There are a lot of things I have learned this past week. I have learned that when I listen to a podcast and read a new book on my commute to and from work, the time just goes by so much faster. I have learned that waking up just a bit earlier will help you avoid the frenzy of when you are running late for getting to the bus at your usual time (who woulda thunk, right?). I also learned that more people are going through this weird time in their lives where they feel a bit lost, they feel bit down, they feel like their life doesn’t have meaning. And here I thought I was the only one. In learning this, I have been able to get better. And that is wonderful.
As I have mentioned in a few of my previous posts, 2018 is all about making 2018 better for me. A lot of last year, and other years past, have seen me grappling with choices I have had to make recently. My college major was History, with a minor in Secondary Education. All of my life, I thought I would be (and dreamt of being) a high school history teacher. Why on earth would you want to teach history, it’s so boring, and high schoolers are the worst! Yeah, I’d heard that all through my life. Why are you going to teach, you’re never going to make any money from that! Yeah, that one too. It was more about how I felt about the work, and I always thought I loved it. I thought I was good at it. I was.
When I moved out East, I did it for one reason, and one reason only. I moved over a thousand miles from my friends and family in order to support my then-boyfriend and his dream. We had decided the year before he left to begin his studies, that I would join him after his first year. I had a teaching certificate in Illinois, and spent countless hours browsing for potential positions in the area we would be living, but every posting I saw had the words “Masters Degree Required,” or, just as bad, “Masters Degree Preferred.” I did not have a Masters Degree. I graduated from the University of Illinois in 2014 with a Bachelors Degree. A great accomplishment! The first of my family to get a Bachelors Degree from a 4-year university. I was SO PROUD of myself, and so were my family members. But it wasn’t going to help me out when I decided to move halfway across the country and support my boyfriend while he worked out his dream. Mine took a back seat.
The above has been running through my head for the past few months, more often than I would like to admit. It has gotten me down in the dumps, it has made me begin to question a lot of things in my life, and it has just been an overall tear-inducer. It has been a rough few months overall. I tried not to let this show on the outside, at all. I tried my best to conceal it from even my now-husband (then-boyfriend, from above). I was emotional a lot. I say emotional because it would change constantly – I would go from a little sad, to angry, to PISSED, to apathetic, to RAGING, to crying incessantly. It was not pretty. We were starting to think about where the next few years would take us – 2020 seems far away, but its only 2 years until my husband graduates and will need to find an academic position, somewhere. I was feeling anxious all the time. My current job relies on scheduling. We know what is happening through May 2018, and are starting to plan for Fall 2018, and Spring 2019. My schedule at work is locked in. And I know where the extra work will come in to play. I don’t know when or where or what we will end up at when my husband finds a position in 2 years. I like to plan. So that is terrifying to me.
The combination of all these thoughts, feelings, the unknown, everything – it was wearing me down. I found myself on the couch most nights after work, sunk in and binge-watching Netflix. Hey, this is not a bad thing – it’s totally enjoyable. But it got to the point where that was my every single day. I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know what I could do about it, if I wanted to do something about it. I had been following a few new people on Instagram on and off for a couple months, and they were all coaches for this fitness thing. And they all seemed SO HAPPY. Yes, I know, social media shows you exactly what others want you to see – not necessarily exactly what is going on behind the scenes. But at this point, I was kind of at the point of no return. I needed something.
Fast-forward to today. I have been following the workout program for 2 weeks, and I am feeling great. Not just because of working out, which is great with endorphins (any Elle Woods fans out there?!), but also because I have been receiving some amazingly positive feedback and encouragement from posting daily on those social media sites. People are telling me that I’ve motivated them to start working out, and to KEEP IT UP! Wow, these people have NO idea how much those comments truly mean to me. All I know is that I like what I’ve been doing thus far, and want to continue. It is helping me in each of my issues – working out releases endorphins, making me happy right after; I am eating healthier so I am feeling better in general; I have my husband working out with me so we are both in it (YES!); and I am receiving a lot of positive reinforcement from family, friends, and even strangers on social media. Literally, the best thing about this is the SUPPORT SYSTEM I have! It’s incredible. Who knew how helpful that could be? I didn’t realize it until it happened to me. And now I want to keep it going.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t had my bad moments since I made my goals for 2018 to be about stepping out of my comfort zone, of doing things I had been long-thinking about, and actually put them in action finally. Some days are bad, some days I’m sad, some days I’m overwhelmed. But so far, I am trying to make it a thing for me to see the positive side of it. And it is helping me out A LOT.
I wasn’t sure where this post was going to go, but I knew I wanted to post something today. And it is almost like writing in a diary, since I know my blog isn’t seen by a lot of people. And that is okay. And for the people who do end up reading this, I hope it helps. Because any positive reinforcement can mean even the tiniest difference. And even the tiniest difference can make someone’s day.