An Elephant and a Bowling Ball

The other day, one of my friends asked me what I wish I had known as a senior in high school. Well, there are a lot of things that I wish I had known in high school, but the most useful thing probably would’ve been finding a balance.

I’m not entirely sure how helpful that statement was, simply because I still haven’t quite figured it out. Right now, my life is portioned out at approximately 80% work, 15% sleep, and 5% other. Which works well for me, but is a far cry from what most people would consider balanced.

Not surprisingly, there is no perfect formula for this fabled “balanced” life. It’s impossible to devote an equal amount of time to every single task one completes in a day. Even if it were, the lines get blurred between tasks – do I file writing this blog post under “work,” “pleasure, “writing,” or “hobby”? So many of the things that I do fit into so many different categories that it’s impossible to give one particular task an all-encompassing, definitive label.

Anyway, back to my point: finding a balance, let alone defining that balance, is nearly impossible. When I first moved to State, I was constantly texting, as my roommate will readily tell you any day. I wanted to make sure people back home knew I was thinking about them, that I missed them, and most of all, that I only moved to East Lansing, not Mars. I would be back eventually!

As time went on, it shifted the other way. I stopped texting people from home so frequently, excepting my little sister. Being brutally honest, I was fairly content to just forget about a handful of people, to group them together under that mysteriously diverse category, “high school”.

It’s like I’m trying to live two lives simultaneously. I’m trying to live my life at home as the person I always was while trying to build a new life at school, taking special care to leave behind all the things I didn’t like.

This began my senior year of high school. I felt like an elephant trying to balance on a bowling ball. It was impossible. It still is.

So, this is my advice to all of you high school seniors, college freshman, new mothers, kindergarteners, whomever: you’re not going to find that perfect balance. You just have to do the best you can. If you honestly don’t have time to take on that extra club or meet up with the girls for a movie night, save yourself the headache and the stress, and don’t go. Quit worrying about what you’re “supposed” to do, or what you “should” do – who, exactly, is telling you that anyway, and more importantly, why? Trust yourself, and just do the best you can.

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2 thoughts on “An Elephant and a Bowling Ball

  1. Great advice! It takes many of us several times around the track before we make those realizations. I experienced much of what you are during my first year of college, perhaps even the first few years. I came from a similarly small town, and often felt like my feet were straddling two different worlds, and again when I went to graduate school, and again when I started my career. It’s a normal part of the life cycle, but so is getting through it! The faster you can wrap your head around the fact that it’s okay to just “do what you want” – the better you’ll feel. 🙂

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