Seeking Balance and Inner Peace
As I mentioned in my last post, things have been quite chaotic for me lately. I found myself feeling quite off-kilter and uncentered since the year (and especially the academic semester) started. So off-kilter, in fact, that I had to force myself to take a moment to step back and assess what was going on and how I had gotten to a place where I was feeling so overwhelmed all the time. And, even more importantly, how I could get myself to a place where I was feeling centered again. Where was the balance in my life?
So, being the analytical, science-type that I am, I created a list of guidelines, for lack of a better word, to help me get back on track. Things have still be stressful since I’ve been trying to live by these guidelines, but not nearly as much as they were. I’m feeling more peaceful in general.
So, to keep myself accountable, I thought I’d share my list with you all:
I. Keep up with my academic responsibilities.
- Get organized.
- Go to all classes. Period.
- At least attempt all homework, period, even when it seems so difficult that I feel discouraged after trying to work through the first problem.
- Go “super scheduled”–this means planning out my days down to each hour.
II. Build and maintain local friendships
- When I was trying to figure out where in my life my needs weren’t getting met, I realized this was a huge issue for me. In 2010 my best, best, best friend and I had a falling out. Later that year I started dating C, my most recent ex, and transferred to a school an hour and a half away. Because C still lived in the city I’d just left, I found myself spending all my weekends there. Accordingly, I never really had any time or opportunities to build friendships here. I found the same issue springing up with dating OB, as she also lives an hour and a half away. I miss having close, local friendships. I need close friendships. Committing myself to maintaining friendships also forces me not to isolate myself, which is something I’m prone to as a rather shy butch who also happens to live alone.
- This also means getting involved in various on-campus organizations, which is a good way for me to connect with people. So far I’m working on getting more involved in the GLBT group and the Women’s Issues group.
III. Maintain Mental Health
- There are a lot of aspects to this for me. The main one is making sure I have enough other things to do to balance out my school stress. Obviously this ties back into the whole building-friendships objective.
- Get enough sleep.
- Eat well.
- Exercise (I’m on week 2 of the hundred pushups program right now, and hopefully I’ll be adding some cardio soon! Ugh, I don’t know why I am so ridiculously averse to cardio.)
- Work on healing old wounds. This subject deserves a whole post in itself, so I’ll elaborate on it later.
IV. Keep Blogging
- That’s right, dear readers. This is definitely a priority for me! This blog, my tumblr, and my youtube are all really important to me. They help me connect with the queer community that I’ve never really had locally. Don’t get me wrong, there is a sizeable queer community here, but I want to connect with butches and femmes and all sorts of other queers who want to talk about gender identity, feminism, trans issues, and the whole myriad of issues I hold near and dear to my heart. I also want to do what I can to be available to other FAAB (female-assigned-at-birth) folks who are not male-identified but struggle with gender dysphoria. Being able to connect with them has been a really wonderful experience so far.
Alright, I suppose that’s it for now. What about you, readers? Are there any particular guidelines you’re trying to live by right now?