Not Good Enough

I want to be done.

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This semester, I chose to be this busy.  I chose to take 18 credit hours.  I chose to keep both of my jobs.  I chose to continue mentoring.  I chose to be a main leader for girls retreat.  I cannot complain because I have done this all to myself.  No one pressured me into any of this.  All of this was my own choice.  Heck, I feel like I chose most, if not all of this, without anyone even having to ask if I would do it.  I wanted to do all of this.  Why?  Let me tell you.

I don’t feel like I measure up to people’s expectations of me.  I get good grades, but they aren’t all A’s.  I try and be whatever someone needs me to be for them.  A listener, supporter, advisor, leader, follower, tutor, etc.  but there is always something I’m missing.  Whatever I do to try and help doesn’t seem to be satisfactory.  There is always a little more I could have done or something more I should have said.  Maybe that’s just me feeling that way though.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  In my senior year of high school I remember breaking down and crying in front of my English teacher because I couldn’t figure out how to rewrite a paper without losing some of the necessary content.  I was beating myself up for it.  I know I have it in me to write well but I couldn’t get the words I needed out of my brain and onto paper.  When I broke down she asked if my parents would be mad if I didn’t bring up my grade.  Of course they wouldn’t be, they knew I was working hard and trying my best.  She asked if God would be upset, and I said no.  She asked if I thought she would be upset and I knew the answer to that was no as well.  I remember her encouraging me to allow myself to breathe and not worry about rewriting the paper.  My grade wasn’t bad in the class at all and I could let myself relax.

There have been quite a few times that that has happened to me.  Not necessarily to the point of breaking down about it, but I realize I put a lot of pressure on myself.  I want to be the best there is.  I know if I put in the proper amount of effort I can do anything I set my mind to.  And so, this semester I chose to do all of what I stated before.  I’m crazy busy with school, 2 jobs, mentoring, and planning but I’m also going to make sure that I get through to the other side successfully.  I don’t want people telling me I’m lazy because I decide to take something off of that load.  Heck, I had people tell me today they don’t think I’m working hard enough.  I was told I was lazy and needed to prioritize my life better so that I could fit more into it.  (If you want to know what I said to that.. it was just “Ok.  I’ll work on that. *heavy sarcasm flowing throughout while also seriously considering if I need to reevaluate and add to this.*)  I know a lot of people are encouraging me to try and back down but giving up something is quitting.  I can’t quit on something like this.  I have to prove to myself that I can do this and live up to what I expect out of myself.

So, another thing I’ve been thinking about.  What do I expect out of myself?  In one word, perfection. In a phrase that slightly contradicts that, the closest thing to perfection I can create.  And so, with this semester, I’m trying really hard.

Grades/school wise, I made it onto the dean’s list last semester.  Now, I want to do it again.  If I don’t do it again, I feel like I’m letting myself down.  I’ve already proven once I can do it, so why shouldn’t I be able to do it again?  Because of this, I’m working myself as hard as I possibly can to make sure I keep those grades up.

Work wise, I expect that I can maintain two jobs while doing school.  Yeah, sometimes it sucks but I also have things I have to pay for and I’m not allowing myself to take out any loans for school while I’m at community college.  I can’t start at a 4-year university already in major debt.

Mentoring wise, I want the girls I mentor to feel safe around me, to know that I love them, and to know that I’m there for them whenever they need someone to talk to.  I make sure that I go out of my way at church and youth group to talk to them, I’ll text the ones that have phones during the week and let them know I’m praying for them or something of the sort.  Also to do with mentoring, I don’t want to let the other mentors and our youth pastor down.  I don’t know how much I would really be missed if I did stop mentoring, but I like to think that me stopping mentoring would somehow hurt the team and be letting them down.  Maybe that’s just me thinking to much of myself, I can always be replaced.  But still, I put the pressure on myself to still be there so that no one can be disappointed in me or tell me I’m not doing enough.

Girls retreat wise?  That’s something I can’t give up.  I’ve done this for 2 years now with one of my best friends and this is something that genuinely makes me happy.  Yes, it is stressful at times but I love being able to do something like this for girls in the church.  I love being the one getting to plan something like this, and especially since I’ve created some amazing relationships through these retreats, I want to continue doing them.  The pressure here comes into making this one better than the last.  Making sure that everything runs smoothly, that it matches up to the expectations I have in my head of how it should go, etc.

All that to say, I don’t think I can do all of it anymore.  Not while staying sane at least.  Although, let’s be honest, I hit crazy-wacko lady about the 2nd week of the semester.

I don’t know what I have to do to get people’s approval anymore, but I must be doing something wrong.  I just want to know that, especially with the people that called me lazy today, someone is proud of me and what I accomplish.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of great people in my life that do support me and tell me that they are proud of me, but these people who told me I’m lazy today are people that I really admire and that I can’t stand to not have be proud of me.  It sucks knowing that whatever I do, it isn’t good enough.

I hate knowing that they think I’m being lazy.  I can’t pack much more into my schedule before sleep is nonexistent.  I already barely sleep, I barely eat, I have zero relaxation time.  Tonight I happened to be all caught up and even ahead on my homework so I decided to turn on the tv for the first time in a month and I got yelled at because I wasn’t being productive.  Yes, I admit, I could have picked up my room a little or been working on girls retreat stuff but I simply wanted to be selfish and take 20 minutes to watch a single episode of a show.  Is that to much to ask for?  (Don’t answer that.  I know the answer is yes.)

This semester, I chose to be this busy.  I chose to take 18 credit hours.  I chose to keep both of my jobs.  I chose to continue mentoring.  I chose to be a main leader for girls retreat.  I cannot complain because I have done this all to myself.

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Anyways, I’m sorry for the super long rant post.  It just upsets me that I am literally trying not to collapse every second of every day from exhaustion yet I still need to do more.  I promise the next one will be lighter/happier.

Until next time my friends,

Aly

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