This past week I burned out, hard. I hit a dramatic wall and lost an entire evening that should have been full of productivity to lying in bed, binge-watching The Office on Netflix. I succumbed to a lot of emotional negativity, dwelling on and being owned by things in my past that should not be able to influence my present.
My ever patient and long-suffering boyfriend feels a little bit neglected. My daughter says “hello mommy!” and “bye mommy!” all in the same breath when I open her door in the morning. My grades are slipping. And I am making some really shitty decisions.
The first humility pill came when I had to register for next quarter’s classes, and rather than taking 18 credits, (which I did this past quarter, and of which I was unnecessarily proud) I registered for only 14. Cue instant feelings of failure.
It’s easy for me to believe that if I’m not pushing myself harder than everyone else, doing more than everyone else, and feeling more exhausted than everyone else, that I’m failing or not worthy. This is been a battle in my mind and heart for a very long time, and one I have obviously not won yet.
The second big pill came today, when I experienced the repercussions of allowing my anger to seep into my social media.
Last night I posted something on Instagram: a humorous post calling out my ex-boyfriend – an admitted, widely-known abuser – for the harm that he had done to me. I could have covered both his first name and his last name in the image, but I opted to scribble over only his last name, knowing full well that some mutual friends of ours would still know who I was talking about.
It was a bad decision, born out of emotion and impulsivity. It was a fruitless and unproductive exercise in petty vengeance. Word got around of what I had posted and he manage to have it removed.
I am tired of having my story stifled. I am tired of the unspoken rule that you don’t “slander” other people, even when you have truth in your side. I am angry that this person, who has harmed so many people besides myself, is allowed to carry on, hanging out with people who had previously been my friends, running in circles that had previously been mine too.
But I’m discovering that there is a right way and a wrong way to tell my story, and as much as I hate to admit it, I think that was the wrong way. I will tell my story, as is my right, and I will probably tell it soon, but when I do I will do it the right way: thoughtfully, carefully, and with appropriate and important context.
I want to be better than this person I have become over the last couple of weeks. I don’t want to be the person who makes snap decisions from a place of anger. I don’t want to be the person who overloads my schedule because I feel like a failure if I’m not running myself into the ground. I don’t want to be an absent parent or a neglectful girlfriend.
So I’m here to eat crow, in the hopes that I can learn to be a more transparent and hopefully more humble, thoughtful, slow-to-act, quick-to-think person in the future.
Thanks for reading.