Last week was a rough one. It started out well, but, for me at least, it’s real hard to have a bad day when you don’t leave your house. Come Tuesday, though, it was clear that I just wasn’t myself.

I didn’t sleep well all week. It wasn’t a matter of staying up late, because I was in bed by 9:30 most days, which made sense since I wake up at 6:00 and have increased my activity levels and burned off some excess energy. The main problem was that I was waking up a lot in the middle of the night, including shooting up around 3:30 in a dead panic, convinced that I massively overslept and was hours late to work. Every night last week. Without fail. 

My anxiety has skyrocketed lately. As in, I once again have trouble falling asleep because my brain is convinced I’m being buried alive. I had a full emotional breakdown on the treadmill on Thursday that culminated in me sobbing while listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack, and I still can’t tell you what caused it. My emotions have always lived very close to the surface, but this is a new level of instability, even for me. 

All this to say, I’ve been looking historically disheveled at work lately. Enough so that random vendors who I don’t really know but visually see every day have commented on my appearance. Now, I don’t look or smell unclean, my hair is at least brushed (or braided so you can’t tell otherwise), and my scrubs are clean. It’s not like I’m a walking health hazard at work. I just look… well, I look like someone who’s had a rough week.

Here’s the thing: I don’t have to be pretty. The idea that I need to look date-worthy every time I leave my house is frankly ridiculous. I am merely an anxious ball of energy in the shape of a woman, and sometimes I don’t want to pretend otherwise. Pretending is exhausting. I’d much rather batten down the hatches and ride out the storm than pretend it doesn’t exist. Ultimately, it reduces the overall damage.

The first week of this whole ninety-day challenge was a shit show. I kept forgetting to put on my fitbit before I left for work. I couldn’t do my workout Wednesday because the thought of doing an ab workout when I was already so sore it hurt to breathe made me want to cry. I had to cut my workout short on Thursday because I was literally crying on the treadmill. I haven’t been writing or reading or any of the things I consider mental enrichment.

And you know what? That’s okay.

Most of what I did last week was rest. I got home, showered, ate, put on my pajamas, and lounged around with my dog until it was time for bed. I made it to the gym Tuesday and Thursday, but once I got home, I didn’t do much. I slept in half an hour later than I usually do Thursday and Friday morning. I ate frozen pizza for dinner on Saturday and didn’t feel guilty over it! I didn’t work out yesterday because I got caught up meal prepping and forgot about it until I went to bed. I drank an entire strawberry milkshake in the five minutes it took to get from Braum’s to my apartment, and it was glorious. 

My body needed to rest, but more importantly, my mind needed to rest. Lately, I’ve been so caught up in how I must appear on the outside that I’ve neglected how I feel on the inside. I’ve been stuck on pretty, thinking that living up to some invisible standard of presentability was more important than taking care of myself. It’s not, ever. What the world thinks of me doesn’t matter. Or at least, I’m working on it. I’m a work in progress, just like you, and I’m still learning to be comfortable in my not-so-pretty moments. I’ve got to give my spirit a rest, and I can’t do that if I get caught up in the world’s opinion.

This week, I’m going to focus on this question: What are you going to do with all this future?

I’m not going to worry that last week was a bit of a bust, and that this one hasn’t gotten off to the best start. Instead, I’m going to take things one day at a time. I can’t change the past, but I can hope to have a better future.

 

Published by Kylee Jackson