When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. And when it sticks you in the middle of an unfamiliar city alone for eight hours, you don't make lemonade. You carelessly jump on the white-girl bandwagon, get yourself one of those frilly, overpriced and overrated drinks at Starbucks, and love every second of it. You memorize the aisles of Ross and Staples and try not too look creepy as you sit and people-watch for an hour. You memorize the traffic patterns outside of Dick's Sporting Goods, and you buy some cool adult things like pens, Kentucky Fried Chicken and toilet paper.
Now the reason why I am here is a long story, but just so you can picture the situation a little bit better, my boyfriend needs to be in town for a meeting and we love road tripping together (side note: this particular trip is a baby trip, but in recent days, we have spent more than 14 hours in the car and we loved about 98% of it. The other 2% was when I was hungry. When my tummy begins to grumble, Michael knows to quickly reroute the GPS and take us to the nearest food place. It both is marvelous and a little ridiculous at the same time. And I love him for it. Also, leaving Lynchburg allowed me breaking up my schedule and roam the streets of someplace new. Though my definition of roaming isn't as romantic as it may sound (I got lost three times on the same street), I knew that the people-watching and the mindless wandering would happen. And I love that. I don't do this often of course, but life has been so incredibly insane over the past semester or so, I knew that it was time I took a day to breathe.
I grew up in a household that was very American in that everything must be completed now and really should have been completed yesterday. A task is not impossible unless every resource is utilized. There are amazing benefits to have been "born and bred" this way -- I can be extremely productive in short periods of time-- but there are also some pretty exhausting cons. I can fill in lots of the little squares next to my list of things to do (I'm a bullet journal junky, so the act of filing in tiny shapes after finishing something is oddly satisfying), but it is absolutely necessary I take days off. Otherwise, I'll be out of the game for much longer than 24 hours. Simple as that. Mentally, physically, spiritually -- everything working at half-pace at best and stuff begins to seriously fall apart.
NOTE: Many of you are graduating high school or college, be careful. You are already overwhelmed with life, don't push yourself to the point you'll fail later. Your goal is to compete and complete at 100%, right? When you burn out, you'll be lugging around a tenth of that. And to those of you who are more in my position in life, not graduating or making any significant transition, you cannot disregard the present, sometimes still overwhelming, stressors in your life. The same advice goes for you, oh faithful worker: to accomplish what you need at 100%, taking care of yourself needs to be on the top of your list. Find something that you genuinely enjoy, and make sure you commit to that at least weekly (preferably daily, if time permits). I bullet journal (you don't know what that is, click here) It's weird and a little control-freakish but it gives me peace and I enjoy it. Find what relaxes you, make time for it. Then tackle your to-do-everything list.
You are made by a God who adores you. And He does not see you for the actions you take, the things you do, or the burdens you bear -- He sees you as His most treasured son or daughter, and He has fought and will always fight for your heart. Do not waste this life on things that won't last forever, it's cheesy, I know, but true. Do what needs to be done, I am not saying otherwise; however, I urge you to ensure that you are not shrugging off a bigger problem when you say "I'm fine". I urge you to stand in the mirror, and challenge the mask you have worn for so long, you hardly remember what is underneath. I urge you to take a deep breath and take care of yourself, because when you lie about how you are doing, the person you are hurting the most is you. God loves you through every emotional roller-coaster, in every stage of life. He won't give up on you.
Be honest with yourself. Taking a break doesn't have to mean a week-long vacation to Disney Land. You don't even have to leave your city, or house, if you're really good. Just find something you enjoy, and go with it. Relax for a few hours. Just be. And remember just one reason why today is good day to be alive.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- Matthew 11:28-30