Living A Life Of Stable Instability

Living A Life Of Stable Instability

Life Post-College, And The Reminder To Keep Pushing Onward

Almost every morning, upon waking up, I struggle to find the meaning in life. Yet, every morning, against the mind’s hazy desire to remain stationary, buried by the warmth of my comforter, I will myself to get up and move onward, into the day.

I rise, and follow through with a morning ritual that has changed little over the years—only has become more involved. Put the filled kettle of water on the stove, grind the coffee beans while awaiting the kettle’s whistle, cook two eggs, toast two slices of bread, prep the avocado, tomato, greens, then assemble the sandwich. Silence the kettle, and pour the boiling water over the freshly ground coffee. Steep, remove the filter and used coffee. Pour. This, now, is the most recent rendition of that ritual.

On Mondays, I water the plants scattered around my house. Laundry is tended to, as well as some cleaning. Eventually, should I have the money, I may leave my house to go grocery shopping. The time that is left open in-between these acts is filled with reading, attempting to write, and the search for a stable job.

This, mostly, is how my days off go.

Slowly, as the days pass by, turn into new months, I feel the growth of anxiety spreading throughout my mind. I’ll be twenty-six this year, and though it’s young in the grander scheme of life, I feel as if life is passing me by.

There are mornings when this thought becomes heavy and renders me immobile. Each day has become, more or less, the same. I look forward to my morning routine that I’ve honed, but once the morning has ended, it is hard to hold onto hope for much else to occur. I go to work. I come home. I repeat.

Time feels as if it has come undone, and I’m reliving the same series of events time and again.

Unsure as I am as to when things will change, I push onward. Go on with the morning routine, then the day, then the night. Each time I try to change the history of my life, it tends to repeat itself. Quite a few people have told me that I have to make things happen for myself; we must carve out our own pathways.

I believe this, and for a time it seemed to work. But the past few years have been a horrific struggle with depression, with anxiety, with loneliness, and it was only recently that one of those three issues has subsided, or transformed; I’m fearful for the day that I must share living space with another. There are days when I feel as if I’m a fish, hooked, and the more I fight, the more I struggle, the deeper the hook sinks, the closer I come to the surface of something terrifying.

The most stable and consistent aspect of my life is the instability and inconsistency I experience.

I push onward though through the uncertainty, into the unknown.

At times, when I was younger, I would have a recurring dream that I was stranded on a boat in the middle of some great body of water. Fog shrouded my sight. Waves rocked the boat, violently. Fear constricted my lungs, making it hard to breathe. This dream—nightmare—persisted for years. When I was about fifteen, this was the last time I can recall having the dream.

All previous occasions, I sat in the rocking boat, below the deck in the small cabin, and cried as water slowly poured into the boat as it washed over the sides. This final time was different. I felt fear, and I cried, but then I stopped and walked up the short flight of stairs to the deck. Without seeing any distant lights, hearing any distant noises, I moved. I pulled the sail—which I didn’t realize I knew how to do—and began sailing the small watercraft through the fog, over the swells, off into the distance.

There was no way for me to know how long I’d be moving through the fog, or if I’d run ashore, hit something and sink. All I knew was that I couldn’t remain still, or else I’d drown. So I moved. And, remembering this dream, I will move again.

Cover Image Credit: Coty Poynter

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Working Out Before Sunrise Changed My Life And My Attitude Toward Time

Whenever things aren't going my way in life, I wake up bright and early to kick life's ass.


I used to religiously work out three to four times per week. Whether I was running, kickboxing, spinning or hitting the gym with a friend, I was on it.

Working out never felt like a chore to me, but it almost always put a dent in my plans for the day. It was as if I had to make sure that I had no other commitments that day in order to get a decently long workout in.

I'm a full-time student who prefers to take showers at night so that my curls can lay the way I want them to. So every time my schedule gets a little busier than usual, I begin my slow descent into hermit land.

Not working out had a direct correlation with my mental health, as it does with a lot of people. But I simply could not fit it into my schedule. After skipping out on my weekly exercise rituals, I became easily irritable and too tired to even think about slipping on my Nikes.

Eventually, I decided that I needed to just force myself to get up and move. I began walking to work and doing simple leg raises while watching Netflix. But the little things obviously could not replace a sweaty HIT.

Then one ordinary morning in my school parking lot, my friend rolled down the window to her black Honda and yelled out, "Me and Erin are going to spin tomorrow at 5:30. Come!" Instinctively, I thought she was insane. The only thought that crossed my mind was: You'll be too tired for school if you go. Don't be stupid.

But as the day went on, I realized that I was going to be tired even if I woke up at two in the afternoon and skipped out on school. Because "tired" had become my new mindset.

My workout used to be a time in which I would completely forget any negative thoughts and just focus on myself. The sweat, pain and last few hurdles during the end of the workouts would almost be a reset button for the attitude I had about life. I missed that.

Without giving myself the opportunity to feel like a slob any further, I registered myself in the class and set an extremely early alarm for the following day. Waking up, I felt like I was heading to the airport. My eyes were sore. Heck, my entire body was sore. All I wanted to do was kick myself in the face for even attempting to wake up this early, let alone to work out.

But miraculously, when I opened my blinds and doused myself in some early morning sun, I felt a sense of ease. The fact that I was awake and ready to exercise somehow no longer felt like a chore. I slipped on some comfy clothes and chugged a cold glass of water. Before I knew it, I was at the spinning studio, cackling at some joke my friend threw into our conversation.

For those of you who have never been to a spin class, the best way I can describe it is this: a rave on steroids on wheels.

The gist is, it's loud, hot and extremely difficult (for me, at least). This class was no different. But I had so much unknown energy that I was able to blast through the class. I was able to push myself harder than I had before.

Leaving that dark, loud room, I felt a sense of accomplishment and excitement for the day to come. By the time I arrived home, it was only 6:40 a.m. and the streets were still quiet. I sat there for a minute, taking it all in and watching the leaves sway.

It gave me a sense of comfort I had not experienced in a long time. It was similar to a very successful meditation session. I loved it. I took a shower, got myself ready for the day and had a big beautiful breakfast that I prepared. I still got to school before second bell.

And yes, my body was tired. But I wasn't, not mentally at least.

I felt like I had the power to take on new challenges for that day and all the days to come. I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth.

Obviously, I don't wake up before the sun every single day, After all, I am a student who also has a part-time job.

But whenever I'm feeling like things aren't going my way in life, I wake up bright and early to kick life's ass.

Working out before the sunrise not only gave me a new perspective on the abundance of time we actually have in a day, but it gave me a new mindset of what I was capable of accomplishing.

Plus, air drying throughout the day actually did wonders for my curls. I would highly recommend!

Cover Image Credit:

Wikimedia Commons


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