The last couple of weeks, & especially since my quick trip home, I’ve been dying to share this. The thoughts literally fill my mind and either want to explode outside of me or tie me down in some equally debilitating way. I want to talk about fear and social media (cringing) and life.
When I got home (I went home for the Fourth of July 🙂 ) one of the first things I did was visit my grandma. She went on and on about how amazing I was, as grandmas do, and it was nice to hear. She then began to dive into how I was fearless, and my mom interrupted her explaining that being fearless isn’t impressive, it’s the fact that I (as everyone else in this world) have fears, but I’m doing what I’m doing despite those fears. That’s a lot more impressive.
That afternoon I got my hair cut and of course, New York came up as everything seems to come up when you’re getting your hair done. As we got chatting my hairdresser began to dive into how she couldn’t do things on her own. She explained that this was the main reason why she couldn’t live somewhere like NYC and then she continued to list off all of the things she was unwilling to do by herself. Granted, she might have a legitimate reason, and I get that. (Really, I do.) But most likely, she just really didn’t enjoy doing things by herself, and as she went on about this I just wanted to scream, ME TOO. I don’t like doing things all by myself. Yes, sometimes it’s empowering and yes it’s always nice to have a break, but when I leave work and realize I have nothing to do and no one to see? I don’t like that. Even more, I don’t like eating out by myself or visiting sites by myself. I don’t want to go to museums by myself or make dinner alone. I don’t like when being alone isn’t a choice.
But just because sometimes doing those things is miserable doesn’t mean I’m going to stop myself from living at all. It made me sad that 1. this girl I had just met was limiting herself so much because she doesn’t like to be alone and 2. that she couldn’t see this was my reality as well.
Let’s just get one thing straight right now. I love New York. New York is awesome and I’m so grateful that I’m here working right now, because it rocks. But also, New York is really hard & that’s ok to admit too.
Ok, let’s talk about social media. Yes, I live in NYC. & Yes, it is really, really cool. & Yes, I’m so grateful and I love it and I’ve learned SO much in my internship. But I also have had some intense anxiety since moving here. I don’t feel like I can afford anything, I know very few people and I don’t know what on earth I’m going to do in a month after my internship ends. All of this is pretty terrifying.
Just to further illustrate my point. When my parents dropped me off at the airport (the second time around) I was sad, but I was okay. I got through security and while I was waiting for my flight with a friend, the reality of life just started to set in. I could go into all the details and why and how, etc. but it really doesn’t matter. We’ve all been there.
So as I sat on the flight I started to panic. Honestly, it was miserable and painful and I went back and forth between trying to sleep (didn’t happen) & trying to watch an alien movie that I wasn’t enjoying (because please something distract me). It was the most physically painful stress I’ve ever had on a flight and I swear it was never going to end.
Finally, I ended up editing photos and posting them on Instagram (I mean they didn’t actually post until I landed) and then when I got home I just felt so trapped by my own post. I hadn’t lied and I hadn’t edited the pictures besides making them fit in the square bounds of an Instagram multi-picture post, but everyone now knew that I had a nice weekend home and then returned to NYC. But no one knew that the weekend was entirely different than I’d planned, that I spent half the weekend feeling stressed that I didn’t have enough time (to the point of having trouble breathing at a few points) and that I was literally panicking on my flight home while simultaneously being frustrated that I’d wasted time while being home being stressed. (AHH!) No one knew any of this!
On top of all of that, my blog post (two posts back) was haunting me over and over, because it seemed to be mocking me. Because yes, I meant everything I said there. & Yes I still want to mean it and I will soon. But things change and life is always changing (& wasn’t that what I was getting at anyway?).
But then there’s the balance that we’re all walking. How do you stay real and not strew your life across the internet as a complete train wreck, or at the least not depressing people. I mean I don’t want people to read my content and think, “It could be worse…I could be her.” I want them to realize that I’m enjoying my life and doing my very best despite whatever crazy things happen. And sometimes because of those crazy things. (Opposition in all things, right?)
This topic has come up again and again with so many of the girls I’ve met here in the city. We’re all trying to find that balance. How do you be real and still grateful? How do you post pictures from the city and still be relatable to your friends back home? Because guess what—we all don’t really know what we’re doing, whether we live in Utah or New York City! & that’s ok! This the time of life we are in and there will always be things to figure out.
I don’t have an answer. I wish I did, especially because that seems like the most appropriate ending to this blog post. I do, however, have a couple of links that have helped me a lot in the past few weeks that might help you too.
Some days are great and some days we just have to go hour by hour and maybe minute by minute. That’s ok. God get’s it.
How To Face Uncertainty With Faith — My neighbor wrote this and she is amazing.
Give us This Day Our Daily Bread — Elder Christofferson
(Thanks Haley, Lauren & my mom for the chats and the links — You all rock.)