🇺🇸 Higher and Lower

August 5th, 2016

Log Update: Last Week of July, First Week of August

In preparation for my time abroad I was told that my emotional highs were going to be higher and my lows were going to be lower. I just didn't expect it to happen before I left the country.

Feeling anxious about life, I opted to make myself busy and try not to think about it. This strategy worked, except for two small problems. The first is that my journaling took a hit. I don't have good notes on the things I was doing. Instead some enties have a single line of text. Days and weeks have blended together and though it has been fun, I also don't know how much I'll actually remember. The bigger problem was that the busyness strategy couldn't last.

I have a small circle of close friends. I like them. I prefer a smaller number of people who I can know better as opposed to a larger group of people I'm not as close too. It's only a "problem" if those other people have plans with people who aren't me. It sounds incredible silly and selfish to type that, but when I want/need to be around people, it's difficult when they aren't available.

I described my dilemma to a close friend like this: I know the type of person I want to be. I know how I want people to see me, perceive me, and remember me. I know how I should act to be that way. But lately my mind is in a state of panic, it's lonely. It wants to text everyone I know, scream for help, beg for attention—it wants to do all these things that don't fit the profile of the person I want to be. Even when I know it's okay for me to message a friend asking to talk, I find myself creating mental restrictions on how often I can make that type of request because I'm afraid I'm going to be annoying, or that my friends will get tired of me. This leaves me with a choice of feeling bad because I asked for help or feeling bad because I haven't. Have I mentioned I feel like a crazy person?

What do I do when I have nothing to do?

The obvious answer is to write more. I've been trying to use my downtime to write. I've been trying to read. Going for runs. Anything to keep myself from sitting at home and thinking about the inevitable. I helped seven of my friends move to new apartments in the last week of July. (It's less impressive than it sounds, the seven people included two married couples and a group of ladies sharing a three bedroom townhouse.)

I read that people going through the emotional ups and downs associated with grief and loss are nearly identical to the that of someone who is insane. I don't know if this is true, but I'm inclined to believe it.

This is an exciting time for me, or at least it should be. Don't get me wrong, I am excited. But I'm also very anxious. I find myself constantly fidgeting. Butterflies have taken up permanent residence in my stomach. I'm leaving behind friends and family. It took years for me to finally feel like Mankato was home and just when I'm coming to terms with that, I up and leave. I realize Mankato and the people I love will still be here when I get back. (Probably.) But it doesn't make leaving any easier. When you are given a choice between a thing you've wanted for ages and a thing you've never experienced, how do you make that choice?


For better or worse, my choice has already been made. Unless something goes horribly wrong, and I pray it doesn't, the next year of my life will play out in Asia. Whatever comes after that is a problem for another day. The problem for today is learning to cope in the moment. While I have been stressed, the time I have spent with friends has been amazing. I'm incredibly grateful for their support, I don't know how I could do this without them.

I've been trying to begin or end every journal entry with a "gratitude journal." Each day I come up with three things I'm thankful for and am not allowed to repeat any items. I then write about one really neat or cool thing that happened that day. It helps me end my day on a positive note, thinking about positive things as I fall asleep.