“I am not my disappointment”

I’ve skipped a lot of meals and sleep this semester. Last week, when a maintenance worker said good morning to me at 7 am as I made my way to my room from the library, I briefly questioned my choices. I’m a little less focused for the lack of sleep, but most days I convince myself it’s worth it. This way I can finish working for all my classes and stay involved in the groups I love and go to guest lectures and poetry readings and have late-night conversations with my friends. I don’t miss anything, right?

I know, on one level, that when I overcommit, doing my best becomes impossible. It makes me more likely to dish out mediocre papers and listen halfheartedly during orchestra rehearsals. I try to be everything anyway.

This week I started stumbling around with a fever and a bad cough. I refused to get my throat checked out because I didn’t want to lose time over an illness. But I have a slam poetry competition in five days, and I’m worried my voice won’t be completely back in time for me to perform well. I’m starting to think that I’m getting in my own way.

I’m also starting to wonder when it won’t just be school and performances that take a hit because I’m not taking care of myself. Is it going to start affecting my friendships? Has it hurt them already?

I overcommit because I have a hard time making choices. I worry that it’s selfish to try to have it all because I don’t give anything the full attention it deserves. What I do for any single class or group or amazing person I’ve met won’t be good enough. I’m setting myself up to disappoint the people and things I care about.

I’m trying to break the cycle. I saw a nurse. I’m going to slee. I’ll see my friends outside of short meals or the library. I’m going to try to take care.