I must admit that I've been neglecting this blog a little bit lately. I have been discouraged and allowed myself to take a backseat in my own future. I went home for the weekend and while I was glad to be there, it was not as relaxing as I had hoped. I wanted a peaceful weekend spent with mostly family, but I found myself pushed and pulled in many different directions. Once people found out I was home visiting, I was scheduled into calendars and booked for lunch and dinner dates. Now I am not saying that I do not appreciate all of my friends or that I was not thrilled to see them, I just realized after my weekend home that I hadn't found the peace I had come in search of. I returned to my apartment exhausted and a little overwhelmed. I felt homesick and tired, as if I hadn't just spent the last few days surrounded by people I love. As I sit here this morning on my day off with my journal and my cup of coffee, I realize it is because I have been neglecting myself. I even brought my journal with me this weekend but it remained buried in the bottom of my suitcase, untouched for my entire stay home.
Not listening to your own needs often becomes detrimental to your health, not necessarily your physical health, but most certainly your emotional one. I went to work yesterday and just waited for the hours to tick down so I would have a string of days off. I felt drained, felt like I needed to regain my strength and sense of being. Now for all my friends who read this and think, wow I will never try to schedule time with her again, I hope that you reconsider. It is never that I don't want to see people or I think they shouldn't call. I just believe that right now I am in a stage of my life where it is imperative that I think solely of myself. Now as I learned in my Creativity class years ago, this should not be confused with being selfish. If we don't take time to listen to what our minds, bodies, and spirits need, we unknowingly become a point of stress in our own lives. I think back to when I was living at home and how my life revolved around work and rushing around, thinking only during my breaks that I really would love to write again. I would promise myself I would write down the dream I had, I would rant about my bad day in my journal, I would write another poem once I got home. It never happened. I had become stretched so thin trying to meet the demands of others that I forgot to listen to the one person who really mattered- me. I got a taste of that again this weekend. I had been looking forward to spending time with my family, to continue writing, but what I got was a booked social calendar. While pleasing others is a great aspiration to have, it is also my biggest downfall. I often forget to ask what I want and end up in social situations that I would have rather forgone for a night in bed with a book.
So ask yourself today- what do I want? Is someone pushing you to do something you'd rather not? Are you squashing your own creative juices in order to meet someone else's expectations? I've learned that you need to give yourself more credit. I'm trying to give myself more credit daily, and I'm trying to listen to my heart. I've told myself this morning that I have to stop thinking so much about what others will think of my actions, and just do what makes me happy. Sometimes others won't understand your motivations. Let them. You know what is best for you, and only you can understand what it is your heart wants. Don't let others devalue your opinions or passions- you are the key player, the decision maker, the owner of your life. I remind you to "[b]e who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" (Dr. Seuss).