Cut it out
Rethinking an over involved, overcommitted lifestyle
The current three most important facts of my life are:This past week I got an average of 1.75 hours of sleep per night. I may be the first human being to start a dating relationship with her coffee mug as a result. I haven’t had any time to watch a single episode of “The Bachelor” à la Juan Pablo, and I’m experiencing separation anxiety from his HD-enhanced jawline. I’ve listened to so much JLo recently that Pandora now plays all my ads in Spanish.
To borrow a phrase from my second favorite critically-acclaimed musical talent, A-Teens, my life is currently “upside down, bouncing off the ceilings.” If you are cut from a more high-modernist cloth, the words of T. S. Eliot surmise my sentiments quite nicely: “things fall apart.”
On a slightly more serious note, I really do feel as if I’m in a perpetual state of being behind. Behind on sleep, behind on doing the things I love to do and behind on the things I need to do, like purchase electronics from a company that does not program their software to die after two years of use. I definitely have had a few dresses chilling at Skyline Cleaners since September, and grocery shopping would not be the worst idea since the contents of my fridge consist exclusively of a rather impressive array of salad dressings.
There is nothing worse than that gut punching feeling of finding out that you forgot about an assignment, a meeting or are otherwise inconveniencing someone else. It happens to everyone but recently its been happening to me an uncomfortable amount. Which brings me to my new motto: do less.
Before you break out into hives at the thought of having to delete items off your precariously formatted resume, think about it for a second. Do you love every single thing you are involved in here? Do you have time for every single thing you are involved in? As much as we hate to admit it to ourselves, and especially others, I think for most people the answer is ‘No’ to at least one of those.
On a recent informational interview in New York, a group of U.Va. students and myself were lectured on how we were sub-par Ivy School rejects with crap resumes and high but irrelevant GPAs. Clearly, it was a major ego boost.
As annoying as this particular egotistical prick was, he brought up a good point. Numbers don’t matter for most of us any more. It’s not what you know but what you are doing that gets you far. If what you do know founds the base of what you can do post-graduation, you should already only be doing what you love.
Saying “no” is one of the hardest things to do, but you must figure out how to do it. The goal is to strike ground somewhere between selfish and selfless. Remaining cognisant that every action you take has a domino effect but also that at the end of the day, the only person responsible for your happiness is you.
Returning to my three fun facts, there actually is a larger point. Because of fact one, I have never felt so sick or shaky in my life while in a state of perfect health. Fact number two is not so important in itself but what it signifies, both an unhealthy obsession with an unattainable man, and the fact that I am taking no time for myself. Fact number three is mainly entertaining and gratifying because for once an advertising algorithm is failing, but it also means that I am struggling because JLo and her creepy counterpart, Pitbull, only make an appearance in my life when I need to keep myself constantly moving.
I know it seems pretty early in the semester for a “come to TJ moment” if you will, like this one but I actually think timing couldn’t be better. It’s still early and there’s time to rethink. Give yourself an hour with Juan Pablo and think about what’s superfluous in your life and cut it out. There’s no time like the present.
Anne-Marie’s column runs biweekly. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.