In the past 3 months, I've been living life at 100 miles an hour. I am running my own business, taking 16 hours of school, being involved with a campus organization, taking online design classes, doing study abroad scholarships left and right, interning for a startup, blogging, and doing humanitarian work. On top of that, I am also juggling family, friends, a social life, and, oh yeah, sleep.
I need to slow down.
The thing with me is that I think I can do everything. As cliché and overused as that phrase goes, I really believe that. Or at least I use to. I thought that I could handle more than the typical human being, and do it all well. Go big or go home.
I admit that I am not the average person… Most people probably go through their day at a steady, reasonable pace of 40-60 mph. I can go at a sustained 100 mph for a pretty lengthy amount of time.
But now I'm beginning to ask myself, "Is that something that I want?"
My problem is that I am the ultimate perfectionist. It's all in the details for me, so letting up just a tad and sacrificing those details… it kills me. I think that I can manage everything and do it all well. I try to mail my favorite people birthday cards on their birthdays. I try to do the extra credit that's offered in class. I try to constantly improve my skills as an graphic designer, photographer, web designer, and artist. I try to go out of my way to help everyone and do everything, hoping to open myself up to new experiences. You know the movie Yes Man? That's me.
It's not a bad way to live, but there's a lot of sacrifices that come with it.
A dilemma that have is that I'm not half bad at a lot of things. That's not to say that I succeed at everything I do. It means that I recognize my potential in all these different areas, and I know that I have the heart and tenacity to be really great at them. In the end, I'm left with this feeling of being overwhelmed, not knowing what to pursue.
People tell me that it's refreshing to see someone who knows what they want in life and go after it with all of their heart, especially at such a young age. There are people that cruise and wander through life without any plans. I mean that's fine for them, but that just wasn't how I lived my life. I have ambitious plans and tunnel-vision focus!
I've come to I realized though that I am not invincible nor do I have all the answers. Family and friends have been telling me to stop rushing and just breathe. Some don't understand how I've managed to juggle everything that's on my plate and maintain a positive attitude. I DON'T EITHER. I think all of this movement is starting to take away from – in the words of my favorite professor – my essence. I can't be the most empathetic person when I'm exhausted and running on empty.
Today, I woke up 30 minutes late for work. I took a nap and woke up an hour late and missed a kayaking trip that I was really looking forward to. My body and mind needs some rest. So, I decided to have a Nina day. I had a picnic outside, sat by the pool, and watched a movie.
Interestingly enough, the movie that I picked, one that was randomly in my Netflix queue, was about two people who wandered through life feeling lost. One thought that people felt like a robots sometimes, simply going through the motions of life. We are constantly trying to fulfill some role that was expected of us. At the end, the main character decided that it's ok not to know what you want in life – that it's ok to not have all the answers and everything figured out.
I'm not being melodramatic or anything and saying that this completely applies to my life. It did, however, make me think that maybe a little wandering is ok. Now, there is no way that I am throwing my goals and ambition to the wind; they're a part of who I am. But I think that I am going to slow down (or at least my version of slowing down) and wander around for a bit.
Ultimately, do I need to constantly be on the move on order to be happy? YES. But is 100 mph really sustainable? Probably not.
Maybe being in college for 3 years instead of 2.5 years isn't so bad. Maybe I should make more time for myself instead of for work and for other people. Maybe saying "no" is something that I should work on... Actually, that's not a maybe; I really do need to work on that.
So tonight I am not going to be productive and do any work. Nope. I am not going to go out with friends either. I am going to stay home, order Indian food, watch Netflix, and spend time with a person who hasn't been getting a lot of attention lately: myself.