Chugging Along

Hello, I hope your evening is going well. If you will give me a moment, I would like to briefly discuss stress management. Lately my heart just hasn’t really been into anything. I haven’t really wanted to get up in the morning, even if it was a day that I didn’t have to go to work. Last Saturday I had the great fortune of sharing a wedding celebration with my fiancé’s friends, and it was rejuvenating. More than anything, I realized that I hadn’t been living the life that I wanted.

Last week Friday, I convinced myself to just calm the f*** down and just do what I could with the time that I had. The result was that I was getting a lot more done. In fact, I would say that my accomplishments on Friday exceeded what I was able to accomplish throughout the whole week. I was going through the motions every day, but I wasn’t really completing anything. Even so, on Monday I came back and sat and looked at my computer and felt like I was in an absolute slump. On top of that, I realized that I had three (soft) deadlines this week, but soft as they were, I really wanted to get them done.

I started my journey down the path of resolution by texting a friend. Special shout out to hear for dealing with my stressed mood Friday and my indifferent mood Monday. Anyway, she pointed out that I should make a list and follow it. Do you know what I realized? I had already made a list, and I was not following it. I revisited my list, immediately knocked out the few items that only took quick emails, and then broke down the other parts into very specific tasks. I spent Tuesday (today) working towards two deadlines only. I also went to a PhD defense and took my fiancé both dessert for lunch and his dinner, completed my workout, spent some time on social media, and sat down to write this post. Long story short, I am starting to feel alive again.

If I had to pinpoint a cause, I would say it was stress. Although I didn’t feel stressed at all, I found myself trying to climb out of a hole. I also found myself enjoying small moments more. In the morning I spend a little extra time in bed soaking up the love shared in my house. I enjoy my coffee at home before going to work, and I don’t chug I just to make the next bus. I really enjoy every sip. I go to work and I do my best. I work my hardest and make sure that my best is reflected. If this happens to mean that I get less done, then so be it. But I will be honest, without the support network I have, this would not be possible.

It causes me pain to see colleagues, particularly other women of color in graduate school, struggling to make it day by day. I haven’t had the misfortune of somebody completely and totally not caring about me. If you’ve been following me/the blog for a while, you do know that halfway through my PhD I submitted a masters thesis and switched advisors, but honestly, I never felt alone in that process. I know that I am incredibly fortunate, but I want others to feel the same that I do. It is a privilege to complain about First World Problems, and not everybody has that luxury.

If you’re struggling, I encourage you to reach out to somebody you trust. If there is somebody you trust that would also understand, even better. Support can come in the most unexpected places, and I hope that you are able to find it if you need it. 

Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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