Natalie Rohman

A Chicago Girl Paving Inspiration

Guilt, Pacing Myself, and Finding Ways to Stay Motivated

It's that time of winter in mid-January when the temperature starts to plummet and the forecast is snowstorm after snowstorm. Over MLK weekend, which was a four day weekend for me, I decided to go back home to regroup after being at school for about two weeks now. It's convenient enough for me to take the trains home and I wanted to beat the snowstorm headed our way in the Midwest. Suffice to say, it was a relaxing and a rather eventful weekend. I have some friends back home, so out of spontaneity we went laser tagging.  

I wanted to express my overwhelming feeling that a lot of people get this time of the year when life picks back up again, but you're still in vacation mode and the back of your mind wishes you were snuggled up in your bed with your pup or hanging out with all of your closest friends back home. It is so hard being comfortable with the uncomfortable. 

Especially since I only live 20 miles away from home. Living on my own has been a challenge and I'm not afraid to say that I've also been homesick. Luckily, I can get nannying jobs back home with my families so it allows me to stay overnight or on the weekend sometimes. However, I get this huge feeling of guilt like I can't do it on my own. Everyone else is able to go away to college for 10+ weeks without seeing their family and pets, and I can't last two weeks. It's been an internal struggle at times. I will get so focused on school and then all of a sudden I just get a wave of loneliness and discomfort. 

My best friend is studying for about four or five months in London right now and I just can't think of what feelings she has gone through this past couple of weeks. There are things I want to do, like study abroad in Europe this summer, and I know I can do it, but if I'm going to want to lead the life I want, I'm going to have to find ways to keep myself going. 
Not only do I need to slow down my thoughts and worries, but I also need to remember where I am. Especially since I am in a great place right now in school and in my life. This is the time where I have to make most of my college experience and take it all in. I forget that sometimes. The hard life isn't here yet and the realization probably won't hit me until I walk the stage. At times when I get into this feeling of guilt, loneliness, and like my life isn't as planned out as I hoped, I try to distract myself and focus on things that are important and release me from these feelings. 

Whether that be writing it all down, so that I can at least document this feeling for later, but share with people that they're not in it alone either. I also make it important to talk to people and friends, watch a movie or show, read, finish homework, listen to music, or something that makes you tired enough. I even enjoy meeting up to study or face timing my other college friends to check in on them, too. I've noticed that I feel these bad feelings late at night—nights are the worst I've concluded. 

When we're alone, in our own rooms, stuck with our thoughts, no one to talk to, we obsess and digress into a state of gloom. So, when there are times that the darkness consumes you late at night, remember where you are, who in your life supports you and cares about you, what great things you've accomplished thus far, and blow away the negative thought clouds that make you sad and regretful. There's no need for them because you can't control the past and you can't dwell on the future. I've taken time to get back into an actual routine and sometimes I forget about blogging and haven't felt very motivated to take more pictures for it or plan posts, and I think it's okay. 

I'm trying to find a pace that works for me. I've worked very hard these past two years and dealing with college can be a lot at times. I might just post once a week, or two if I feel like it. I don't want to hold myself accountable for taking breaks and going home if I want to. This guilt is only affecting me and one of the reasons I chose a school so close to home is so that I can go home when I want to. I can't force myself at times when I'm feeling low and sad. There are things I want to achieve while I'm at school and I can't do it all alone. 

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