Six weeks in- where am I at?

It’s been a few weeks since I last posted.

Since I was even active on my blog.

At the beginning of this semester I had this grand idea that somehow, amongst the 8.30-4.30, 5-day weeks, the journal and time sheets I have due every second week, my mid-placement reviews and my two 50% essays I am yet to begin, that I would also have time for a social life, to keep my place clean AND to reflect on each week of placement as it came and went.

I was clearly way in over my head.

I mean, in some ways I was. I have been able to manage working 5-days a week full-time although I have never done it before in my entire 21 years of living. I am able to maintain a social life-despite knowing only my two housemates, my brother and his friends, and the boys next door in the new city I am living in-somehow, I am managing parties on Saturday nights, movie nights every friday and exploring the city and the coast every Sunday. The keeping up to date with my reflections on my blog however, I haven’t been able to do. I’m sure it hasn’t bothered you though, and it hasn’t bothered me, because it’s given me time to live, to settle down, and to grow significantly.

I suppose this isn’t really a reflection blog- I write a reflection every fortnight to submit to my Liaison person for placement and so I am happy sticking to just those, for now anyway. I wanted to write this blog as more of a check-in, more of a way to let you know I’m still alive, I’m still kicking and I am well and truly falling more and more in love with this life, and the passions that I have, every single minute that I spend in this city.

I have been confused though, over whether it is this city, living out of home and doing everything on my own, that has allowed me the courage to walk a little taller, to create the person I always wanted to be, to grow so extensively in such a small period of time.

Or if it has been this placement. Six weeks of meeting souls who have been to hell and made it out alive, who have been handed a deck of cards that is so fucked up, and so unfair, but they manage to reach inside and find a resilience that I have never recognised in anyone before.

Maybe this is an outcome of the self-reflection journals I have had to write over the past six weeks, the reflective social work practitioner inside of me clawing its way out- but I just really want to know whether it’s the move, or the placement, that is allowing me to grow.

It’s interesting isn’t it, how one day we are in our safe, comfort zones. Our own little bubbles. Everything we see and feel and hear is everything we want to, because we are either oblivious to the world outside of us, or we are aware but choose not to do anything about it. Either way we are living how we want to live. Then the next day, everything is different, and it feels like we are seeing the world through brand new eyes.

Well, I guess that is how I have been feeling. Although the way I am living right now, is how I want to be living (I get to choose the food I eat, when I clean my room, how my room looks and I get to sip on green tea and watch 13 Reasons Why all day without ever having to answer anyone), I am also becoming more and more aware of the world outside of the bubble that I grew up in.

Disclaimer: When I mention the bubble we grew up in, it doesn’t mean we lived perfect, non-fucked-up childhoods, no. I just mean that the bubble is all we ever knew. Because if I am being totally honest with you, and I want to be honest with you, I did not grow up in a perfect little family. Mental health issues are prevalent within my family, chronic health issues are prevalent and hospitals, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and alcoholism are just some of the things I had a vast understanding of at young ages.

However, since coming to the city, since moving out of home, since starting this placement, I’ve learnt a few things. Mostly about myself, but a lot about the world, and some things about my fellow human beings that reside on planet earth.

I’ve learnt that I am so capable of being away from my family; that I can cook three meals a day that actually have nutritional value; that I have the ability to be domestic but also maintain a social life; that I am actually a lot more confident in who I am than I ever was in my hometown; that being happy in my body does not mean I have to change it, but going for a walk or doing yoga or just eating some god damn veggies, helps with my body image an incredible amount; that I am just capable of living, and also loving myself.

I have learnt that this world is so unfair; that alcoholism is not your favourite actor who gets drunk every so often and it’s caught in the tabloids- it’s a real problem, it affects so many people and newsflash, 9 times out of 10, it isn’t a choice.

I have learnt that human beings are some of the most resilient species I have ever come across; that people who use drugs and alcohol are still exactly that- people- and they deserve respect, and kindness; that literally every single one of us is so different and unique; and mostly, that human beings are also one of the most closed-minded species in the world and that fuck we are hard on each other- seriously, we just need to give one another a break.

The greatest thing I have learnt over these past two months of living in the city, of these six weeks of placement, is how totally and utterly okay and wonderful it is to be in love with yourself. To fall in love with yourself, your body, your mind, the way you speak, the words you write, the thoughts you come up with- is one of the most magical feelings in the world. It’s something I haven’t truly felt, ever, but it’s something that I now feel, almost every single day and I cannot fathom how much this move, this experience, has allowed me to be who I am, to fall in love with who I am.

It’s magical.

I am grateful.

I am utterly in love with myself.

And there is nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Wrong with that.

rupi kaur.jpg

 

((P.S. I wrote a book, maybe you want to check it out (and purchase it) If you want to check it out HERE))

Week two of placement-Have I burnt out already?

I have already completed ten whole days of placement and I am both surprised at how fast this is all going and overwhelmed by the fact I still have twelve whole weeks left.

It’s all slowly becoming a blur; my eyes are growing more tired every day; my soul is carrying the burdens of so many who surround me; my mind is growing from the knowledge I am having the opportunity to grasp at; and my body is always looking forward to the weekends.

It’s exhausting; physically, mentally and emotionally.

My mind tries to keep up with my body and my body tries to keep up with my mind and it is all one big cycle of my body and mind chasing after one another.

It’s a lot to handle.

Every day.

It’s a lot to deal with, a lot to face, and most days it’s all a reminder why I never really wanted to work in mental health.

In the same breathe, I am so in love with this line of work, with the people I am meeting, with the experiences I am having and with the knowledge I am gaining.

I have not, for so long, felt so inspired by a group of people, to research as far and wide as I can about mental illnesses, about substance abuse, about social work theories, so as I can learn and grow and discover more about working in mental health and, more about myself.

This second week of placement saw me submit two pieces of assessment, finish drafting a third, experience my first absolute 180 turn with a client and over the past 5 days I have just seen how things can go from 0 to 100 and back again, real quick. It’s been a week that has dragged me through the mud and I came out the other end tired and barely able to move.

Despite wanting a quiet weekend, I actually ended up being a taxi for both my housemates which led to a total burnout today-Sunday. I was annoyed, frustrated and tired, yelling how unfair it was that I had a job five days a week that was mentally and physically exhausting (and starting to catch up with me) and how I then had to come home to a mess because each person was blaming the other for it and refused to clean up.

So today, I decided to take myself out on a date-something I have never done in my entire 21 years and 11 months of living. I went to a book store I have wanted to go to for so long-and purchased six new books that I really do not need- before treating myself to a green tea at the cutest little cafe that I have also been wanting to try for a while. I then decided to just take a shot in the dark and do a yoga class that I had my eye on for the past week and it was the most relaxing, restorative hour of yoga in my life.

These four hours of listening to Busby Marou as I drove around to explore books and books on end, drink tea, journal, and refresh myself in a yoga class reminded me how important self-care is, and how important it will be throughout the next 12 weeks of placement. I hadn’t realised that it would be this significant, that I couldn’t just go for a 15-minute walk every day and feel okay.  I know now that I am going to need so much more than that.

Therefore, I have given myself a little promise that self-care will be part of my every day routine for a lot longer than 15 minutes, because I deserve it. 

I came up with a list (I’m a sucker for lists) of things that I want to make part of my daily and weekly self-care routine, including:

  • reading for fun more often
  • going for a walk every afternoon
  • practising yoga at least three times a week-whether that be through a class or online
  • drinking more tea
  • leaving Uni work for during work hours
  • getting enough sleep
  • drinking more water
  • journalling more

 

 

If I have learnt anything this past week, this second week of placement, it’s that I really have not been taking as much care of myself-physically, mentally or emotionally-as I should have been, and that self-care needs to become an essential part of my day-to-day life if I’m going to make it to the other end of this placement without feeling next-level exhausted and broken.

 

I was lost and looking for answers-

and found them in

(learning how to love)

myself

Isabella Mente (from her novel, “7,300 Days”)

 

 

Reflecting on my first week of Placement

It’s 9.22pm.

I write this from my mattress on the floor of my room in my new townhouse, after a night of watching a few episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and printing a Learning Plan I have to draft and complete over the next two weeks, and my first alarm is set for 5.30am as I get ready to go to my second day of placement tomorrow, starting at 7.30am.

My eyes are already the windows to the exhaustion that I am feeling.

However, I also hope they are the windows to how excited, and in awe of this experience I am.

This semester, for 15 weeks, I will be working at an agency that works with people sleeping rough, and my team in particular works with and supports people with severe and complex mental health issues. I have never in my life worked within mental health nor have I ever worked with people sleeping rough and henceforth, I am terrified. While I understand that people suffering a mental illness are still people, I also understand the risks associated with working with people who are sometimes too anxious to meet new people, who have mood disorders, who can be so happy they are bursting one day, and wallowing in a sadness deeper than the ocean the next. I especially understand the risks associated with being someone they have yet to develop a trusting and open relationship with. Which is why, on my first week of placement, I wanted to document my feelings, my fears, my excitement, and continue to document my experiences each week as I work through these next 15 weeks. (Surprise, here comes 15 new blog posts coming your way relating to the work I get to do, the experiences I have and the emotions I feel throughout it all!)


I wrote this after my first day of Placement, adamant that I was going to write a “what did I learn on my first day of placement” blog post, and yet here we are, at the end of day 8 of placement and I haven’t even written the “placement- week one” post that I wanted to write.

I am already an unorganised mess and it’s only halfway through week 2. *Sigh*

Despite my inability to remain organised and on top of things, the mess, the exhaustion, and the full-time work has all been worth the tired eyes and the not-so-Gucci-eye-bags I’ve acquired since last week.

Over the past 8 days, I have read more words about recovery, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness and mental health than I ever thought was possible; I have read oodles of case notes about clients I have met and am yet to meet; I have gone to bed earlier than I did when I was in primary school; I have met people who are so resilient I don’t even know where they found the strength to move, and people who have such severe and complex mental illnesses that I sometimes just feel like crying, screaming to a God I have trouble believing in so often, “why do so many people have to live such an unfair life?”

I have cried and felt pains in my chest as the burdens of the souls I’ve met clamber to my heart that lays on my sleeve every single day of my life.

I have laughed with people that remind me of people I know and I have been hugged by people who are just so grateful that someone in their life gives a damn about them.

I have met people with an alcohol and drug addiction so strong that they’ve never been sober during any of our visits, and yet they continue to be the kindest and most gentle souls I’ve come across; I’ve met people who want to so badly quit their addiction but to them it’s a medicine and god only knows how hard it must be to be in a position where you know you are doing such incredible harm to yourself but you can’t quit because of biological and chemical reactions in your brain-or simply because the drugs and the alcohol have been the only things there for you through it all.

I’ve been surrounded by people who are feeling angry, rejected by society, their friends and family; people who are feeling dejected, full of sorrow, full of hate, full of so much pain; I’ve met people who are just grateful, to be alive, to have someone who cares, someone to talk to; people who laugh and giggle and offer you cups and cups of tea- and no matter the person, how they are feeling, how they react to me coming inside their home, whether it’s positive or negative, I cannot blame them.

Not at all.

Not in the slightest.

I used to just think it would be so easy for people with mental health issues to just recover; to just go to rehab; to just see a psychologist, because these things would just help, and how could they not understand that by just doing one of these things would make it all better.

Except so many of them have tried that. They’ve gone to rehab. They’ve seen a psychologist, a psychiatrist, they’ve met more head and body doctors than I can count on my fingers and toes.

Some of these people have wanted these things to help, and they’ve been let down.

Some of these people haven’t wanted any of this help, and they’ve got it, and it hasn’t made a difference.

Truth is, we can sit back and say how much all these things will help and they don’t help, or they do-but either way, neither you nor I, have any right to just throw these “solutions” at people, because we actually have no idea how large of an impact mental illness has on the way people function in their every day lives.

And that’s probably the biggest thing I’ve learnt. Is that I actually had very little understanding to how deeply and how immensely, mental health illnesses actually effect people. It’s so baffling to me, that our brains, our minds, can work against us in such a way that it slowly kills us. I cannot even begin to explain how naive I was just 8 days ago. 

It’s the end of day 8, and I have already learnt so much in my time at this agency.

I have already experienced so much, and met so many wonderful, and frightened, and kind, and grateful, and sad, souls and each of them have had an effect on me that I cannot even describe, that will stay with me not only throughout the entirety of this placement, but probably throughout my entire life.

If I’ve learnt this much in just 8 days, imagine how much I’m going to learn over the next 13 and a half weeks.

“the truth is, we all have mental health, it’s just that, unfortunately, some of us were given better functionality than others” – my supervisor

Semester 4 in Review: SW SP 11

I submitted my last essay just 7 hours before it was due. Which, you may think is brilliant, good on me, I had so much time left over! However, this was the latest I had ever submitted an essay in my past 4 years of university-I kid you not. I know, I know, I am such a nerd.

Now, I have about three weeks before I begin my first ever placement and until then I am a guest speaker at a Ball for a charity organisation incredibly close to my heart (I will definitely blog about this within the next week), I am moving out of home to the bottom end of the state I currently live in and I am both terribly excited, and terribly exhausted.

Before this big stuff starts happening though, I wanted to take this time to reflect on the semester that was. However, because this semester was a bit different to previous semesters, I’ve changed the questions up.

If you want to check out my previous reflections:

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

 

I am most in my element when I: 

Start the day off with Yoga. For the entire month of January I took part in ‘Yoga With Adriene’s’ 31 Yoga Revolution and I swear, just starting the day off with 15, 30 or 45 minutes of yoga makes the rest of my day productive and kind. Doing yoga daily is most certainly something I am going to ensure becomes part of my daily routine for February.

Favorite study spot:

The dining room table. My chair is right up against the window so when I close the curtains, it feels warm and snug and perfect for a day of writing essays or doing research.

Proudest moment:

Honestly, I’m going to keep this one simple. Taking the time to actually study a subject over Summer. I love being busy but I know that Christmas and New Year gets so hectic, and not to mention I’ve been planning/getting ready to move away so with all of this going on, the semester was wild. But I managed it, and I’m so happy I worked toward getting it all done.

Most humbling moment:

Being asked to speak as a Guest Speaker at the Gala ball that I’ll be attending tomorrow night (!!!)

I feel most empowered when:

I learn something new, when I gather new information that allows me to broaden my horizons. Being

Career plans?

At this point in time, something to do with public speaking or working with children and adolescents with a chronic illness…or both!

Future plans? 

Road trip tomorrow for the Gala Ball tomorrow night, then moving down south on Tuesday and from that moment forward, just taking life as it comes!

Last semester’s challenge:

“I’d really love to further my knowledge on Feminism and the importance of women and women’s rights and therefore am going to challenge myself to find at least one extra article, youtube video or discussion (anything really!) surrounding the topic, just to deepen my knowledge on the topic!”

Did I do it?

Yes! Although I found that I didn’t have the time to find a new article/video/discussion every week, I tried hard to find new information every so often and I did! I found articles discussing feminism, I found videos discussing the importance of feminism especially in today’s day and age.

Challenge for next semester?

Just take it one day at a time. My next semester is 14 weeks of placement and I am so nervous and worried about it, but I know it’s going to be such an incredible experience. So I really just want to take it all in, take it slow and take it as it comes.

Advice to future self:

Never forget how healing just half an hour of journalling can be.

 


Once again, this post has been inspired immensely by my friend, who I miss intensely as she continues to work toward becoming an incredible Doctor on the other side of the world, Sami.

Semester 3 in Review- SW SP2

Enter that sigh of relief that comes after a massive 13 week semester… I am currently sitting in the air conditioning, reading about some conspiracy theories, getting ready to read a novel about Robert Plant and do some journalling. Even though I only studied 3 subjects this semester, I was also a Student Mentor and had a lot of personal travel going on, which left me having many panic attacks and my stress levels soaring for most of the past 13 weeks.

It was exhausting, but oh my it was wonderful as well and, as this has become somewhat of a tradition, I am so excited to reflect on the semester that was.

 

Favorite subject this semester:

Group Work, without an ounce of doubt. It’s funny how my favourite subject this semester was taught by the same lecturer that my favourite subject last semester, was taught by. So even though I obviously love the lecturer, I just fell in love with a new way of doing Social Work, with the idea that we as workers, don’t always have to work alone and that together, we can create something incredible that can assist in improving the lives of the people we are working with. I had the opportunity to also delve into a type of work (working with groups) that challenged me because I am both shy and introverted and so it was kind of cool to get to challenge those aspects of my personality.

 

I am most in my element when I: 

I am meditating. I meditate in so many different ways through guided meditation, journalling, taking time out to be in water or by stretching and I tried to do a lot of that this semester. I think it just helps to take that time to be present in the moment and not worry about everything else that is happening-it allows me to just step away from studying for a moment to think about myself and my mind.

 

Most scared moment:

Probably when I failed an online exam for my Policy Analysis class. I am a perfectionist and so I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed, so to then have failed an exam was terrifying and upsetting. Little did I know that this ‘failure’ was a stepping stone to much larger successes, as ‘failures’ usually are…

 

Favorite study spot:

I still maintain that it’s my University’s library. I love sitting in such a large building, a table to myself and being surrounded by students who, despite all studying such different things, are filled with the same anxieties as you, is the most comforting experience. I feel so odd saying that, and you probably think I am crazy, but I find comfort in knowing I am most certainly not alone in procrastination and stress.

 

Proudest moment:

Being asked to be co-lead the student mentor team next year.

 

Most humbling moment:

Getting asked to make a speech at my best friend’s 21st birthday party. I can’t even say any more about this, it was just a moment where I felt so humbled that someone, who I adore immensely, would ask me to take part in such a great honour.

 

I feel most empowered when:

I am speaking in front of a crowd. It’s crazy because all through high school I wasn’t exactly a fan of public speaking and then lately, I’ve just fallen in love with it! I still get incredibly nervous beforehand, but once I’m up in front of the crowd, I just fall into this relaxed version of myself that becomes incredibly confident and empowered-two feelings I never thought I’d feel when taking part in public speaking.

 

Most inspirational moment: 

When in Port Vila, we had a taxi driver that explained to us the perils that the people of Vanuatu faced when hit by a massive cyclone not too long ago. He described to us how everyone lost everything, yet the next morning, when the worst was over, everyone headed outside, smiling and laughing. It was such a reminder that I sit here, with so much, and yet I complain about so much, yet people who have so little, just love the little that they have. That was an incredible and awe-inspiring moment.

 

Career plans?

This has changed every semester, I swear! I have really become fascinated with the possibility of doing something in relation to public speaking. I’d love to be able to spend my days speaking to crowds, interacting with communities and individuals and somehow making a difference through my words.

 

Future plans? 

At the moment, it’s to read a lot (not related to anything scholarly), exercise more and fall into a deep relaxation period for two weeks before I jump into a semester of study over the Christmas period.

 

Last semester’s challenge: 

Begin reading through the emails I receive from the Australian Policy Online (APO) website, and to take more photos.

 

Did I do it? 

Unfortunately, not really. I think I read maybe one or two emails from the APO site and just deleted the rest when they came through. Slightly disappointed in myself but I did read more of the policies than I did last semester, so I guess that’s progress!

Did I take more photos? I don’t really know if I took more photos than what I’ve taken in the past but I do know that I did spend a lot of time behind the camera lens.

 

Challenge for next semester? 

My next semester starts in two weeks time and I’m only taking one subject because it’s Christmas time! The subject is Women’s Studies though and I think I’d really love to further my knowledge on Feminism and the importance of women and women’s rights and therefore am going to challenge myself to find at least one extra article, youtube video or discussion (anything really!) surrounding the topic, just to deepen my knowledge on the topic!

 

Advice to future self:

It’s okay to constantly be exploring; to have itchy feet and a heart full of wanderlust.

It’s okay to constantly be confused; to not truly know what or who you want to believe in yet.

It’s okay to not really know where you want to go from here; to not know what career path you want to follow.

But so long as you’re always ready to learn, to travel, to educate yourself and to further your knowledge on any and every topic in this universe, then you’re doing okay.

 

Also, never forget about you, about taking time out for yourself, to re-energise your heart, your mind and your soul.

 


 

Once again, this post has been inspired immensely by my friend, who I miss intensely as she continues to work toward becoming an incredible Doctor on the other side of the world, Sami.

 

I failed… and that’s okay

Two Friday’s ago, I had an online exam for one of my subjects, Policy Making and Management. I had completed all my readings that we were expected to have completed. I had written pages and pages of notes. I was ready.

Or so I thought. 

Turns out, I failed the exam. It was only worth 10% and I only failed by one question, but I still failed. I was sitting in the University Library before I ran out, leaving all my stuff behind, rung my mum and basically told her how unfair life is. How I studied my ass off for this exam and yet here I am, a failed student. Mum eventually calmed me down, but internally, I was still absolutely fuming because how could I have worked so hard and received so little? Then, a few days later, I found out a friend of mine passed with flying colours, only getting three questions wrong. She hadn’t studied at all. She hadn’t completed all her readings and she most certainly had not written pages and pages of notes.

Although I was so happy for her, I was so angry because I had worked so freaking hard to get a great mark and I didn’t get that mark, heck, I didn’t even pass. 

That exam was two weeks ago and of course, I’m still a little upset and that is understandable because the only thing we have really been taught is that failing equates to being a failure, and passing equates to being worthy of something more. However, it’s not like that in reality. The truth is, yes in the short term it fucking sucks that I failed, that you failed, but in the long run? It hardly matters at all.

 

The thing is, we live in and are part of a society that preaches to us that learning isn’t necessarily important, rather it’s the passing and getting straight A’s, that is more important. How sad is that? We live in a world where 57 million children do not even have a school to go to, and we, as first world citizens, are sitting all high and mighty, forcing our children to get straight A’s and top marks in the HSC and QCS exams. Isn’t there something wrong with that? 

We view education as grades, because that’s what we have been taught. We’ve been given the ultimatum that if we do not get a high school education, if we do not get a university degree that exceeds everyone’s expectations, then heck why are teachers wasting their time on you? 

The question that I consistently ask myself, is why are we viewing education like we are, and why are we not viewing it as a learning experience, as the opportunity to learn something we didn’t even know about before?

Emma Mercury (instagram and youtube favourite) actually wrote a post recently about this on Instagram where she mentioned that school has become a way for us to persevere through situations that aren’t enjoyable and my question is, why the fuck has school become like this? It shouldn’t be and that’s why I’m reminding you that failing doesn’t fucking matter.

In fact, it is quite alright if you fail, because you are human, because you have family commitments, because you have work commitments, because you are allowed to be a teenager and it’s okay to go to social events, and in between all that, you still have essays to write.

So of course it’s okay to fail. 

failed

From a very young age, we are taught that the only students who matter to the school, to the education system, are the ones who are above average. 

That, is not okay. 

I am in no way diminishing the effort and energy that is put in by those students who are above average, but something that we tend forget is that there are students who get straight C’s, or who sometimes fail, who also put in tremendous amounts of effort. Or, we forget the fact that some students are better at managing everything that is on their plate than other students, and that is okay too. We cannot all have the capacity to deal with family or work issues, as well as submit great essays. As John Lennon is so famously quoted saying, Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

Please, remind yourselves that. 

 

I failed. I was angry and upset, and I could spend weeks or even months crying over this tiny fact. I could scream out that the world is so unfair and that the education system rigged me to fail. However, what would be the point of that? There wouldn’t be one. Because in the end, I failed. But, I failed only one test. One test out of three this semester. One test out of twelve pieces of assessment due over the course of this next semester. One exam over the course of hundreds of essays I have to write over the period of my four year course.

In three years time, when I’ve graduated and when I have been working for 12 months, I am not going to look back at this one exam and be angry over the fact that I failed; in fact, in three years time, I probably won’t even remember this one exam! That’s the point! It’s one small exam or essay or project that you fail and in the long run, it probably doesn’t mean that much anyway. I know you don’t hear that often, but let me take you by the hands and look you in the eyes as I say this; failing isn’t going to change you as a person, or change you as a student, it’s not going to make you better or worse. It’s just a thing-no attachment 

The world isn’t being unfair toward me because I failed. The education system wasn’t rigged for me to fail. I just failed and that, is okay, because passing, or failing, does not equate to your worth as a human being.

 

Have you ever failed before? Let me know your stories in the comments and let’s all share the love x

The Art of Letting Go

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am a perfectionist and alongside this part of me, is the need to know exactly what I’m doing, when I’m doing it and how I’m going to be getting it done. Especially, when it comes to University. I’ve spent hours upon hours of my time meticulously researching what subjects I have left to do, where they can fit into my study outline. Thus, I always know what subjects I’m doing in what semester-even two years from now. I just have to know, always, and knowing gives me anxiety, but also not knowing gives me anxiety; so I’m really damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

PSA: Before I continue, I’d like to point out that this need to know is directly related to University and my studies, not really any other aspect of my life because, despite what you may read, I am actually quite a spontaneous person!

I’ve known what subjects I have left to do, when my fieldwork will be done and when I’ll be moving to the big city for around 5 or 6 months now and sometimes, over the weekend, you’ll find me double-checking my study outline to ensure it’s all staying the same; running smoothly. You can call me totally weird and out of this world, I won’t disagree. 

Then on Saturday, a spanner was thrown in the works. Instead of being able to study my last three second semester subjects, next semester from July to November, I unfortunately will have to study only two, as my third subject overlapped. Alongside this, I realised that before I can begin my fieldwork next year, I have to do a six week course which will mean that instead of my semester being 14 weeks long, it will be 20. This delay in the semester will also mean I  will be moving to the big city about 6 weeks later than I was hoping and expecting.

Alas, these are tiny details but made a huge difference in my stress levels over the weekend. Who would have thought three weeks after finishing a semester, I’d still be stressing over University! As I mentioned-they are small and almost insignificant changes to my study outline and yet, I took the entire afternoon off from Saturday to stress and complain to mum about the seeming difficulty it is now imposing upon my University life.

So, why on earth am I so hung up over this change?

Because, like I said, I just love to know what my study has in store for me and I hate the sense of losing control and handing over what I know, to the unknown. 

But sometimes, that’s exactly what we have to do-let go and lose control, and if you are anything like me, you absolutely despise the fact that letting go and losing control are two things that even exist. So, how do you let go? How do you let go of that fear of losing control? 

You just do. You just let go. It comes with time and practice, however, there are some things that can help speed up the process of learning to let go:

 

1. Throw out the planner.

I think I’ve mentioned in a previous blog to have a planner and I still stand by that-but if something goes wrong, or not according to plan, then don’t be afraid to just disregard the planner, disregard the plan that you had set for yourself and just let whatever needs or is happening, happen!

 

2. Meditate

Meditation is something I’ve been practicing for maybe 3 years now and I cannot stress to you enough, how much this practice has assisted in my ability to let go in all forms of my life; study plans that go wrong, toxic relationships, awful friendships, the need to be perfect at absolutely everything. I started off listening to Melissa Ambrosini’s Meditations-since then, I’ve downloaded two apps onto my phone (just search the app store for some mindfulness or meditation apps and you’ll find plenty!) Taking 5-10 minutes out of my day to meditate calms the mind immensely and you’ll be reaping the benefits in no time!

 

3. Write a pros list!

This is something I haven’t done for quite some time but I do find that just thinking of the good things that come out of a crappy situation can help shift your entire mindset. Which is why writing a pros list, works! So, something went wrong? Okay, let’s start by looking at why this is going to be a good thing! For example, the fact that I can’t study my three subjects next semester will now leave me with less of a workload. Having to wait an extra 6 weeks until I move means I get to hang out with my parents for an extra 6 weeks! There’s always a pros list! I suggest actually writing down the pros and possibly sticking them up on your wall or mirror-somewhere you can see them often.

 

4. Just forget about being in control for five minutes

It’s difficult-trust me, I am well aware of that. But if you can take some time to forget about the entire situation for five minutes, then you are well on your way to letting go and losing that need to be in control every second of every day. It’s all about finding something else to do that makes you forget-read, go for a walk, hang out with friends or family, go swimming or watch your favourite movie. Anything that gets you away from the laptop stressing over the situation!

 

5. Have trust in the Universe and Yourself!

I think this is one of my biggest tips in letting go and losing the need to be in control all the time-having trust, in both the Universe and yourself. If I trust that the Universe is always getting me ready for bigger and better things, then it’s easier to let go and lose control. Just like if I trust myself to let go of the things I can no longer control or the plans that are no longer able to be in my future, then it’s easier to just let go. 

 

Letting go, and not being in control are two aspects of my life that I have trouble with and everyday I’m learning new ways to incorporate them into my life, but it is difficult and it’s okay to take one step forward and two steps back every now and then. Which leads me to my final tip which is to not be so hard on yourself. Please don’t kick yourself when you cry over changes in your studies or when you get angry over the fact that you can’t study three subjects like you planned. Things change and that’s difficult to come to terms with sometimes and it’s okay to get upset or frustrated over these changes. Just make sure to forgive yourself for reacting negatively when you do.

To tie this entire post together, I thought I’d share with you a quote I came across yesterday:

 

“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realise that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli

 

Let me know what you do to let go in the comments section below!