Thursday, October 15, 2009

Struggles upon my return

It’s been about two months since I have been home. If I am being completely honest, it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride ever since. I thought that returning to the place I call home I would naturally fall back into the swing of things as they were before I left. Such was not the case.

I had enrolled in 18 units at the University, and classes began just two days after I got back to Fresno. My truck, in much need of new tires and breaks from the road trip, was still loaded with half of my summer luggage and the rest was spewed out across my bedroom. I had pressing decisions to make about my small recycling business that I opened shortly before I found out about my internship. I wanted to spend time with all of my loved ones that I missed so dearly during the time I was gone, but had limited spare time. I was missing Iowa more than I had ever anticipated. In the back of my head, I would remind myself that after this semester I will only have one left until I earn my long-awaited degree. But that only meant that the skills that I have learned throughout my college career and internship experiences would have to be good enough to share with employers who seek the best of the best. Like always, I began to question myself. And I fell into the trap, like many others, of being my own worst critic.

I was overwhelmed by everything, combating immense internal struggles. The pressure I was feeling from it all led me to make the decision to close down my business permanently. I second-guessed this and every move I made, feeling looked down upon by others. It’s as though the entire world is at my fingertips and though I crave it, I am terrified of it. I’ve been in a constant state of loving my life but feeling like a complete failure, a stranger in my own home.

And I have dealt with it in all of the wrong ways. Fearful to make a move, of being a failure, I stopped dead in my tracks. I’ve routinely procrastinated, resulting in less-than-quality efforts and outcomes. My grades took a nosedive in the first couple of weeks and I became the underachieving student that I have always resented. Naturally disgusted and discouraged, I became an emotional wreck, fighting numerous nights of uncontrollable tears.

The people in my life are amazing. For this I am so grateful. They have been there for me to talk to when I have needed it most. I made numerous unsuccessful attempts to convey how I was feeling, stifled in every way imaginable by the pressure. They say if you have one good friend to talk to in times like these, you are lucky; I have many and know without a doubt that I am extremely blessed.

With much support and encouragement I have brought all of my grades back to above average, where I have always kept them. That is with the exception of one that is on a steady incline. Aside from the satisfaction of maintaining these grades, I am pleased with the quality and content of my work. Self-talk is extremely influential and it is vital that we are aware of what we say to ourselves. Instead of believing the lies about myself, I try to continuously remind myself of my talents and abilities. When I feel discouraged or in a state of disarray, I try to remember to count my blessings because there are many.

To deal with the stress and the need to release some of the pressure, I run. It provides me the chance to clear my head and engage in intrapersonal conversation. I have learned a lot about where my weaknesses lie. I am determined to strengthen those. That is why I write. It is a necessity for me—therapy. I have the ability to graze open fields through my written work, where I am often bound by fences and walls through oral communication. I am a better person when I write and others are given the chance to understand me more when I do.

I realized just today, that this is the first entry I have written since I have been home. I refrained from writing creatively, when I became distracted by my pursuit of the journalistic style. It is no wonder I’ve encountered back-to-back hardships since I’ve been home. I haven’t practiced what, in many ways, keeps me stable—that is, my love for writing, as it better helps me reveal who I am as a person. It is my hope that as I explore my world through written work, I will become more certain of myself and inspire others. As I question outside perceptions of me I hope that I will be reminded that what others think is irrelevant. Because I know who I am and despite my fears, dare to share that with others through the honesty that exudes from the words I write on the pages to come.