This is a post for myself. This is a post for you. This is a post for all the twenty-somethings too bogged down with negativity and stress to enjoy this precious time of their lives.
As you readers may know, this past semester brought a lot of stress. Graduating from college, landing an apartment in NYC, and finding that entry-level job took a lot of patience and an extraordinary amount of persistence. While focusing on Bateman, New York, and my future, there were moments when I felt like I had no control over my life whatsoever. It was such an uncertain time, and the only things I felt like I could control were my diet and my workouts.
Before I knew it, my eating habits and “health” routines were eating my life. Even more so, I let my strict routine consume the parts of me that made me “me”.
This post is partially therapeutic for me, but it is a warning to all. No matter how stressful or how important life’s trials seem right now, the only thing you really have control over is what makes you “you”.
I recently read this insightful article about not letting fitness take over your life (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9298/an-open-letter-to-everyone-who-eats.html).
That’s when it is no longer “fitness” and it becomes an eating disorder. Because I let my diet, routine, and obsession with perfection take over my life, I started suffering the consequences on a physical, emotional, and mental level a few months ago. My personal relationships were suffering because I would “snap” out of nowhere. I was no longer in control of my moods, and my only defense was low blood sugar or my “stress” level. I was inexcusably angry for no reason, I worried about the smallest things, and I became obsessed with control. Specifically, I thought controlling others would make me feel more “in control” of myself.
Boy, was I wrong. Most importantly, I never considered that my unrealistic expectations of my body (being perfectly thin) were causing my behavior. My distorted self image had to be reconstructed into a more realistic one. I looked into a mirror, and I stopped seeing Kelsey. Instead, I saw someone else who was miserable (and too thin). So, I did a little cognitive reconstruction to change all of this once and for all.
First, stress is a perception. It is your perception of what is going on around you.
Second, you can always take control of your life. Find a variety of outlets without overusing them.
Third, know that you are beautiful the way you are meant to be. You are the way you are for a reason, and that reason is enough.
But most importantly, I learned that life is a gift. It’s a one shot opportunity, and I was wasting some awesome experiences by taking potential joy and converting it into needless anxiety. Every day should be witness to something great. When I landed an NYC apartment, a job, and graduation in the same week, my immediate reaction was to stress over the future. Why? I have absolutely no idea.
But this summer marks a new beginning and a new chapter. As I turn the page to a new (and better) adventure, I will remember the lessons I learned from the previous chapters. However, the main lesson that will stick with me is to simply find the joy in all parts of my life, especially with all the blessings and support that have been given to me over the past year. I am so blessed, and I am so fortunate. To all the twenty-somethings who are embarking on new adventures, please remember that life only happens once, and we are not certain how long it will last. The only thing we know is that we have right now. Today. How will you find opportunities to enjoy yourself and improve your personal relationships?
My motto when it comes to PR is that everyone has a story. As I write the next part of my personal story, my goal is to find the joy in order to remember myself.