I have had to work hard to get where I am. I have done whatever it takes to keep myself on track with my future goals regardless of what that has meant. I gave up a lot along the way, but I have no regrets. In high school, I worked 30-40 hours each week to help pay for tuition, car payments, and my own phone bill. When the money was not there for college, I found another job and worked 40 hours a week in the last few months of my senior year. I have worked all through college to continue to support myself. I do stretch myself thin, I realize that, but only out of necessity.
I appear to not have to worry about money at times because I do not like to broadcast my lack of financial security. I am not looking for a hand out, and I will not take one. Yet, it frustrates me when others criticize me for what I do. Yes, having three jobs and being a student is not ideal… it is not even practical at times… but I have no choice. My mother works an average of 60 hours a week at a high-stress, mentally draining, low paying job in order to pay for insurance, food, and household expenses and she has a hard enough time making ends meet that I will not ask her for money. I do not want to work as much as I do, heck, I would love to not have to work. I have to work.
So, yes, being a full-time college student and working about 50 hours a week I do need to take time for myself whenever I can. Once a week I attend a group fitness class in order to de-stress and refocus my mind. Once a week. That is what I have, one day a week that I use for me. Call me selfish all you want, but two hours once a week that I use for myself is anything but that. I do struggle with balancing everything, I try my best. And, I feel that I am doing a good job. I can do better, everyone can always do better. Is better feasible, though? I do not know that answer. In an ideal world, I would be able to apply for a scholarship or financial aid and find a way to live off of that income in order to eliminate one job; however, again, that is not an option. I now have to prepare myself for the monstrous expense of law school and I need to take advantage of the work that is available while I can.
I struggle with whether or not I should eliminate a job. Yet, as I mentioned, if I do then I will have to reconsider law school or face repaying loans in excess of $100,000. I do want to give my best at everything I do because I do realize the importance of my positions, and until the other day I thought that I was presenting my best. Should I always be available? Should I respond to emails/texts/calls at all times? Honestly, I do not think I should. I have tried. I have done it, and it has only lead to bitterness and burn-out.
I feel like everyone forgets that I am a student, too. I need to study. I need to take breaks. I need to have a social life. I want to be respected. I want to do my best. And, the other day just made me want to crumble. I have never felt more hurt, more disrespected, more insulted in a long time. It hurt and I wanted to lash back and hurt the other person, at first, but I did not. I stated my case and made an opportunity to be available. I still felt that maybe this person was right and that I had no right to put myself before my position–my job–so I went to my supervisor with my concern. My supervisor helped. This person stated that I need to take time to recharge and that it I should not be available 24/7 or else I will burn-out. I was reassured by this encounter and actually left feeling better. Nonetheless, the relationship with the aforementioned person is still up in airs. I am hoping that time away will allow me to forgive what was said; however, I feel that this experience has taught me that I cannot put so much faith and trust into someone who I do not fully know.
I was searching for someone to fill the spot that had been left by a good friend and I thought that I had found another. Maybe I did. Right now, as I mentioned before, I need a friend vacation. I am too stressed and anxious to be dealing with difficult situations and my immediate thought is to simply run away. Yet, I do not want to do that. Last night, I opened my Bible and tried to find solace in the words written. I did. This experience may allow me to take a step back from my relationships and work on my relationship with God more. My effort to this point has been rather passive and because of the past nine months I have realized that my relationship with God is the most important thing in my life. My relationship with Him is the one and only relationship that I know will always be there in some capacity. I may have moments when my faith is tested, but I know now that I have surrounded myself with people who will support my journey and help lead me closer to Him.
All that said. I will be taking my “friend vacation” and working on myself and my relationship with God. Through this work I hope that I can reconcile my relationships, but at this point in the journey I am not prepared to handle it. In my heart, I know that God will show me the next step and one day I will have peace in myself.