tube are good times to read BTW).
O.k., relax girl!
Um, are you sleeping? Things are always much worse to me when I'm not sleeping.
Get some rest, keep it in perspective, and realize that almost any angst is temporary. Good vibes, Shannon
Oh my dear, sweet Arduous! Everything is and will continue to be just fine. You already know how much I think you rock. So I won't rehash that material. Nor do I think you were looking for any ego stroking today.
So instead, I'll just send you my good thoughts and remind you to remain flexible, calm and patient - it's awesome practice for if/when you become a parent! :-)
I'll chime in to agree with everyone else just so you know I'm thinking of you too. This is a huge change with a lot of responsibility, so it's fine for you to feel overwhelmed! But it will all be over soon. You can do it!
Everyone else has such good advice for you. I just have a jar of fudge sauce. For you. Tomorrow. That's all.
Aaack! That is sooo stressful... Breathe, make a list, and everything will be fine. Besides, if you get your friends to help you with the list, you're spending time with them before you leave AND getting stuff done. That's multitasking :)
(The reading list is for the plane!)
Oh, Arduous, a melt down now and then is totally warranted! My freak out food of choice is also pizza. When I just can't take the whining of the boys, I call the place on the corner and order two non-organic, non-healthy pizzas. I justify it by the fact the boys can walk to pick them up and we are buying from a local guy - not a chain. Sometimes it's whatever will get you through the day. Pizza? Ice Cream? iTunes? Whatever works for you!!
Everyone here is offering much better suggestions than I can, because I am turning out to be the Queen in the freaking out dept. But taking a deep breath is a good step.
Also I'm sure you've already made huge changes in your life before (moving to L.A was a big one, no?). That turned out well (I think?).
Change is hard, Arduous, even if it's change you want. (Should have seen me whining over all the work of changing name after getting married to the love of my life.)
I agree with the suggestions to:
- Make a list of everything you need to get done.
- Prioritize the list and stick anything on particular dates that you need to.
- Do ONE THING at a time. You will actually get more accomplished if you truly focus on what you are doing than thinking about what you should be doing.
- Eat. If that means going out, do it. You have to eat and it has to be good quality food. Nutrition fuels your body and your brain!
- Relax. I know that sounds absolutely impossible right now, but if you follow the other steps, what needs to get done will get done.
- Ask for help. Friends locally can help you with selling, packing, and even feed you occasionally. But you have to ask.
Hugs, and take care of yourself. You're going through a major transition. It WILL be good on the other side of it.
my mom has to remind me all the time that stress comes out of happy changes too - it doesn't mean that we're not happy or grateful, but it does mean we have to adjust. and I too highly recommend making lists. Not just one, either - the more the better, and the more specific the better!
Thank you all SO much for the advice and sympathy! I really really appreciate it.
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