Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'm at the KCI Airport

Yes, I wrote a few hours ago.

No, that does not bother me.

So tonight my mama and my 2nd mother (Aunt Sandy) drove me to the airport. I even got to sit in the front seat which, let me tell you, is a big deal to the Bogarts. Okay, not really. But still. I got to sit in the front seat and it was fabulous because my dad's front seat has heated seats. My dad is a high roller (But not really. In fact, I doubt he has ever gambled. In any way. Unless it had to do with streaking or corn dogs... that just sounded wrong. My dad is a good person.).

Anyway, on the way to the airport my mama, Aunt Sandy and I had a little conversation about the way in which we live our lives, only not so deep. (Notice I'm doing that thing professors hate you to do? Only not really because this is not a research paper. I did it again! I will stop now.)

So. Back to my story and not my parentheses. My aunt, Mama, and I had a good talk the last few minutes of the drive. My cousin Katy is at BYU Idaho. She is a little bit of an over achiever, which can be a good thing but also damaging. And her last semester was so traumatizing that this semester she's taking a few real classes and then classes like weight training and aerobics to help her chill out.

But let's face it: In college, we all need to chill out. Sometimes I stress out so much that I start stressing because I'm stressing. It doesn't have to do with anything else. I remember hearing a story once from one of my mom's friends who skipped all of her classes one day and had a girls day with her roommates. Being the naive thirteen year old I was, never having skipped a day of school or received anything below an A, I was shocked. How could a person just skip a day from school and totally nix her responsibilities? And then she said the magic words, "If I hadn't skipped that day, it would have been just another day. Now it is a memory." The words hit me hard.

And they hit me a little too hard.

In high school, we were allowed to miss 15 days a semester. That means we were allowed to miss 30 days a school year. That means we were allowed to miss an entire month of school. You can let out your breath. I didn't miss 15. I missed 18. Every semester. My brother had sweetened up the attendance officer for me his years preceding me. All I had to do was smile and say "Hello Mrs. So and So" and BAM I was free. Outta class and outta mind.

Then I went to college and something happened. I had to be in class to get good grades. I never skipped class. Ever. If I had to be out of town, I'd tell my teacher two weeks in advance, all the while showing them my glittering reports and papers. I was excused then, too. Then last semester happened and I never went to Roman History after the second test except for once or twice. I'd sleep halfway through my 8 oclock which gave me a grade reduction. I'd skip French so that I could write papers. It wasn't that I didn't want to go to class. In fact, I cried once because I was sick and had to miss class. But the reason I was sick was because I had been so stressed my body shut down. I let stress get in the way of school. I let school get in the way of school.

Last week, I studied myself nauseous for an English exam. I studied so hard my eyes started to cross. I'll be honest, I like that feeling. I like to feel like I know everything. It's elating. Then I got into the testing center and I wanted to cry when I saw the test. And I knew I hadn't done everything that I could have done, which was true. I had not finished all of my reading. I had not taken notes on all of my reading. I doodled on some of my class notes. Somehow I finished the test and turned it in. Then I went home, finished grading papers, ate dinner that my amazing boyfriend made for me, hung out for an hour and a half and went to sleep, still secretly stressed and fearful that I would fail the test, fail the class, and fail my academic career. My academiccareer. I had done badly on the test. My life was over.

Then I woke up.

See, I learned this time last year that life is about balance. But I never put it into practice for more than a few months. Around last May, I forgot about that. I wanted everything to be perfect. I was in a terribly unhealthy relationship, I wanted good grades, and I wanted to look better. I was so stressed that I had to go on medicine to control my hormones (hello, birth control). And that didn't help. In fact, I got more stressed after the relationship ended, after I got my first B-. I got a C last semester. Yes! A straight up C. I had to try not to cry. But then I woke up the other day (Wednesday), and I had an epiphany. An epiphany that had gotten away from me. An epiphany that I have already written down: Life is about balance.

So here is the summary of my conversation with my mama and my aunt, after so much summarization: I have a lot of things in my life: my religion, my family, my education, Andrew, my friends, my two jobs, my writing, my photography. Sometimes, okay, all the time, I want to do what I want to do, which usually means having fun. But I have fun with all these things: I adore my religion- I love faith and the happiness and pure peace it brings. It is the best feeling and I love the seemingly endless number of facets that come along with it. And I love that I get to learn more about the Church every day I am at work. It is amazing! I love my family, I love love love to learn, I don't want to write online how amazing/wonderful Andrew is to me and how much fun we have together because I don't want to make anyone jealous (he is that good), I have amazing friends who love to have fun and to chill and to be there for each other, and I loved both of my jobs when I took them, until I let them stress me out. I also want to write all the time (as obvious by the length of my entires) and I never, ever want to get sick of photography. These things are all part of me, and I shouldn't let any of them overwhelm me. So I'm going to stop. I'm going to stop stressing. Sometimes I'll get 100% on my tests. Sometimes I will get 75%. Sometimes I'll have time to cook dinner, other times I'm just going to eat a pb&j. It ain't a life or death situation. It's just life.

But I wanna keep living and loving and laughing because those are the BEST things. And if you don't love who you're with or what you're doing, you've already lost yourself. I've found myself repetitively over and I'm not letting myself get away this time. I am so here to stay.