inaccurate perceptions of reality…

this may come as a shock to most of you, but i tend to be a fairly private person. i don’t like to prematurely share my thoughts, feelings, behaviors, tendencies or intended courses of action. i know that blogging is all about sharing our thoughts, feelings and attitudes, but i often find myself neglecting to write a post because the things rolling around in my brain aren’t quite ready to be shared and i’m not one to (usually) write up a filler post. sometimes i do, but not usually. at least i try to keep it that way.

anyway.

over the past week or so i’ve been unusually silent in the blogging domain. i’m reading but not commenting much, thinking but not writing much. i’ve been trying to figure out why i’m not so keen on sharing things recently and why i can’t seem to make myself sit down and write something out, try to process it. i have figured it out, though, and i’m finally ready to share it. the reason i’m being so quiet?

stress.

i didn’t figure it out until last night/this morning-ish. i’m having a really hard time separating the REALLY big picture from the small steps it takes to get there. i can see all the finished products of this semester, what i want them to look like, how i want them to be presented, how my grades will look and my knowledge increased come december. this comes at a great cost simply because i’m now becoming so overwhelmed by all the work i have to do. the ability to see one day at a time has fallen far from the surface and it’s so much work to pull it back up. i’m seeing and feeling how busy and stressful the next 6 days of my life are going to be: test, assignment due that’s not quite done, final meeting of life group and vikings game tonight; flutie sectional and friend coming to my place tomorrow; 5k and a housewarming party on saturday as well as james being gone for a bachelor party so he’s not going to be at the 5k; church and a band picnic on sunday (though there was also the possibility of going to see my grandpa in the hospital); another test and behavior mod project prospect on monday; ANOTHER test on tuesday. then, on top of all of this, i’m trying to research for two research papers and train for my next 5k on oct. 9. i’m planning on adding to my running routine come monday which will mean me being up at 6 am every day – i’m adding yoga to the routine on the days i’m not running. i’m meeting with someone next week to talk about a psychology-related volunteering opportunity, looking into a 10-hour/week internship at my church and i STILL need to start filling out seminary applications.

it may or may not look like a lot to you (if not, you’re CRAZY!) and i’m having a hard time seeing the little steps that will accomplish all of these things. i’m having a hard time seeing this one day at a time for starters and then to see these all as singular events that will not take up the ENTIRE day. my test will be over quickly and i’m sure i’ll do fine. finishing up my assignment will take me no more than 10 or 15 minutes most likely and i can do that after my test. then it’s just regular class until the usual 130 when i’ll be able to read the final chapters for my tests next week and begin studying for them. my life group isn’t until 7 and the football game doesn’t start until 730. i know that things are MUCH less stressful when i break them down into little pieces, little chunks of time, manageable sizes.

i know, this seems like one of those posts where you all look at me and say ‘duh!’. yes, i’m looking at myself and saying the same thing. however, i can assure you that when i began writing this post (instead of doing some last minute studying), i DIDN’T see it like that. all i could see where the events of every single day – and these are just the OUT OF THE ORDINARY events. these don’t take into account the runs i do 4 days a week, the 3 classes per day i’m in, the normal amount of reading and socializing and other things i do every day. when i take a step back and look at my life, it’s hard to believe that i keep functioning day after day. i don’t remember when my life wasn’t insanely busy and i had something to occupy every second of my day. well, i guess there was this summer, but life taken as a whole? i think i was still pretty busy setting up and maintaining house and home. i know that is different than school, though. i certainly don’t MIND having things to do in the least, but i do wish that i was better able to see the little picture too. i wish i was able to easily see the steps that take me to where i need to be.

another thing that absolutely does NOT help the situation is that when i get stressed, my dreams get WEIRD. and i have bizarre dreams to begin with, just ask james. i don’t know if it’s just because i have a VERY active imagination or what, but when i get stressed, my dreams turn into what could more accurately be termed nightmares. for example, last year when i had a dream that my mom died. incidentally (and creepily) it was on the 2 year anniversary of my cousin’s death. then, of course, last night, i had a dream that james was trying to divorce me but wouldn’t tell me why, wouldn’t talk to me, look at me, nothing. i woke up almost hyperventilating as my dream self was sobbing and screaming ‘i don’t know! i don’t know!’ at the guy who wanted to know why my husband was leaving me. you know, pretty awesome dreams like those that you KNOW are going to affect the rest of your day, the way you look at your life and your family (or your husband). you wonder what is reality because the dreams seemed so real. you question and you wonder, trying to decipher the reality from the fantasy.

i’m not sure that my ramblings today are making sense and i sincerely apologize. i know that i don’t like reading posts that are poorly written random rambliness. i know for one thing that no studying was going to occur if i didn’t get all of this OUT of my system first and that i would sit and think and ruminate and analyze over this dream and these thoughts.

i know that if i take a step back and look, i know that i will be fine. i will be more than fine. i will excel in my classes and do terrific work and be the kind of student that professors are proud of, the kind of student that professors want. i know that i will become the person i want to be.

unfortunately, my anxieties don’t end here. i’m still worried about seminary and this path i’m on that doesn’t give me the time to develop jobs and internships in my field in such a way that distinguishes me from other people. i have one more year to get involved, do psychology things, develop a grad school resume, become a student they want. how can i know for sure that this time things will work? how do i know that life isn’t going to fall apart again on me after i graduate?

these, of course, are questions i don’t have time or energy to answer. at this point, i have 20 minutes to finish up some last minute studying which i’m going to go do. if i’m honest, i do know that everything will work out the way it should but that doesn’t stop the anxieties about the future. i guess the only thing i can do is take one step at a time, finish one task at a time and see where this series of steps takes me. i have to trust. in God. in myself. in my husband. and you know what? i think for now, that’s an answer i can live with.

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2 thoughts on “inaccurate perceptions of reality…

  1. Anna Cox says:

    Wow chicka, you got a lot going on. I understand that fully, to have days filled up and feeling like there is no time to breathe, but then to not have a pack filled day can be sometimes frustrating too because you don’t know what to do. Both sides definitely are not exciting.

    something to think about, when you get so busy and forget to look at one thing at a time (instead of the big picture) you also forget to realize the blessing, in other words – stop to smell the roses. Look at the fact you have a husband who is with you, you have school and the chance to accomplish what your dream is. Also realize that all of the stress can be decreased with just a 10 second pause, a deep breath and a quick prayer. Hard to remember to do that, but amazing when you do.

    The last concern, watch out for control. when you are so busy and listing things that need to be done upon things it can be easy to start controlling everything yourself instead of turning to God. Take those ten second breaks and that will help out so much.

  2. ashley says:

    Of course I’m gonna tell you to read that famous passage in Matthew about God taking care of the little birds, so he’ll take care of you too. But I know you know it 🙂

    There’s also a quote: If a problem can be solved there is no use worrying about it. If it can’t be solved, worrying will do no good.

    Obviously we still worry.

    But there are things to help, like focusing on your breathing. When you are anxious, you’ll notice that your breaths are short, and all in your chest. By controlling your breath (deep breaths through your nose and out your mouth) you are MAKING your body calm down. To control your breath helps one control other things in life.

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