Yesterday my friend and fellow banter blogger Muna Aghaalnemer wrote a short but undeniably sweet post about the ups and downs of life. In just a few words, she was able to say so much. As I read her words filled with acceptance, courage, and a sweetness that is so characteristically hers, I could not help but feel embraced and understood. We, her and I, do talk much throughout the day, it’s true, but I hadn’t yet had a chance to speak to her about my troubles when she wrote the post, and yet, I felt as though she had read my mind because everything she talked about pertained to how I was feeling. Undoubtedly, just like myself, Muna’s post is sure to have/have had the same effect on many other people. (Check it out at http://bantermalnemer.blogs.brynmawr.edu/2012/10/02/just-keep-swimming/).
I was so inspired by her message that I decided to do write a post that will be not so much a reply to hers but rather a continuation. She says just keep swimming, I say, keep on swimming swimming swimming. We are all in this ocean (or as Dory calls it, the “Big Blue”) together, aren’t we? So we might as well just keep on swimming. There’s lots of reef to see and a lot of fish in the sea (jackpot! I love it when I get the double takes: both corny philosophies and rhymes in one sentence! Score. I know, I don’t need much to be happy.)
Muna talks wonderfully about give and take in her post. This has been a very hard lesson for me to learn in the past few days as assignments started to increase and pile up in response to the time crunch. As midterms approach our lives become consumed with stressful deadlines, sleepless nights and well, you know, some of that good ol’ pressure. You know the one I’m talking about. My mind has been on a roll: it never really stops. Multiple worries occupy my mind simultaneously and accompany me even in my dreams. Yesterday I tried to nap to re-energize but my mind did not allow me to rest: all I could think about was the work I had to do. I was neither doing it, nor relaxing. I was neither here nor there.
In this competitive world we live in it is also difficult not to compare yourself with others. We mustn’t, we should accept ourselves, and consider that everyone and everyone’s schedule is different, but it is so difficult to put in practice. It’s like the cookies in the cookie jar above the piano: if they’re there, you know you’re going to eat them! Same goes for checking out how your neighbor is doing in comparison to yourself. But really, nothing very good comes from that, except if it motivates you to be a better you. But even then, we have to be careful because the limits of the other person might be different than ours, and we should always know and respect our limits.
College, stress, and all of the above provide life lessons because in the difficulties that they pose they force us to discover who we are and how we function, for better or for worse. It is something that I struggle with everyday. I guess the only consolation is that no matter how different we are from each other, everybody suffers these feelings, gets stressed out in college (whether you’re a freshman or a senior) and (let’s face it), procrastinates (whether you’re a freshman or a senior). So we are all in this rocky boat together, yay! Just understand that you are not alone, and that people deal differently with the balls life throws at them.
So just let go. Let go to let in. This was a lesson I learned (better yet–am still learning) this week. We have to find a balance between control and letting go in life. If we plan too much, we might not be giving life the opportunity to throw something amazing at us. The more we try to control, the more it controls us. So just let go. Let go to let in. Give life that opportunity to show you something, to wow you. I was so caught up in controlling that it was backfiring and impairing me to do anything productive, it was impelling me to act. ACTION.
Even though I didn’t sleep very well last night, I did some meditation this morning and felt calmer throughout the day. I was able to get some studying done and had a moment of choreographic inspiration! Hooray. The night ended with a fun rehearsal with dance friends and to top it off, a great CDA tea in Merion brought to us by our CDA, Maha! All the Bryn Mawr-talking reminded me how much I love this school and its students.
So that is it my friends. I leave you today with a pop song that I adore and always gets me pumped up feeling careless and free. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eT_fOxs1HLk
And remember, just keep swimming….swimming, swimming.