Balance

Hello, all!

I was planning on writing a blog post about feminism today, but that is temporarily delayed because other things came to mind today.

Do you remember my New Year’s resolutions?

Well, if you don’t, one of them was to find balance in my life. I’m learning that this is REALLY DIFFICULT. I mean, seriously! This week more than ever, I’m realizing how badly I need to find balance and how hard it is to find it. I am a teeter totter, never quite equal, always leaning to one side or the other. Or scales. I don’t know, choose a metaphor. Balance beam, teetering gymnast. Possibilities are endless but what it all boils down to is that I am currently incapable of keeping my life in any sort of equilibrium.

This week, it feels like I’m being pulled in all directions. I’m trying to sort out my suddenly very complicated and backwards social life, apply to Important College-y Things, work hard on school stuff, starting track, blogging, trying to figure out plans for this weekend, trying to figure out what to do for my friend in the hospital and when I can visit, and attempting to have enough time to sleep, eat, and talk to my family. EVERYTHING is being thrown at me at once, and while most of it isn’t bad, I don’t know how to handle all of it at once.

How am I supposed to pick priorities? I mean, obviously, some things are more important than others, but some things I want to do more than I want to do others. What should be most important, the needs or the wants? The needs, traditionally, but where does one find value in life? In doing what MUST be done or by doing what you WANT to do?

I mean, I know the “right” answer to that. Needs, obviously. Basics. But nothing in life is really basic (other than food/water/shelter, but let’s be honest here, those are not overwhelming me right now). Basics are not a problem for me. Sleep is a basic, too, but that doesn’t end up being a priority. I can function on five hours of sleep, but I’d rather not. So sleep is sacrificed. School is a Need, because education is important and school matters enough to my idea of success that I can’t allow myself NOT to do it. But the homework is time-consuming, and there’s that one class (math) where I struggle endlessly, and it feels fruitless. I’m not deriving (ha, punny!) any pleasure from doing the work that I don’t fully understand, despite paying attention and taking notes. The homework feels endless and it’s frustrating. Is that a priority? Work harder, until I understand? (Well, that’s what I’m trying to do, anyway.)

I consider family and friends to be important. I mean, I like having dinner with my mom (and my brother when he’s around/if he comes upstairs), and talking a bit. But lately I feel like I’m home far too often, and never see my friends. My social life is in a state of flux as I try to figure out what’s going on with whom and where my relationships with different friends are at right now. And now time is eaten up by track and I find myself exhausted and sore, confined to a set schedule, the same old thing, monotonously repeated every day. Wake up, finish homework (I’m a night person but I focus best in daylight. I make no sense.), go to school, go to track, come home. There’s no room for adventure when time is cut into slices that must occur in perfect order.

The thing about balance is that it’s orderly and I am typically a mess. I’m disorganized and forgetful, a procrastinator (sometimes to the extreme). I’m terrible at prioritizing and choosing Important Things over my own interests (I’d much rather learn something I want to learn than work on something I don’t want to do). Maybe I cling to what was too much, unable to move on or separate what’s happening now to what I’m used to. Am I resistant to change? That’s a different question entirely, but the point is that I am finding it incredibly difficult to balance my life as is and my life as I want it to be. There’s no way to do everything I want or to be the best at everything, but at the moment, I’m not even sure where to start. I have ideas, sure, and I’m working on it.

Balance is elusive and difficult, something I think that not many people are good at. That’s why it’s one of my resolutions or goals or whatever they are for this year– I want to change that in myself. My fear is that it will be impossible to change though.

So I’ll start with this, the acknowledgment that balance can only ever be temporarily. Things shift and change and the balance is thrown off; I can only move in the opposite direction and see if I can get it just right.

A demain!
-Aly

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