Houston, We Had a Problem…

I knew going into the semester that it would be a hard one. I needed both my hands to count how many projects I was committed to working on before I even arrived at school. Between homework and film projects I didn’t anticipate on having much of a social life. I figured that would happen on film sets and running into friends in between classes. At the beginning of the semester, people would ask me how often they would see me once they found out about my crazy semester. I would give them a knowing smile and say, “We’ll have to see.” I knew the likelihood of me actually spending time with friends outside of class like I have the past three years would be slim, but I had hope that it would work out. It was a small hope, I admit, but a hope.

Then October hit.

I knew it was going to be a rough month, but I had no idea. Even though projects were getting stressful and hectic, I thought I had everything under control. What a joke. The past two weekends I was supposed to be filming my Intro to Directing project. But two days before our first day of filming I found out we had to cancel because of logistical reasons. That rocked my week. There I was, mentally prepared to make a huge dent in my project, and the carpet was pulled from right under my feet.  Beautiful. A week later, I had a meltdown in my car on a Sunday night because I was dreading every piece of homework I had to do in the upcoming week. I realized if things continued the way they were, I wouldn’t be able to handle it like a sane person should.

I was getting upset with God because I couldn’t understand why He was letting so much stress and worry into my life. Couldn’t He see that I couldn’t handle it? Couldn’t He tell it was too much for me? Did He miss that part that where the stress was choking me? Then I realized that life has its ups and downs.

Some months are really great, just really fantastic months, and you can’t help but think things are going to stay that way for a long time. And then your October hits. I don’t know what it is for you, but mine is full of big projects in several classes, midterms, and scheduling (which I’m not great at). By the grace of God, I managed to reduce my workload and things are starting to look up, but I’m not in the clear yet. I still have a long way to go, but I’m okay with that. I’ve given up control over the outcome of my projects and have entrusted it to God. In a way I was forced the to loose control of everything, and that helped me realize I’m not supposed to be in control in the first place. Trying to control every single little detail of my life is exhausting, stressful, and chaotic. Everything goes wrong at the worst possible moment, and I stress and freak out over it as I try to piece everything together.

I know there will be other Octobers in my life, but maybe this one will prepare me for a different October in my life. And maybe I’ll be able to look back and be thankful for learning the lessons the October of 2013 taught me. I think I will, but right now I’m not in control; and that’s okay by me.

Advertisements

Confession: An Overwhelming Week

The other day I was at Wal-Mart when I happened to grab THE CART. You know that one I’m talking about, the one with the gimpy wheel that forces the cart to constantly turn to the right. Never had I experience driving such a stubborn cart. But did I switch it out for an easier one? No, because I am more stubborn than that cart, and by golly I was going to prove it! So I grabbed that sucker and forced it to go in the direction I wanted to. I proudly grinned to myself when I finished my trip, knowing I had won. However, victory came at a cost. I was frustrated the entire time I was at the store and the carpel tunnel in my wrist started to hurt badly by the end. By the time I made it to my car I was proud I made that cart obey me, but deep down inside me I knew the frustration and the pain in my wrist wasn’t worth it.

There are days when I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I feel like I am behind on my homework, staying in touch with people, and life in general. This past week I have realized that I am an indecisive perfectionist. I want things to be perfect, but I never know when they are (Advanced Screenwriting homework, I’m lookin’ at you). So what do I do? Take charge and make a decision? Heck no! That’d be too easy! I wait around until I absolutely have to make a decision, and usually that ends up stressing me out even more.

Why do I do that? Because I don’t like the easy route because, well…. it’s easy. I like to challenge myself and will often purposefully pick that harder route so I can feel awesome when I accomplish it (hence my shopping cart adventure). But usually I don’t feel awesome. Instead I feel worn out because I spend the entire journey stressing out over how hard it was, and then beating myself up for picking the harder homework assignment (or the stubborn shopping cart). Why? So I could prove I’m awesome. To who? I guess just me; but if other people notice that’s fine too.

When will I learn better? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. I still have a lot to learn, but living in God’s grace helps me to forgive myself. So I’m going to keep trying my best, telling myself I don’t have to be perfect and then give myself grace when I don’t listen to my own advice. That’s part of what growing up is, right? Learning to give yourself grace? At least I hope so, because I’m going to need a lot of it because that’s not the last stubborn shopping cart I will encounter.