Week 4, or Ravynn conquers her first full week

Okay, so maybe “conquer” is a strong word.

But “got through” sounds like I crawled through the mud and only just made it to the end, and that only happened one day, so it seems unfair to let that one day overpower the others.

I have this condensed sort of work week, Monday-Wednesday, I work half the day and go to class the other half. Tuesday feels like everyone’s Wednesday and my Wednesday feels like everyone’s Friday. Mondays are a wild card for me; Omohundro work is consistent, but we read a book on a different topic every week for my Intro class. Last week it was performance in the Atlantic world, this week it’s slavery in New England in the 16th and 17th century. Tuesdays are what I live for: my Popular Culture and Power class is going to give me all the tools I need to talk about the things I care most about and a frame for presenting them. Wednesdays are my race days; I start the day talking about these insane cases of miscegeny back in the days when the States only had thirteen stars on the flag.

As expected, keeping up with my readings is proving to be difficult. I do my best to chunk it up and make it manageable, and thus far I’ve been able to do it well. This week for instance, I managed to do almost all of my reading on Thursday, Friday and this morning, but still with considerable time for myself, including another kayaking excursion with some buds and a lot of time for painting.

Because I write for my job now, it’s not always as relaxing as it usually is. I decided I needed to have an artistic outlet so I took up drawing again. More recently, I discovered I’m not terrible at watercolors, so I spend a couple hours almost every day making cartoons while I watch Gilmore Girls.

It’s also the time to start thinking about what exactly I want my career to look like, what type of jobs I want, what type of scholarship I want to create, what sort of conferences I need to go to. Admittedly, it’s really overwhelming. I met with my advisor and I stewed in a bit pot of self-doubt afterwards, almost letting the imposter syndrome swallow me whole. There are so many things that I haven’t thought through, and even though I’m pretty good at forward thinking, I have to get myself through each day. To be very real, I focus on what I know I can do before start wading through all the uncertainty.

I know I can read. I know I can write.

I know I can do my work for class.

And I have to just keep doing that until I’m brave enough to face all the questions that I don’t know the answers to yet. And when I do know the answer, it’s going to decide pretty much the rest of my life.

I handle all the moving parts of my new life in the best way I know how: I work on establishing routines, so that I create a healthy life for myself. I’m striving for harmony. I have always worked hard and I will continue to work hard, but I will also try my best to keep myself happy and healthy. Because I live alone, with only my dog for company, there’s no one standing in the way of me having a happy and fulfilled life but me.

So I buy healthy food, try to make most of my meals at home. I take breaks when my dog wants to play with me because usually if he wants to play, I probably need a break. I go to the gym and I go kayaking. I hang out with my new friends and FaceTime my old ones. I even went on a short social media hiatus this while I figured out how best to do my work, which centered me greatly. Despite my longstanding love of snapchat, turns out my life is a lot calmer and I’m subject to a lot fewer mood swings if I’m not constantly watching what my friends at UVA are doing, making me feel like I’m missing out.

Sometimes you just have to concentrate on what’s in front of you.

I’ve found this week that it really doesn’t take much to make your own happiness.

Until next time,

Ravynn

 

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