The past couple of weeks, I’ve had a lot of trouble focusing and feeling motivated to get anything done. The first week post-show is overwhelming because suddenly, I have so much free time. Unfortunately, I have spent the majority of that extra time lying in my bed, staring at the ceiling, with this heavy, sinking feeling in my chest. Eventually, in the middle of last week, a rush of emotions just hit me in the chest as I was sitting at dinner, and I had to scurry to my room before anyone saw the tears welling up. Tears, I can handle. I’m a crier; it doesn’t take much to make me tear up. But as I sat on my bed, crying, I felt panic rising up in my throat, and I knew that it would not be a normal cry, and that I would be hyperventilating soon if I didn’t calm down. But, that knowledge only freaked me out more. How do you talk yourself down when the thought of having to do so is causing you to panic even worse?

So I did the only thing that I could do, the only thing that made sense: I called Linda. Because I always call Linda and she always knows what to say to give me perspective, to calm me down, and to make me feel like I have some control over the situation. After crying to her about literally everything that has had me stressed out, she did exactly what I knew she would and told me all the important things I needed to hear. Ever since that conversation, I’ve found myself going back to what she said and I want to share the wisdom. There are 3 important things that I took away from our conversation.

  1. You are only this young once. She kept telling me: “You are only 20 years old. You do not have to have your entire life planned out, and even if you did, it wouldn’t matter because life never happens how you expect it to.” I know this better than most, but the reminder was needed and welcomed. While it is important to think about the future and do things to prepare, soon I will not have the freedom to do whatever I want whenever I want and I should take advantage of this freedom while I have it. Before I graduate and get a full time job and suddenly am a full-fledged adult with a bevy of responsibilities.
  2.    The worst time to make a decision is when you are upset or stressed out about a bunch of things at once. Focus on what’s the most important, and leave everything else be until you can devote the attention it needs to it. Sometimes, the best decision is no decision. Sometimes, you just have to wait it out and see how you feel about the situation when you’ve had some time to take care of other things and clear your head. It’s okay to push something to the back burner and not think about in order to prioritize bigger problems. You don’t have to deal with everything at once.
  3. If you love someone, you can’t try to change them. You can’t love who you want them to be, or who they could be, or who they are going to be someday. You have to love the person they are right now, without any exceptions. If you love them, you have to accept every part of them.

So, like I said, I was freaking out about everything. But Linda always knows what to say, and Linda is always right. Her advice has never led me astray before (and she’s been alive for like 700 years), so I feel pretty confident that she knows what she’s talking about. And by the time I hung up the phone, the panic and tears had subsided. I washed my face and did my homework, and everything was okay. And everything is okay. I feel better now. I just have to keep telling myself the things written above, and I feel okay.


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