Balance Is BS: Embracing Life For What It Is
This weekend my dad went on a yoga retreat in North Carolina for three days of peace and tranquility in the mountains. His days were filled with yoga, spa treatments and not much else, making me question why I’m spending my life in college rather than doing yoga all day with a bunch of other hippie-dippy people like myself.
I was so excited for him to get out of the mundane routine of everyday life and discover more truth, but I was surprised by an incoming call a day before he was meant to leave. He was extremely underwhelmed with the experience and said the yoga was wholly “uninspired,” leaving me wondering how inspiration, or lack thereof, shows up in my own work and my life in general.
I’m not sure whether his disappointment with the retreat came from a place of resistance of a feeling of separateness, but I do know that these are human emotions we all experience and rather than pushing them down, it’s important for us to feel them completely in order to productively work through them.
I can write posts like this one and others about living your best life and staying inspired, but I’d be lying if I told you I practice what I preach 100% of the time. My main goal for this blog and in general is to keep it as real as possible and share my personal struggles and experiences in hopes that it resonates with someone out there. While I wish I was thriving all day every day, the fact of the matter is I’m human and I still experience fear, anxiety, and feelings that I’m not enough.
And, if we’re being really honest here, I’ve felt like I’ve kind of just been going through the motions these past few weeks. This happens every once in a while for me and typically breezes right by but this time, these feelings have been here to stay (at least, longer than I expected them to) and I’ve had to learn to embrace it rather than busy myself with work, school, or the next thing.
Coming out of working 30+ hours a week on top of 17 credits and maintaining sanity, my schedule has calmed down significantly and I’ve been left with a heck of a lot of free time that my type-A self loathes. Rather than filling myself up with all the things that make me happy, I’ve been using this free time as an excuse to be complacent because, “This is the first time I’ve had time to myself in, uh, literally years and I’m gonna freaking enjoy it.” But NO.
There’s a huge difference between being content and being complacent. Too often these days, I find myself scrolling through social media and twenty minutes have passed without anything being accomplished. I find myself standing around my house doing things that add little to no value in my life and I’m definitely starting to notice the effects.
I feel as if everyone preaches balance and bows down to the idea of it, but let’s be real: There is NO such thing as balance and if there was, we wouldn’t be thinking or feeling these things that we all do. It feels to me like there is this idealistic view of life that when we can just figure out how to balance everything going on with us, we’ll be fine. Similarly to what I discussed in my last post, though, this is an unrealistic expectation.
We can never truly find balance because our lives are extremely dynamic; sure, some things may stay the same, but the situations we find ourselves in are ever-changing as are the places we go, the people we interact with, and the way we show up in general. The bottom line is, we never arrive: we are always presented with new challenges and we aren’t supposed to make sense of them, but the important thing is that we continue to build off of our past selves and learn from circumstances we had encountered before.
In my experience, life is just a series of tests. There is no passing or failing and certainly no retakes, but your professor always gives you the choice to review your answers and see what you did wrong and it’s up to you to either correct those mistakes or make them again on the next test. When you start to see patterns in answers you’ve gotten wrong, everything begins to piece together and you think, “Hm, I guess something’s got to give.” This, my friends, is life.
We can either choose to stay comfortable and small or we can go out and live fearlessly as ourselves; either way, though, we must work through a lot of internal ish to be fulfilled in any way, shape, or form. I know I have a heck of a lot of work to do and often times I wonder where to even begin, but all I know is that once you take the leap, the rest comes just a little bit easier.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, yes, life is amazing and full of bliss sometimes, but a lot of the time it’s full of challenges we have to face although we may not want to. It’s meant to be fluid and ever-changing and if it wasn’t, can you imagine how freaking bored we would be? Regardless of all the not-so-great, life is still a blessing to me and I can’t imagine living one any different from my own.
Whether you’re in a season of owning your damn self and rocking everything you do or this season is feeling pretty “blah” and like you’re swimming upstream, never fear: it won’t stay that way for long. The good, the bad, the ugly, they are all fleeting and that is the beauty of it. We are constantly being given new opportunities to grow, expand, and better ourselves, it’s all just a matter of what we make of it. With this, I turn a new leaf and vow to only make choices that keep me moving forward in a positive direction regardless of my circumstances; while you can’t change what happens to you, you can change how you react to it.
I encourage you all to embrace whatever it is you’re feeling at this point in your life and stop resisting everything so dang much. When you allow life to flow to you, amazing things happen that can’t occur when you are so wrapped up in negative thoughts and beliefs. Let’s improve ourselves together and make this life our best life, even when it’s at a 6/10 circumstantially: because we matter.