If you know anything about me, or read my last article, you know that I’m currently in the middle of a shit spiral of perpetual stuckness.
Like a stuck-in-a-pale-pink-wad-of-bubble-gum kind of stuck.
A help-I’ve-fallen-and-there’s-no-chance-in-hell-of-me-getting-up kind of stuck.
A Tom-Hanks-in-"Castaway" kind of stuck (OK, there are more people and fewer volleyballs, but you get my point).
I’m not growing as a person, and, simply put, the college that I chose a year ago isn’t the college that I belong at now.
Because of this, I've been thinking a lot about what makes me happy and ways I can incorporate those things into my life (and I know they won’t solve all my problems, but they’re definitely small distractions from the shit spiral that will help me make it through these next couple of months).
List of Three Things That Make Me Happy:
- Good smoothies.
- A lazy day cuddled up in my cozy bed.
So, I got a job working with kids, I made myself smoothies, and I spent more days in bed.
But, at some point, the days in bed changed from my source of happiness to my source of sadness. They didn’t help me get unstuck, and I would argue that they were contributing to the shit spiral because I wasn’t making a conscious effort to socialize and talk to people (and, as an extrovert, socializing is everything to me).
I felt off-kilter.
I felt like a car stuck in neutral.
I felt like a clock with jammed cogs.
I felt like my life wasn’t (and currently isn’t) what it needed to be.
I haven’t talked much about attending a Christian college as a non religious person, but I can tell you that it’s tough. Especially coming from my background where I was constantly told that my nonbelief in hell was what was going to send me to hell (don’t ask me how I can go to a place that I don’t believe in. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that one).
However, attending a Christian college has its perks (I know, that was a shocker to me, too).
If you didn’t know, it’s currently the season of Lent in the Christian faith.
I don’t know much about it (except I’m pretty sure that I tried to participate in it when I was really little by giving up chocolate, only to eat a chocolate bar a couple of hours later, shrug, and then continue eating my candy), but I know that it’s 40 days of giving up a thing that prevents you from having a meaningful relationship with God (with breaks on Sunday, because who the hell wants to give up their favorite thing for 40 days?).
Now, as a non religious person who still believes in God, I know that God and I are on good terms.
If I got drunk at a bar, God would hold my hair back while I puked (which, yes, is impossible, but just go with it).
I don’t lack a meaningful relationship with God; I lack a meaningful relationship with myself.
Thus segues us into Emma’s 40-Day Recalibration Project.
Forty days of doing everything in my power to make me feel like myself again.
Forty days of giving myself (and not my insecurities or anyone else) the power to change my life again.
Forty days of face-to-face conversations, not face-to-phone-face-to-phone conversations.
Forty days of recalibrating my life.
I want to be present. I want to be mindful. I want to be alive.
The list of things that made me happy was easy to come up with. The list of things that make feel alive was much harder.
None of my happy things cause goosebumps to spread up and down my forearms.
None of my happy things are the reason I get up in the morning.
None of my happy things are going to relieve the heavy weight I feel pressing hard on my chest, preventing slow and even breaths from entering my raw and burning lungs.
But the things that make me feel alive do all of those things.
List of Things That Make Me Feel Alive:
- Standing on a stage in front of people, commanding attention.
- Doing things that push my body past the limits I set for it (aka, anything that makes me feel like a powerful, badass bitch).
So, in the next 40 days, I’m going to try to get my life back on track (well, at least as close to ‘on track’ as you can get to 40 days).
List of Things To Help Get My Life On Track
- I’m going to work out every day except for Sunday (because my body needs to rest).
- I’m cutting out sugar because it makes me feel run down and just generally blah. If you don’t believe me, ask my roommates. They made brownies and mini cheesecakes yesterday, and I refused both (my younger self screamed in horror at the missed opportunity of sugary goodness, while my older, wiser, and more mature self sat on my hands and got distracted by movie night with the girls - and, OK, I screamed a little on the inside, too).
- Less Netflix, more reading and writing (except for Thursday because of TGIT, Monday because of "The Bachelor," and Sunday because I have a shit ton of other shows that I need to be caught up on).
- I’m going to stop allowing my fears to define me (And that’s why I signed up to do a sultry, burlesque-type dance in front of the people at my college for one of our traditions. I’m determined to show everyone that I’m not going to let my fear of getting judged for being the “fat girl” prevent me from doing the things that I love - plus, my curves are beautiful and need to be shown off).
I’m not sure where this recalibration project is going to take me, but I’m hoping that it gives me a small light to keep me going until the summer.
I’m hoping it forces me to have meaningful conversations with people.
I’m hoping that I can write a couple chapters of the book I’ve been writing since freshman year of high school.
I’m hoping that it makes my body feel powerful again.
And, yeah, I’m definitely hoping it gets me unstuck.