how always waiting for the next big thing can keep you from enjoying every day

I was stuck inside of a crystal glass cage that was slowly getting smaller as I pounded the walls with all of my might to break free; it didn’t budge. That’s how last week felt and I think that describes anxiety, but I wasn’t a psych major. The whole problem was, I was a dietetics major and on April 3rd, I didn’t get matched to a internship.

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Okay, so this isn’t a good example of enjoying the little things but it’s a picture where I look really happy and that’s the point. 

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I actually handled the situation a lot better than I expected at the time. It helped a bit that my brother’s girlfriend had to ride back from DC with us where we had all spent the day trying to distract me from the 7pm notification time. Even though we’re close, I felt bad crying in front of her so I just casually let a few unnoticed tears fall until she got out of the car and I sobbed, angrily.

The amount of support I got back from everyone who had been rooting for me made me realize a few things. 1) I have an INCREDIBLE support system to fall back on when I need them to lift me up and 2) I must be a pretty amazing person even if these internships can’t see it because all of these people believed in me. The kicker was that I was on a director’s list, I just didn’t get matched because they over-list applicants and the computer does the dirty work.

I had a week from hell trying to fill out applications for second round, made up of programs with openings for people who did not get matched. I was also trying to figure out what my next move was if I didn’t get an internship. How much longer was I going to keep at this unreachable dream in front of me. It was a whirlwind of emotion and a lot of depression A couple hundred dollars and all of my buttons pushed later, I got an email.

I got an offer.

And I accepted.

So this is the part where it seems I should tell you that if you work hard enough your dreams come true. I feel like that’s what happened for me but I am confident if I didn’t get one I would have mended my broken heart with the support of the amazing people I get to call my friends and family. My boyfriend and I picked up a few scratchers the night before the email came through. I of course picked out the ones decorated with cute little cupcakes. Right before I scratched mine off I looked up at him and excitedly said, “if I win something and I don’t get an internship, this is what I pursue next.” I won two dollars, and we did not cash it in. I’m a big “sign” person and I feel that me accepting that life will go on is why I got accepted, I’m keeping that as a reminder. I feel like I was being taught a painful lesson. I learned from it and got my way, so it is a win, win.

The program is distance so I won’t have to leave the area which I am super grateful for because my poor boyfriend agreed to move to anywhere in the US with me to help me achieve what I needed to move forward with my career. He’s really the best.

Even though I have all this exciting stuff happening I’m pretty overwhelmed by the amount of things I have to get done and the financial burden I’m about to endure to get through this internship. I absolutely know it’s worth it but it’s going to be a challenging year. I thought that when I got accepted that I would be bouncing off the walls with pure joy for the rest of my life. It’s funny how that works, our brains think that once you achieve this, than that, and then finally get there everything will be great and you will find happiness. But that’s not the case.

We need to find joy in every single day. One small thing, as simple as your cup of coffee is acceptable. If you keep trying to pass every second of the days you’re waiting for the next big thing, you’re literally throwing your life away. I see that now because I’ve spent the last year and a half in misery because I wasn’t where I wanted to be financially, mentally, psychically, geographically, spiritually, occupationally. You name it, I was unsatisfied.

The growth I’ve experienced is pretty incredible and I’m really proud of myself. My therapist recommended I give myself a little mantra if you will – something to read every day to remind me that things are better than they appear some days and to keep moving forward while I also let myself enjoy the exciting stuff that is happening.

I tried this a few years ago and it really didn’t stick but I’m giving it another shot.

“Do not harbor negative thoughts. You are wonderful and you are loved. You have earned your successes and your failures do not define you. Soak up the sunshine and smile. Enjoy the little things happening around you each day and never let your fear of being hurt keep you from letting others care for you. You are beautiful and if you look past your imperfections you will find perfection is never what you were striving for anyway, it was an outward symbol of your self worth but you have nothing to prove to anybody. Do you and never give up. Now go out there and make the world a better place just because you’re in it.”