That Easter is right around the corner is purely coincidence, but since it is one of the best, possibly even THE best holiday (as judged by the selection of seasonal chocolate and candy at CVS) I will celebrate with an appropriate picture. Also there is a new Pope today so I will acknowledge the religious aspect as well – Jesus was a badass. If you believe in that. If not, more power to you and I hope that you can at least enjoy the Cadbury Mini Eggs.
I’m talking about putting all your eggs in one basket. Above, we have two baskets. Two is better than one but not the best. I put all my eggs in one basket, and now the basket is gone. It got taken away from me JUST LIKE THAT! And it totally sucks.
What the hell am I going on about? Glad you asked.
I am 99% sure that I have re-fractured my leg and it is bringing my world crumbling down. It shouldn’t. It should be tough, but I should not be crying behind my sunglasses at red lights. I should be happy that instead of waking up at 4AM several days a week I can focus on other things. But that’s just it: I have no other things.
Sure, I’m in the internship. You already know I am less than enamored with it. School was different – in school I was constantly mastering new ideas, my thoughts were stimulated, I was working towards something. I like to take pride in what I do. I like school and learning because I feel empowered with knowledge. Writing a good paper is something I can point to and say “Not only did I work my butt off doing the research for this, I have some pretty damn good ideas floatin around in my head that I put in there too. Hopefully you can learn something from me.” I don’t get to exercise that mental muscle so much in the internship – it’s more of an ever-changing to-do list. I do not feel fulfilled. In college, I spent a lot of my time putting on events through various organizations (like the nutrition association or the gym I worked for) that I loved. Due to the unpredictable schedule of the internship, I have not been able to find groups that I feel connected with – except for the run group. Here in New Orleans, running gave me a lot: it gave me friends, it gave me social activities, it gave me goals to work towards, incentive to dig deep and find out what I was really made of. I have not run in 10 days. I am a MESS. See? Eggs in one basket.
And in case you haven’t noticed, running is a damn good workout. It’s tough to burn that kind of calories any other way (especially when taking it easy on one of your legs), which can be frustrating. You mean if I go get fries from Dat Dog it might make me fat? WTF?! Ohhh right – I didn’t just run 18 miles. Stupid me, the really good low impact exercises – biking and swimming – are things that I have kind of avoided. Again, eggs in one basket.
So what can you do?
First, identify the things that make you happy and that make you feel fulfilled. Things you can go do when you’re sad that will help you to feel better. My list includes a lot of things involving being outdoors (especially in the mountains), browsing grocery stores, etc. Are you able to do these things on a regular basis? Is there something you could change about your life so that you could?
MAKE THOSE CHANGES. You need things in your life that are fulfilling.
What happens if I already put my eggs in one basket?
Take em out! Find something, try something new. If you suddenly lose that basket, it will feel like losing yourself. But really you are still there. See, the problem is, when we don’t diversify our interests, spread out our time, thought, and attention over several different areas; we begin to think we are that one thing. We define ourselves by it. In reality, I am way more than my running. I was way more than my relationship with a boy in college who dumped me for another girl. But when I lost those things, I felt like nothing. Having various avenues through which to express different parts of your character – whether it is your competitive spirit, your caring nature, your inquisitive mind – is essential. You can’t let losing one thing take you out all together. I can’t let some time off from running make me feel less valuable as a person.
So you – go find some organization that you believe in and start volunteering. Your Mini Eggs need to be spread out amongst several Easter baskets. I will do the same, and learn to swim (like a swimmer – I can swim like a regular person) while I’m at it.