For the past few months, I’ve been living on my own because I currently attend a school out of state. I learned a lot about myself as an individual, and I have listed the top 10 things I’ve learned while living alone:
- I’m very dependent
- My mind is weak
- I’m lazy
- I don’t stick to my to-do list
- I’m an impulsive shopper
- I can’t balance my life
- I am more Type A than type B personality
- I underestimate myself
- Cooking and cleaning is my therapy
- Nature is the best way to connect to God
I always saw myself as the independent type, enjoy the company of others on my own time, but mostly enjoy me time and having my own space. Living alone for the past 4 months has really showed me a lot about myself, especially that I’m VERY dependent on my family and friends. I’ve felt alone and crazy a multitude of times and always needed someone to talk to. If I stumbled upon some problems with my car or kitchen, I quickly called up my parents to ask for help. I’ve never face-timed so much than I did in the past 4 months. It’s really opened my eyes that once I thought I was an independent woman but in reality I needed to be surrounded by people I loved to remain sane and perform daily functions.
Building off of learning about my dependency, I also learned that i’m not as mentally strong as I thought I was. The past 4 months have really pushed me physically, mentally, and emotionally, and I learned that I struggle with maintaining a balance with all 3 of those, especially mentally. I NEVER KNEW I WAS PRONE TO ANXIETY! I let my life revolve around school, instead of making school just an aspect of my life. Before and after every exam, I would have butterflies in my stomach, constantly thinking about the exam and the questions, calculating my grades. It got to the point where all I could even think and talk about was school. Even though I have been working on it since I’ve realized the struggle, it’s not completely gone. Currently i’m awaiting my grades for my final exam, and occasionally the thoughts of the grades get me stiff and lost in numbers. It’s a challenge to constantly remind myself to just let things be, but it is something i’ve been actively working on.
In regards to my emotional and physical fitness, I would like to say they go hand in hand. Since i’ve indulged my life in school, I’ve sacrificed my exercise, healthy eating, and obviously thinking before I act (sometimes). My emotions have remained somewhat intact, but the last time I tried exercising I was dragging myself across the floor reaching for my water bottle.
In all, I have lost my sense of self. I’ve always thought that I had the basics of life covered, and I can move forward to work on the small details. Obviously that isn’t the case. There have been times where I felt so low that I was convinced I was heading into a depression. If I didn’t have my friends, family, or culture to refer to, I don’t know where I would be today.
I never really knew how to define my personality, so I just left it as a balance between Type A and Type B. Man was I wrong. I needed things to organized in a certain way, had to have all my materials in a specific order and have everything planned out for the day in order to feel accomplished. I didn’t follow my time limits and completed the work regardless of how much sleep I was going to sacrifice. I became VERY particular about my work, if I didn’t have the proper pen or pencil, I went out and bought it. Sticky notes had to be a particular color for each subject, and I wouldn’t use another color if they ran out. I really feel like having that outlook set me back quite a bit with getting my work completed in a smart manner. I’ve been very far from relaxed until I came back home for the holidays and kept sleeping like I hadn’t slept in months.
Also, the city that I live in doesn’t have any temples. Going to a temple allows me to have my alone time with God, just time to disconnect and listen to the advice he has for me. Not having that easily accessible has been quite a difficulty, but I learned to work my way around it. Nature. If I truly believe God is in everything, resides in every object and living being, Nature was the best way to get my alone time with him. I would go to the nearby beach, and just watch the sunset while I listened to the waves. The world is one amazing creation with every fine detail worked out by the creator. I don’t know how he/she knew what to do, or how to make things work but they did it, flawlessly. I used my mornings and evenings to listen to and read scriptural hymns, which have helped guide me to a path of sanity and peace. I’m amazed at the impact my cultural and religious background has on every aspect of my life, it’s no joke that having a peaceful mind creates a peaceful life- have control of your mind and you will have control of your life. Nature, Yoga, and Meditation has helped me gain back my sense of self, reflect on my mind, and gain back the control I’ve had on my thoughts.
I touched up on details for some of the 10 things, but not all because most are quite self explanatory. The reason I went ahead and wrote this post was for 2 reasons, the first being that I can go back and reference a low point in my life and use it as a reference to how far i’ve progressed. Second being, offer some hope to anyone else feeling lost, frustrated, and losing their sense of self. There are things that I haven’t shared with anyone because I truly feel like sometimes they aren’t understanding what I’m mentally going through, or the struggle. My family and friends have encouraged me, provided me with practical thoughts, but sometimes all I needed was someone to just listen to me and not try to “fix” me.
I don’t think something is wrong with me, I am NOT defected, I just let my external stressors gain control of my mind, and take over my sanity. In the fast paced, overachieving society that we live in today, we are all at risk of losing our sense of self. I think most of us have, we just haven’t realized it. It’s extremely important to disconnect from everything in life, and just close your eyes and focus on a higher purpose. Listen to your breathing, listen to the rain falling. Stop doing everything, and use your senses to experience the wonders of this world, who knows- you may learn something about yourself that you never even knew.
As I use the last few weeks of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 to create a stronger, determined, and “bulletproof” version of myself, I urge my readers to do the same. What is something you want to achieve in the next year? Reflect on your life, not the materialism or physical aspects. Think of the days when you were a kid, what were some things you wanted to do when you became older? Did you do them? Reflect and learn about yourself, and work toward being the best version of you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Become mindful of your thoughts, focus on a higher purpose, and I promise you that you’ll achieve any goal you set for yourself. It all starts with our mind.
Love, Laugh, and Breathe,