This has been quite a common theme in my life since being on campus; actually now that I think about it’s, been a theme for the past eighteen or so years. The only difference is that it’s become more significant at this stage in my life, this being because I am much more physically active than ever. I’m still adjusting to various things around here, and it’s taken awhile for me to be honest with myself in regards to just how sensitive I am to this “new world” so to speak.
During the first couple of weeks of college, I felt like a little kid in a candy store; I could go where I wanted to go and not really have to depend on anyone to get me there. I often went to bed at midnight or later most of the time and didn’t really care how I felt the next day. I was grabbing every opportunity I could to just be social and be doing something.
Then labor day weekend came around and I was beginning to crash. My friends and I had gone to the football game that day and had a dance party in the dorms later that night. It got to a point where I began to cough over and over again and knew that I was going to get sick.
Needless to say, I was right.
At first I thought that it was dehydration, because that tends to happen to me very easily when I’m moving around quite a bit. After I lost both lunch and dinner, I figured that the stomach flu was going around. Yet when the stomach aches lasted for a couple of days, I knew deep down sickness wasn’t the issue. It was stress, and ultimately exhaustion.
Taking care of myself (on both physical and emotional levels) has probably been one of the most frustrating issues since I’ve been on my own. Back home, I never really went out, unless you count football games, movies, and getting coffee. These days, there is so much to do and so many more options to choose from. I want to be able to soak up every minute of it and appreciate it while I can.
A part of me still holds onto that “wonder-woman” mentality; that now that I’m older, I should be physically stronger. If I am physically stronger, I should be able to handle this kind of stuff a lot easier. And by stuff, I mean staying out late (and often), walking from one side of campus to the other, and just college itself. If I chose rest or even take a nap, I would miss out something.
I have defied the odds repeatedly as a young girl. Why stop now?
Again, it’s a harder choice to make then one can imagine. There are times where I like to ignore or completely forget that I have a mild handicap. I tend to view myself as “half and half.” This means that I may have physical limitations, but that doesn’t entirely make up who I am. I think that’s why I don’t usually tell people unless I have to, or they ask about it. I don’t want to be defined by my body. I want to be defined by my heart, my personality and my character.
I frequently forget how everyone does have their own set of weaknesses and limitations. We all have our own wants and needs. But as twisted as this sounds, what we want is not always what we need. Half of the time, what we need is never what we want.
I have been learning so much as of right now, and it in turn is helping me to grow and mature. In hindsight, it’s important to know your limits and give yourself a break. To set boundaries and stick to them. To get right back up again when you fall down. To make time for what you love. Most importantly, to understand that You CANNOT do it alone!
I am thankful for the friends that I’ve made thus far; for accepting me and listening to what I have to say, even when my opinions and reasons aren’t always rational. I’m thankful for the sacrifices that my parents are making in order for me to be here, and I want them to be proud of me.
The worst way one can fail at living life is not taking care of themselves. It’s still a day by day process, but nevertheless, I am making progress.