Brace yourself for a very random, very personal post.
I don’t know if this post will resonate with anyone and I wish I was more articulate and could write something inspiring and unique. But I’m just me, and this is how I’m feeling:
Lately I’ve been feeling very ‘on edge’. I have been doing my best to keep my ‘everything is great!’ face but I can’t deny the twinge of anxiety that has been rumbling in my stomach for the past week.
This anxiety comes from school, the pressure I put on myself to get good grades, do my best, you know the drill.
A lot of this anxiety also comes from my non-stop mind that lately has been questioning a lot of my actions.
For the past week I’ve become aware of an inner dialogue that is full of negativity.
“Don’t eat that- you need more protein”.
“Don’t do that workout- it doesn’t burn enough calories.”
“I wish I had her hair. I wish I had her abs.”
“Her workout was longer than mine.” ”She runs faster/lifts heavier than I do.”
Yesterday while I was studying, I felt exhausted. I’ve been getting plenty of sleep and yet all I wanted to do was take a nap. Every day this week I’ve been either napping or turning to sugar to keep myself going. I know I’m only in my twenties and I’m not a doctor yet, but I do know this to be true:
Taking a nap or having another cookie is not the key to happiness.
(although it may seem that way in the short term)
I really- I mean really wanted to take a nap but I knew a workout was what my soul needed. I was in the mood for a run but then I experienced all the negative thinking again- “you have to lift weights because muscle burns more fat.” ”Don’t do a cardio workout.” ”You have to burn x amount of calories.”
Shutting this voice up and getting outside for a run is what finally brought me inner peace.
The universe must have known that I would hit a low spot today because the sun was shining, it was 45 degrees (way warmer than usual), and a perfect day for a run along the canal near my house.
This is the canal I ran on all through college. The canal I kneeled down on and prayed for a good MCAT score. A year later I knelt down in the same spot and prayed to get into medical school. It’s always been a place for me to connect with what is important in my life.
In the midst of all the negativity this week a tiny inner voice chimed in and reminded me of what my goals are:
Become the best physician I can be.
Become a devoted wife and start a family.
Travel the world.
Not one of those goals has anything to do with six pack abs or designer shoes.
I absolutely love the blogging world and I am incredibly grateful for social media, but at times I find myself becoming side-tracked and losing sight of my goals.
It’s easy to see all the images of fitness models and think that your goal is to have a perfect body, or be a perfect athlete. I read AMAZING blogs about people running marathons and trail races. Sometimes I think I should be doing those things. When my mind is consumed with all these ideas of what is important in life, I get OVERWHELMED right away. School gets stressful and becomes a chore. Everything gets harder. My mind wanders from what I think I have to do vs. what I really want to do.
Things I’ve lately been thinking I have to do involve certain workouts or eating certain things or studying certain books. What I really want to do is eat a banana before bed- the horror of carbs at bedtime!!! Or do a cardio workout instead of lifting weights- gasp!!!! Maybe I want to study surgery right now but no- I.MUST.STUDY.ANESTHESIA.BECAUSE.I.MUST.GET.A.100.ON.THE.EXAM.
When I set my priorities straight, things become easier.
My priorities are school, Kyle, my health, and my friends and family. That’s it.
Taking the blog world by storm with 100,000 page views a day, having six pack abs, running a marathon- those are not my goals.
1 hour of jogging, stopping to take pictures, stopping to reflect:
I found my happy place again! Each day I get to choose health because it brings me JOY. Not because I am obligated to have the perfect body. Or have the perfect macronutrient breakdown. Each day I get to study medicine because it is my PASSION. Not because I have to be number one in my class.
Phew. Glad I’m back on planet normal!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember who you are and what you stand for. Yesterday I needed to take care of my soul and come back to “me”.
How do you take care of your soul? Is it through prayer? Meditation? Running? Yoga?
Do you get bogged down and lose your way?