I've absolutely been on a journey to reconnect with every ounce of self-care that previously brought me joy! At this point, I've realized that my brain is wired to always want to do a lot. More than most, typically. No one forced me to be this way when I was younger, I guess I set my goals high for the thrill of the journey. Each day, I'm remembering that the journey is what makes life special. The destination is really just the cherry on top.
During a recent visit to the spa, a fellow spa goer reminded me of the importance of valuing time. A reminder that I needed. She shared with me that she is 59 years old and felt like she rushed through her whole life. Recently, she shut down her small business and is taking time to slow down. Every bit of our five minute conversation fed my soul and reminded me of something my mom used to share with me, "don't rush your life."
When I was younger I used to say things like, "I can't wait until my birthday." After hearing me say that, my mom would often respond "Don't rush your life away." It's so true. Maybe that spa goer was there to remind me of my mom's message.
A few days later, I found a speech that I wrote and presented during a virtual graduate school class in April 2021. After more than two years later, and I'm SO glad that even then I realized the importance of slowing down and appreciating the journey of life. While in my Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, I've seen classmates stress themselves out by taking four classes during a single semester, while also working full-time. Their goal was to graduate within a quick period of time, maybe two years, but the amount of stress and exhaustion that I saw them experience was wild. Plus, they were accumulating student loan debt. Even if their jobs reimbursed them for a certain amount, likely $5,250, they were piling on more classes and debt just to finish school sooner. Two classes a semester is my limit and thus far, I've taken a break from school each summer.
The speech that I wrote for class, that I actually rushed to write and probably did so within 30 minutes, is shared below. The document was saved on my laptop titled, Although Life is Complicated.
Related Read: Don't Let Up . . . Apply Pressure!
ALTHOUGH LIFE IS COMPLICATED (4/21/21)
Although life is complicated, perseverance makes it beautiful. Keep going at your own pace and enjoy the journey. That is what I wish I knew and fully understood in high school. To a certain extent, I knew, but did not fully grasp the message in its entirety. I get it now.
This past year has shown pretty much everyone that life can be downright difficult at times. Since March 2020, all of our lives have changed in some way. This year plus of quarantine has been rough, yet somewhat beneficial for me, aside from feeling the need to sanitize everything throughout the pandemic, I have truly taken time out to self-reflect and better myself in ways.
For starters, I am here today because I decided to enroll in graduate school to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in marketing. That sounds like a pretty awesome accomplishment, right? Well, in a way it is amazing, but at the same time I will admit that it is exhausting. I got the bright idea to enroll in 2 classes this semester, mainly because it is cheaper, and boy has it been a time. The late nights, early mornings, and do not even get me started on the all-nighter that I pulled last month. I am 28 years old and I do not have it in me to do that like I used to in undergrad. Most days it takes a good 3/4th of my energy to continue to push forward with wanting to give my all in school while also juggling working a full-time job and being a blogger with the other part of my time.
Although, I love blogging as my outlet, I haven’t blogged in almost two months due to school and work both being busy. That is the complicated part. I know that what I am learning in school will prepare and propel me for my future. You, like I at the moment, may have trouble seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, but I assure you that it has to be there.
Sometimes, I wonder why I put myself in the position to be taking two classes, knowing that it could be overwhelming. Well, if I truly give it some thought I would say that I did it because I wanted to push my limits a bit. That is what I used to love to do years ago. The other part is, if I am being honest with myself, it is because I put a tiny amount of pressure on myself to finish school by a certain time. Ideally, I would like to finish graduate school by 30.
What is special about 30 other than it being a pretty, round number? Nothing much. That is the thing right there. In this day and age, you will set a goal – and have it as a hard goal too – because you feel like you need to have your life in order by a certain time. 30 is not old. I know, but I sometimes I cannot fully shake the idea that I am supposed to have my life in order, by that time.
Think about it for a second. We live in a social media time, where everyone is posting their highlight reels on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and we are scrolling through it all day and subconsciously soaking in the facade that is being placed on our feed.
There are many people that I went to school with who were fortunate enough to go to graduate school full-time – and not work. There are also people who I know who have gotten married and started families. No matter the aforementioned circumstance, people on my feed are happily sharing their life and accomplishments, as they should, but sometimes it does make me feel like I lack because I haven’t yet reached a certain milestone. I.e. have having yet to finish graduate school, having yet to get married, or having yet to have children.
However, those thoughts are becoming a thing of the past. I was reminded the other week that my pace is my own and it is just right for me. I soaked that in and have begun to act accordingly. While I have always been overly ambitious, i.e. getting two bachelor’s degrees in four years. Moving forward, I plan to do things differently. Not that there was anything wrong with how I operated before, but the time is now for me to slow down and enjoy the journey while celebrating my pace. As such, I have dropped my school schedule back down to one class for the fall. At this point, it is more important to me that I finish, in general, instead of finishing school by 30.
Rushing through a task, just to mark it off a list, somewhat sours the journey a tad. Not being able to soak in what the journey is there to teach, because you are so ready to be done can ruin the lesson. Yes, it would be nice to finish school in a decent amount of time, but it is more important to fully grasp and utilize the skills learned in school. Yes, it would be nice to go back to pre-covid times, but it is imperative to take a moment and stop to remember what this time is teaching. Like, the importance of prioritizing health and self-care.
During my senior year of high school, I lost my father. The year after graduating college, I lost my mother . . . while both moments in time, and now, have been extremely difficult, I have continued to persevere. I always tell people that your story is your strength. Use it and learn from it. I have learned to love my story, even the complicated parts, and that my journey is my own. It may be messy, but it is still beautiful. It does not serve me well, or anyone else well, to not be grateful and present for my life as it is now or to want to rush through my life anxiously awaiting my next milestone. I hope that the story I shared today, will serve as a reminder to you that you are where you need to be at the current moment. Your pace is the right pace for you.
One day you will look back and be proud of all that you accomplished, how you accomplished it, and when you accomplished your goals. Don’t rush your life. Persevere at your own pace while enjoying the journey that is your life.
Wasn't that powerful? Wow. I felt that much needed reminder in my soul, especially after all that 2023 has shown me. I dropped back down to one class for the Fall 2023 semester and honestly, that might be too much.
After I wrote and presented that speech, I decided that I'll likely graduate with my MBA at 31 years old. I decided that rushing to graduate didn't benefit me in any way. As the spa goer reminded me, "Nothing good comes from burnout." I'm taking my time, but not wasting my time and that brings me joy! I'm soaking in the knowledge that school is instilling in me while also enjoying the beauty of life. That's a win in my book!
Plus, my college gives students six years to complete the MBA program and I'm on track to do it in four and a half. Again, my pace is the right pace!
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