Growing Pains: It’s Okay to Not be Okay

I need to be honest about something: I’m not always okay. For the most part I try to keep a positive mindset, especially in this blog and on YouTube. Even when things are a little hard, I try to find something positive. Many of my close friends half-joke that I could be covered in boils, go bankrupt, and get hit by a double decker bus all in one day and still find a way to say “but it’s okay.” Because for the most part I do know that everything is going to be okay, even if it feels like it won’t be.

The problem with this insistence of being okay, though, is that sometimes I’m actually not okay, and sometimes it’s kind of hard to admit that. Well, I’m admitting it now. I’m struggling. I’m terrified that I’ve taken on too many things and I don’t know if I can get them all done. People will ask “well why did you agree to do all of this, then?” My answer? Because I’m an idiot. Or, more accurately, because if I don’t have a million things to do I will go insane. The problem with this is that when I do have a million things to do I go insane, just in a different way. One of my many flaws is that I struggle with balance.

So right now I’m working 24 hours a week at a job I kind of loathe but am thankful for because it comes with a paycheck. I’m working on finishing up three internships, two of which offer little to no structure which makes me feel like I’m flailing around without a lifejacket on. I’m trying to get ready for possibly the hardest semester of my college career outside of Oxford. I’m supposed to be working on applying for grants for grad school. I’m trying to maintain the relationships that actually do keep me sane, but I feel like no matter what I do I fall short.

I don’t want to only see the negative things in my life right now, though. So even though I’m admitting that I’m really stuck in this crappy mindset, I want to find the positive. For starters, my resume is going to look pretty great at the end of these internships. Better than that, though, is the fact that I’m getting great experience and I’m learning a lot. And even though this semester is going to be hard, I’m so excited for it to start. I can’t wait to sit in my World Lit class and discuss C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, Alan Paton’s Cry, the Beloved Country, and the six other books on the book list. I can’t wait to make it through exams in December and come out of it with my degree. And even though I’m struggling to get everything done, to focus long enough to do it all and do it well, I have wonderful people in my life who are trying to help me do better by setting reminders and helping me structure it all when I can’t seem to figure out how to do it on my own.

I’m human, and that kind of means I’m not perfect. I’m going to mess up. I’m trying to be better, though. I’m trying to let myself be honest and recognize that sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. Because right now things are hard, but I know that at some point I’ll be able to look at this time, laugh at my flawed perception of the time I actually have, and hopefully see how it helped me grow. And because I have a wonderful support system through my friends and family. And because even when I’m tired and frustrated and feel like I’m failing, I can rest in the knowledge that I have a God that tells me he loves me no matter how many times I screw up. He’s still here, and even if I have no clue what’s going on, he does. This is just a time of growth, and growing pains suck. But they’re worth it.


3 thoughts on “Growing Pains: It’s Okay to Not be Okay

  1. You are so right. You are growing week by week and year by year so incredibly. From one who has been privileged to stand back and watch it, I say, “Kudos.” And the reason you can say it’s okay is that you know that God has got this. Period.

    1. Thank you so much, Dr. G. That means so much coming from you – you have definitely been a very positive influence in my life these last few years and I can only hope to be half the professor and mentor to my future students as you have been for me. Love you, too ❤

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