Friday, 24 February 2017

Doing enough vs doing too much

Ironically, writing this post has taken an entire week of umming and ahhing, hesitation and procrastination, largely because it has seemed so difficult to put into words. I'm writing it now however, with the hopes of clearing my head by getting physical words down on my blog and also potentially to strike a conversation with others on a feeling I'm sure I'm not alone in experiencing! So. Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Like so many others my age, I'm currently completing my degree (potentially this is why I'm having an existential ~what am I doing with my life~ crisis) but also attempting to balance my blog and social channels, search for internship opportunities and write endless amounts of cover letters, whilst finding time to attend lectures, do my food shop, get enough sleep and see family and friends. This potentially doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary when so many others are facing the same expectations, however university brings a new level of independent learning in which I've struggled increasingly with where to draw the line of working. Worrying I'm working too much, or sometimes that I've given myself too much free time is a constant concern, and coupled with my determination to succeed in my placement year and the need to keep working to secure an internship is EXHAUSTING. This post sounds like a whole lot of complaining, but really I just want to share my thoughts on the anxieties of an uncertain future (how deep) and how my brain is struggling with that a little. 

My anxiety and eating disorder are very much based around control. If you've met me in real life, you probably know me as a v stressy yet v organised person, largely because I like to know what's going on at all times and be prepared in every eventuality. The control side of my personality is struggling a little (to say the least) with not knowing where I'll be or what I'll be doing after I finish my second year of university in May, and as a result I'm going crazy in terms of trying to prepare for it. Despite the fact I'm juggling a degree, attempting to keep my blog up to date and search for placements, my brain is still convinced I'm not doing enough and am too lazy to succeed. Perhaps it's not wise sharing these thoughts online, but if you're anything like me I'm sure you'll understand the stresses that come along with the constant fear of not being good enough. I think this is really where my struggles with balancing work and life come into play, with my main problem stemming from the worry that if I'm not constantly working, then I'm not doing enough. This term the introduction of more group based as opposed to individual projects on my course have come into play, and with that feels like a lack of control over certain parts of my degree. I'm so used to working non stop in the library on my own assignments and completing things early to satisfy my brain that I have a bit of extra time for emergencies or printing problems (so far things have always gone to plan) that having more free time as a result of completing work in a group feels totally alien to me. In actual fact, having free time then pushes me to think I should be doing more outside of my academic work to further my knowledge and learn new skills, which I in turn beat myself up about when I watch YouTube videos or scroll Instagram instead. Anyone reading this is probably thinking that yes, if I have free time then I should be making the most of this and brushing up on my Adobe skills, but sometimes, just sometimes, I would rather do nothing. AND THEN THE CYCLE OF WORRYING IM NOT DOING ENOUGH BEGINS AGAIN. It's exhausting let me tell you, and really I just want some reassurance that I am doing okay, and it's fine to not be working and bettering myself 24/7. 

Of course self improvement is a hugely important part of life, that as an adult (still not over the fact I'm 19 years old) I should be motivated to be doing, but I think often it's important to just take time for yourself and realise the world isn't going to end if I don't tick every single thing off my to-list, every single day. From writing this post, the realisation of how harsh I am towards myself is quite evident. I really don't think I give myself enough credit for the fact that I'm completing a degree and doing tonnes of other things, whilst struggling on a daily basis with multiple mental illnesses and IT'S OKAY to take time off. Sometimes doing the simplest tasks can be a challenge, so battling with that and an extremely demanding degree  is definitely something I need to give myself credit for. I feel so much better for getting these words down on a (digital) page, and so despite already feeling guilty for not completing an uni work today, I feel a little more reassured in the knowledge that I'm doing okay, and there's so much more to life than academic and career success. I really feel like I place too much emphasis upon these things, and although I desperately want to succeed in the fashion world, I need to accept that life is a much bigger picture and perhaps my focus is sometimes on the wrong things. 

Please let me know if you ever experience similar fears and how you overcome these in your life, I would love to know I'm not alone in worrying about these things and I hope this post has given you a feeling of that too! Sending love! 
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