And I’ve learned this.
I’ve learned this a lot lately, actually, and I have learned that it’s totally fine. I’ve learned over time, that frantically running to the bus for class and making it with seconds to spare, accidentally pinning my fingers thousands of times during the prep of a garment creation, or sobbing into my pillow for a few hours—that these are all just small pitfalls.
Yes, they may be awful, and sometimes my week, or even weeks, can be filled with these pits, but there’s always something that happens to reassure me that I am on the right path.
Although, this path is one that I do not always instantly see.
It can be difficult. It is definitely mentally exhausting to walk into my dorm from The Warehouse at 5 a.m. when my roommate is asleep, to realize I have two hours to rest and convince myself that I am taking a “nap” because my sleep schedule just isn’t cohesive.
My 7 a.m. alarm is not the best thing to hear after falling asleep at 5:30 a.m., and the harsh design critiques we as designers must undergo each day don’t always leave me walking out of The Warehouse with enthusiasm.
But, I know I am here. And I know my talents. And I know my purpose. It might not always scream out to me, but I always know it’s there.
It’s taken years to learn that although it’s okay to not feel completely OK, it’s actually kind of a good thing. I’ve learned how empowering it can be sometimes to have a dip in my day where things aren’t completely looking up, and have the ability to continue moving.
It’s reassuring to know sometimes that downfalls will not interfere with what I am meant to be doing because my purpose is so strong that nothing can distance me from my path.
I shed a few tears this week, and to be truthful, maybe a little more than my liking. But, this week has taught me more about myself than this entire past semester has.
Last Friday, I walked into my 8 a.m. class with my completed garment, running on an hour of sleep and yearning to somehow make it back to campus before midnight. With energy solely from the venti iced macchiato I had just finished, I looked into the mirror at my beautiful dark circles, beginning to be accompanied by tears.
I knew it was time to relax, and I knew that I couldn’t just brush over it anymore. It now had to be acknowledged. I was indestructible last semester—so I thought, until this week when I realized nobody is. This is the week I learned that it is completely impossible, and I could not continue acting like my exhaustion wasn’t beginning to deplete my overall health and happiness.
I walked into this weeks design classes with less energy than usual, and my productivity was not it’s best, although I continued to put my best energy into everything. There just wasn’t enough energy to carry myself the way I would normally.
After many phone calls with family, conversations with friends, and trying my best to check in on myself, I learned it’s time to debrief for a minute. It’s time to still carry the work ethic I have always honored, yet do so without exhausting myself to the point of breakdown.
I am going to try my best—but my over-achieving spirit always does make it difficult. I overviewed my day today, and in contrast to this week, I began to smile. Today was the day I left The Fashion Warehouse earlier than I usually would and was able to take a break with some of my closest friends. It felt so good to know I was doing my body good.
This is the week I realized it’s okay not to feel OK.
It’s okay to not be extremely happy all the time and to not be the gem who makes it through a schedule like mine without a tear, a full cry, or even a complete sob. It is okay, it is normal, and recognizing this is so important.
I would not expect myself to undergo such a demanding schedule without weeks like these. It is just time I give myself more of a break, like the one today, and it is important for us all to do this. Taking some time to debrief is the best remedy, and I am continuing to learn of its vast importance.
One step at a time.