Wednesday, February 13, 2013


These last couple of months, especially since I moved into my apartment and school started back up, my instinct has been to keep things as simple as possible. I think this is born out of the fact that my life has been very emotionally trying for the last few months, and every time I think things are finally going to settle down in the emotional realm, something else crops up. I guess that's par for the course post-breakup, but it's still really hard. My whole make-a-plan-and-do-not-deviate way of handling life has changed, and certainly for the better. I still plan things out (I love my checklists), but I don't beat myself up for not following through with my plan. I am now abundantly aware that I can, without warning, be knocked down by an emotional juggernaut at the most unexpected moment. So I have learned to roll with it, and go with the flow in a way I was never able to do before. If I am suddenly ambushed by a memory or some new type of emotional fallout, it is best to drop what I am doing, process whatever it is that is going on with my emotions, and deal with that so it doesn't build up into a massive knot of anxiety. I spent far too long suppressing everything and not processing any of it; it is actually very refreshing, and far less painful, to actually be an emotional wreck for awhile, talk it out with my friends or family, work through it, and then get back to my homework or chores or whatever.

That's all a very long-winded way of saying: simple feels good, and not planning too far ahead feels good, and consciously reducing the number of complicated things in my life feels good. I am following my gut instincts much more, and only doing what actually feels right or sounds good. It also makes me realize how different my definition of simplicity is from that of many other people. For me, keeping it simple means not going out to eat, but cooking everything myself. It means taking the time to do chores like washing dishes by hand. It means not having internet at home (which I am still completely sold on- the only thing I really miss is Skyping with my overseas friends), it means not making any long-term plans. I have no idea what my life will look like after I graduate in June, and for once it feels okay to have the future be unplanned.

I am keeping my social life simple- hanging out with my friends mostly on an impromptu basis, not staying out late, and not booking myself up with obligations to do anything that doesn't sound good. I really do enjoy spending time by myself, so most of the time I don't mind just coming home at night and staying in.

One area where I've been struggling  is school. It has been incredibly hard to concentrate on my schoolwork with all the emotional mayhem racketing around in my brain. Thankfully I am only taking two courses this term, in addition to my fieldwork, and the workload is noticeably lighter than previous terms. I'm ahead on credits, so next quarter I only have to take one class (my very last!) while I finish up my fieldwork. I am very much looking forward to having less school obligations. I love learning, but it's hard when I have to balance my school requirements with the need for self-care. I find the two things are almost always mutually exclusive!

I'm moving slowly through most things- the last year of my life has been so hectic and crazy, and I never managed to be able to just sit and breathe sometimes, and write in my journal as much as I needed to, and sometimes just walk around my neighborhood simply for the sake of getting fresh air and clearing my head. I'm doing those things now, and it is very grounding and reassuring. I think I really, finally, understand the meaning of "one day at a time." 


Nita in South Carolina said...

I am really enjoying your posts as of late (well, except the worm bin, trying not to think about that one). This is an excellent post - I think you will be very glad that you are taking care of yourself in these ways. When you finish school and begin your career, you'll find that you will really appreciate your new habits.

Liz said...

Thanks, Nita! I really appreciate the support, and thanks for taking the time to comment (and no worries about not being excited about the worm bin- they're not for everyone !:)

Emma Watts said...

Hi Liz, I've been following your blog since pre New Zealand days. I know your world has completely changed of late but with every ending comes a new start. Concentrate on finishing your studies and finding your centre. Most of all be kind to yourself.