Tous les jours

Bonjour ! C’est vendredi, et je suis retourné au travail…

I wonder how much more proficient my French could become if I were to write my journal entries en français. Obviously it would probably be counterproductive to blog in French, though, because none of my readers would be able to read it. But it was just a thought.

So I will translate that first sentence for you: “Hello! It is Friday, and I’ve returned to work.” Which…I have, actually, and it’s really nice to be back. Maybe I can’t totally say that I’ve returned to work because when I did work here over the summer, it was an internship, and not an actual paid job position, which it is now, but the point is, I sit at the same desk—which I’ve started decorating to create my own space, and I need to go to Hobby Lobby this weekend for flowers and glitter—in the same Arte Público Press office, doing some of the same work, with most of the same people. My boss, Marina, told me that she would eventually like to have me start doing some new things, but for now, she says, “we’re so behind” and that the only thing keeping her from going crazy is knowing that I’m coming in to work to complete some of those projects. I’ll admit it, though: I really actually don’t mind the spreadsheets. The review mail-out I worked on yesterday is a little more of a hassle, but it’s also nice to just start back doing a few of the same tasks, because I know them. As she said when she introduced me to Jamie, our office coordinator who is a guy but the whole time we were emailing about the process of hiring me I thought he was a girl, “Thank God, I don’t have to train her!” …Yes. Thank God.

And while on that note, TGIFATFIFO! (Thank God It’s Friday And That Friday Is Finally Over!) Except, my weekend now must be spent with a fairly extensive To Do list, at the top of which is finish my study guide for Tuesday’s French test, and carry it around with me, and, truthfully, toward the bottom of which priority-wise is “make time to take care of me.” Maybe it’s lucky that I’ll end up procrastinating on most of the homework, because maybe sometime while I’m doing that, I’ll slip in a journal entry, or a manicure, or a bed day, and I will feel better for doing so. Special thank you goes out to Kimberly Wilson for the express permission via Twitter to have a bed day! Not to fan-girl too much, but I recently discovered her through Bella Grace Magazine—remember how much I love that publication?—and I’ve subscribed to her podcast, Tranquility du Jour, and I listen to it on my way to and from work and school, stuck in Houston traffic at least three and a half days each week. It’s amazing. She’s amazing. She also FOLLOWED me on Twitter, which made me really excited—!

—Okay, deep breath…there. I will be zen.

And now that I can check “update my blog” off my list with one of my favorite highlighters—Zebra Eco Zebrite Double-Ended, designed not to bleed even through Bible pages—I am going to brush my hair, light one of my three-wick candles from Bath & Body Works, and read, or journal, or write…or maybe work on my test review, but probably not that one.

That’s okay. 😉

Of the Average College Student

Wish we could turn back time. To the good old days. When our mamas sang us to sleep, but now we’re stressed out.

Twenty One Pilots’ “Stressed Out” is probably the song of the average college student, and plays overhead as Dylan and I do homework at Brew -n- Bake, our favorite locally-owned coffee shop in our hometown.

“It’s overplayed,” Dylan complains, and he’s probably right about that, but I commented on how accurate the song is, when he caught me staring out the window lip-syncing along, and that’s not any less true. It’s very accurate, and some days I’d give up anything just to be a kid again for an afternoon. I don’t remember my mom ever singing me to sleep, but, you know, that’s fine. As long as the stress is taken off—that’s what would matter. To go back to the “good old days” where all I really had to stress about was bringing home a B on my report card in math, and whether or not my friends were really my friends.

I guess from one point of view, the trade-off now is worth it, because I have real friends, and don’t have to worry about what they really think. Shoutout to Bianca, Emily, and Melissa, my three French friends on campus: when it comes to our French classes, you girls make it all worth it, and I don’t know what I’d do without you. The downside, though, is that I stress about every major assignment: every test, every exam, every presentation, in my French classes and even my English classes, which never used to affect me like this. Sometimes it feels so overwhelming, to the point that, last semester, my mom asked me if I’d rather drop my French major and just do it as a minor, and drop being in the Honors college. I told her no, of course, but she doesn’t know how much it means to me that she asked. That it would be okay if I wanted to do that. It takes me back to one day, probably two years ago now in the fall, she came into my room and found me crying with my English homework spread across my bed in front of me, and a math problem scribbled across the back of a piece of paper: I was calculating what it would take for me to earn an A in that class for the semester, after one bad exam grade and only two more exams to go: it was a lot, and I was having a panic attack because of the stress and anxiety I was experiencing. She’s often told me that if I need to see a psychiatrist about anxiety, I can do that, and some days I consider it. A couple of semesters into UH, I diagnosed myself with generalized anxiety disorder, though I’ve never seen anybody about it or attempted to do anything about it. Being self-diagnosed, I’m not even sure how accurate it is, but maybe it also serves an explanation for how neurotic I can be.

Everybody says I’m too hard on myself. I don’t know if that’s true. Maybe it is, but even if it is, I’d rather my parents and Dylan and my friends tell me that I need to cut myself some slack, than have them tell me that I’m not working hard enough. Because already, I tell myself that, all the time.

I know how important it is to slow down, unwind, and take time to love yourself. I believe in that. But the fact seems to be that I just run on stress, and in my head, I’m still pushing myself often to do better. To run more on coffee and less on sleep. Stay up late, write. I can sleep when I’m dead. Not that I’ve been doing any of that—maybe it’s good I have a love affair with my bed. Maybe that’s how I unwind. Sleep.

For now, though, there’s no time for that, so it’s coffee and French homework.