Without being too dramatic, I’ve basically dug myself into a hole for the past couple of years. Upon graduating from college, something happened where I became utterly overwhelmed, self-absorbed, and somewhat disenfranchised. It’s as if life were moving by and I was just kind of sitting there being moved by it.
I’d like to say it was unintentional and that the realities of my current profession kind of captured me and drowned me for a period of time. It was all consuming, transferring into my emotions, thoughts, and relationships. I would say that it’s just because I’m a teacher and “that first year is the hardest,” but I’d also say that this could be true for many of us spoiled millennials who never really grew all the way up and are doing that now. Which is totally okay, I realize.
But, alas, it is just about 2 years of this, and I feel like I’m finally crawling out of my hole. Exiting my “leave-me-alone, please don’t try to hang out with me, no, I don’t know how I’m feeling” mentality, and in the most cliche way possible, finding myself again. I’M BACK, PEOPLE.
“How do you do this?” you ask? Oh, you didn’t ask? Well, here’s some things that I’ve done or haven’t done and should probably do more of:
- Stop thinking about yourself all the time. This is hard because when we’re being totally honest, we only really care about ourselves. When it comes down to it, a lot of things we do are fueled by what we will get or what we might feel. I think the first step for me is to stop thinking about myself. Like, literally, replace the thought of how I feel to how the other person might feel. Obviously, this is hard. And, my husband would definitely appreciate if I did this more. So, maybe ask somebody else less selfish on how to actually do this.
- Call a friend and ask them a good question. Or, better yet, meet up with them. As we started leading a group at church, I started to meet up with friends again. And, it’s amazing how this has provided its’ own redemptive properties in and of itself. Being invested in somebody else’s story for even just an hour helped me to consider them more deeply, and in turn, consider myself a little bit less.
- Don’t be afraid to get help. In general, I like to figure things out on my own. I’d rather not ask questions and almost always pick the option where I don’t have to engage or get help. However, even in the simplest forms and smallest ways, I’ve been trying to ask that question I think is small and almost always am glad that I did. Other people are likely helpful, and if they’re not, you’re giving them an opportunity to grow in that, step up, and do something. It’s a win-win.
- Write it down in a journal. Tracking my prayers and my thoughts has helped me see how far I’ve come and increase my awareness of the bigger pieces in my life that are moving that are way beyond my control. For me, this manifests itself in seeing how God answers prayers and learning that I can let go of things piece by piece, moment by moment.
- Keep showing up. If we’re being completely honest, I don’t think I really did much to see myself start crawling out of this hole. A lot of it was just showing up. Then, accepting the fact that I have to keep showing up and trying to stop being so angry every time my alarm went off in the morning. I’ve noticed a trend in a lot of my peers, where after working at the same place for a year, we no longer hate it. We’ve come to accept where we are. Being okay with what we have is pretty much the whole battle. Because once you’re okay with it, somehow everything starts to seem not so bad after all. “I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it” seems to be the anthem of our years and that’s a step up from where we were a year go.
What about you? What do you do or think or create or say to crawl our of your hole?