How do you manage it all? Do you ever sleep or eat? Do you ever have fun?
Those are three questions I get from people who hear my weekly schedule. They are in order from most asked to least asked. The answers are vague that I give because no one has the time to hear the words I use to keep myself from falling apart. No one has the time to hear my story from the very beginning because that's where my strength comes from. I dive into my memories and use them to push me forward. I do also get severely unmotivated. I do fall apart and when I fall, it gets harder and harder to get back up to climb towards my goal.
I manage it though.
I manage it by telling myself this is what it takes to succeed. I'm no longer in a competition against my peers. We're all so drained. We don't need to fight each other at this point too. It's a game of survival and perseverance. People make it through college by sticking with it and not losing motivation. I have lost motivation and I often lose it when I have a lot of emotional turmoil. My life falls apart and then I fall with it, even if I'm three hours away. I'll sit outside my classroom and cry before going in. I'll go to work having just finished crying. I'll have so many things to do but all I actually do is sleep in my bed. During these moments, I manage nothing except myself and I try to find the motivation to keep moving forward. Once a semester is over, my mood shifts and I make it back to managing my life. That's the secret, finding a moment to cut all ties from the pain in order to make yourself better.
Yes, I sleep and eat.
Do I sleep often? No, I don't. I get a maximum of four hours a night but most days it's only an hour or three. If I sleep for two hours, I somehow manage to not wake up until noon. I work until 1:00 am and then shower and do homework. Then I will nap before going to class. I do try and nap in between classes or I fight to stay awake and try to get ahead on my school work. Do I eat often? No, I don't. There are many days where I simply eat one meal and that's when I get to work. I eat so little I usually give away my meals to those who don't have a meal swipe or who are around too soon to use another one. The gratitude is amazing but I'm always at work so it doesn't affect me much.
Then there is this concept of fun.
In a college setting, most people have fun by going out with friends. Having a social life is the aspect that people like to have when it comes to the weekend. I do have friends and I have a social life. I just don't have money to go out and have as much fun. My friends and I often just sit outside of my place of work and do homework. We tell jokes and gossip about our lives because we see each other so little. That's my kind of fun. Other ways I have fun is by listening to music or watching Netflix. I'll take a little while or just a day on the weekend before I go to work and just take some time for myself.
I think the reason people see me as such a miracle worker or as an anomaly to their lives is because of the fact they don't know me. I work almost a full time job and I go to classes and I am involved in some other activities. I have friends and I have time for myself. I break down like everyone else though. I have weeks or months where I can't do much besides wake up in the morning. I suffer from myself but I gain strength from myself. That is the only way I survive. I am my own hero. My own inspriration. That is how I succeed in my life.