Category Archives: That’s Life:

That’s Life: The Hustle and Bustle

TAC1836

Stop the world, I want to get off!

How many times throughout the week do you think that? It’s probably pretty safe to assume we all experience that thought, and it occurs frequently. We all have our priorities, some are more time consuming that others; and it’s pretty easy to get swept away by the hustle and bustle of life.

After a long day, there’s nothing I look forward to more than getting into bed and tuning out of the world for a few hours to indulge in some REM cycle sleep; then I’m plowed with reminders of everything I have to get done in the upcoming days and I go from relaxed to a state of anxiety. The days I want to go to bed earlier than usual I find myself up until the late hours of the night getting work done that probably could wait, but waiting will only pile more to do on my plate. Perfect example: It’s about 5:30 a.m right now and I’ve been wide awake since 4:00 continuing homework for this week. I’m am so not a morning person but I was awoken to a list of things I had to get done and neglected this weekend because of my daunting work schedule. So here I am studying research articles and working on an annotated bibliography, studying for a quiz and trying to finish a research study proposal.

Life seems to never stop, and that’s because it doesn’t.

Whether you have work/ school/ family and other priorities throughout your daily life, the hustle and bustle of life can sometimes make you feel like you’re living in your own personal Times Square at rush hour. Things are moving and moving fast to where you begin feeling like you’re a person in one of those time lapse videos. All the demands of life can start taking its toll on you after a while too.

I know I keep talking about myself here but it fits in with what this post is about. I’m not even 2 months into my junior year of undergrad and already I’m feeling burnt out and exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving college beyond anything I ever could have expected. My classes/ professors are incredible, I’m meeting a wide variety of people and am still managing to receive passing grades. My life, like a lot of peoples lives, is a juggling act and a test of those lovely time management skills they should have spent a class teaching us in high school (because I’m still waiting for someone to ask me for the circumference of the pie they wish to purchase). Not only do I have school and all the work required outside of class (online anatomy/physiology anyone?!), I also have 2 part time jobs which is a huge time suck.

But like the name of this post suggests, that’s just life.

Now please, I am not being a massive jerk and saying well that’s life get over it. Geez even I’d wanna punch me in the face for that. No, what I’m trying to say is this:

Life requires 2 things:

1) Balance

2) Time for yourself

I struggle with this time for yourself thing a lot. With all the priorities I have right now I have had to give up a lot. I no longer play guitar which used to be my passion. I traded in my music skills for homework/study stuff. I barely see my friends as I’m constantly always working or drowning in homework (if you guys are reading this, ITS NOT MY FAULT AND IM SORRY!! haha). I have been working on it though. I used to feel that if I wasn’t constantly doing something school related I was failing as a college student and those at admissions who let me in were going to see I wasn’t the student I showed them I was on my transcripts. But this semester I’m trying something different. It’s hard and a lot of the time it’s a process trying to figure out what thing is ok to not work on for the time being, but I’m at least trying to make a little more time for myself. All work and no play makes for an overly-stressed, migraine filled, angry and emotional wreck me. I still haven’t picked up any of my guitars or have done anything I thoroughly enjoy by myself (except Tennis cause that’s my jam!), but I have been making going out every Friday night for a couple of hours with some friends a very high priority.

We all need our “me” time. What good is living a busy life if you’re not taking time to relax, unwind and not have to think about what you ‘should’ be doing? Why not enjoy the life you have? Even if it’s 10,20 or 30 minutes to sit back and do something you love. Life shouldn’t be lived like a time lapse video.

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That’s Life: Labels

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
William Shakespeare

We as humans seem to need everything we know compartmentalized into tiny little boxes in which we can keep everything in their right places. On the daily we use labels, but when it comes to labeling others or ourselves even we dive into dangerous territory.

Labels come along with an annotation that people too belong in specific categories. We see it come into play, especially in places like high school and even college. I believe it’s part of our learning process as our frontal lobe continues to mature and develop until we hit the sweet old age of 25 (did my psych nerd show there?). Placing labels on people is problematic, especially when that label of an acquaintance differs from the label placed on you.

We becomes cliques, which unfortunately in most high schools (and depending on the maturity of co-workers) our work environment can turn from something meant to bring people together or at least to meet new people, into an isolating and even toxic place.

Nerd (I’m self-classified and proud!)/Geek
Loner
Weirdo
Redneck/Hick
Jock
Outcast
Goth/Punk/Emo… etc.
Prep/Beauty Queen/High Maintenance

There’s so many more labels I’m sure are out there but my mind is coming up short (thanks college!). Then there’s the labels we put on ourselves, which can come as a result as the societal labels placed on us.

Not good enough
Worthless
Failure
Average
Outcast
Alone

Again, that list could go on and on as well.

My point being that if we’re not careful, the labels we place on either ourselves or peers as naive kids or adolescents can have lasting effects on the psychological processes we could possibly face as adults. I mean, you see it all the time in regards to bullying (something I touched upon in a previous entry.. you can read it here: https://jessicasteinbach.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/maybe-its-just-me-sticks-stones/ 

I don’t mean to be all soap box preacher for this post, yet I know how labels can suck the life out of someone. They’re believable and unfortunately the most believable ones in our minds tend to be the negative ones.

But what about the positive ones? I wish I could take my own advise here when I say that it’s about time (no matter your age) to start putting more faith in the positive labels instead of focusing on the negative ones. It sounds cheesy but I have cards on my bedroom mirror with some inspirational labels. Some may call them affirmation cards, others may not. No matter the preferred name, I have found that when I take the time to really stop and let the words soak in, I feel a little less crumby about myself in times where I may be struggling emotionally.

Try it out if you want, and I hope you remember the importance of positive labels, as well as the effects negative ones have.

That’s Life: Fear

I feel like the majority of time the biggest thing that gets in our way of doing something we want is ourselves. Everything in us knows we are capable of doing what it is we desire or need to do, yet that small voice inside our heads that turns from a whisper into a scream tells us that if we do this we will: fail, look stupid, not do good enough, mess something up, etc.

I believe fear is a natural response to have as a human being. It’s unfortunate however, because this response (whether justified or irrational) can hold us back from so much in this life.

It’s easier to be afraid of something, but what we need is a little courage and faith. Faith that even if we do this, it won’t turn out as bad as we believe it could and that if it does end failing it doesn’t make us a failure and that a negative result does not reflect who we are. I know for myself 9 times out of 10 I catastrophize the end result without really knowing that it will even happen. You see, we can’t predict the future and if we are filled with a fear of the unknown we may never get to realize we have more potential and talent than we once thought.

I remember the very first time I played guitar in front of a crowd. The whole drive there I was literally trembling with fear. I wanted to turn around the instant my car drove into the parking lot, but I didn’t. I was terrified and you could literally watch my knees trembling as I stood on stage plugging in to my amplifier and getting set up. I wasn’t trusting in my talent in this moment; the fear of making a mistake and being laughed at by people was greater than my confidence in my talent of playing electric guitar.

Looking back now,I am so glad I showed up that morning, that I at least attempted it. That one morning turned into me playing for the next 6 years. If I turned the car around that morning I believe I would have missed out on pursuing my passion of music.

Fear of the unknown can be crippling, but as I said before, until we run after what we’re afraid of we can’t possibly know that the thought our fear give us are even true.

One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.
Henry Ford 

That’s Life: Friendships

People grow apart.
Relationships end.
It’s painful & sometimes devastating but that opens the door for a new chapter in your life.

I’ve had several times throughout my life where I without a doubt was sensing that a relationship between me and some friends was surely coming to an end.It seemed all I could do was sit back and watch it happen, slowly but surely. I was scared not knowing what life would be like without these people and I was heart broken knowing that people who were so important to me that I would do anything for were pushing away from me.
It feels like you’re being rejected, like you’re not good enough for them to consider a friend any more and like you did something so bad that they want nothing to do with you.

You call many times with no answer. You send texts without any response. You spend so many hours in the day trying to remember a reason of why they’re mad at you,what you possibly could have done because obviously it’s your fault; yet you realize there simply is no answer.

I’ve struggled with this. There always has to be an answer, yet the answer of I don’t know isn’t a suitable one. But that’s so black and white, isn’t it?

I don’t know why I was thinking about this today, but through my time of pondering the question of “why do people we cherish so much sometimes leave without explanation?” I realized that sometimes it’s simply the card we’re dealt.

People change, and that’s ok. We go through things that make us sit back and reevaluate our life and those we spend time with. In moments of pain, sometimes we exhaust those we consider close to us. Friends are not in our lives to be our On-Call Therapists. Yes, we should be able to talk to them about anything if that level of a relationship exists, yet that shouldn’t be all the relationship is about.

Change is hard to accept, especially in others. I think we take for granted those in our life who we grow close to. We can sometimes place walls up with them, expecting they will not allow us to push them away, and sometimes they give up on trying to break through.

With different phases of life, we can lose relationships too. Some go off to college miles and miles away. Meet new people and grow close to them instead. But that doesn’t mean you’re less than. It doesn’t say that you’re not good enough or that you did something wrong. It’s just life.

Life can beat us down to a point where we’re holding on by the tips of our fingers. We can get beat down to a point where we feel that we’re alone, and it will always be that way. But over the course of this year I’m learning something that I never thought I’d believe as true: people change, relationships alter, and it’s alright. It will be alright, if only you fight through the pain.