Ups and Downs of My First Week Back in Boston

Remember that cocktail of emotions that I was feeling right before leaving for Boston?

Well it has heightened, for better and for worse. I am filled with so much gratitude and joy seeing my friends and preparing for another year of learning, but for a few days I was also losing sleep over emotions like excitement, nervousness, anxiety, and fear. I know that’s normal for starting a new year of school, but it’s oddly intense. And I’m not even a freshman!

At first, I was just so excited to see everyone that I had to sorta numb my feelings or else I might have exploded with joy.

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But for whatever reason, I was going through a phase where my sympathetic nervous system was just ON. My heart was beating uncomfortably quickly for a few days for no good reason, my stomach felt tight, and I was breathing from my chest more than from my belly (a sign that my body is stressed).

I didn’t know what was up, but prayer, movement, music, being with good friends, and big deeeeeep belly breaths from my diaphragm all helped. Also, I’m thinking back to my own tips on how I deal with anxious feelings.

(Talk about a way to make my parents feel GREAT.)

The real medicine this time around, however, was letting go of hypersensitivity to what others thought of me. I have no idea why, but I became so preoccupied with trying to impress people (who I know and love from last year). However, as soon as I remembered that I have one person— God— in my audience, I started feeling better.

In the words of Tori Kelly: “Take it or leave it, babe, I’m not gonna change. If you don’t understand I don’t need you anyway.” <— please listen.

Now that that’s off my chest. Hello, lovely folks ♥

Despite my very minor heart palpitations, this weekend was pretty darn awesome.

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dorm breakfast feat. the breakfast trifecta

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bodyweight exercises in the great outdoors of Boston

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dorm snacks

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monster chicken, tomato, lettuce, avocado, sundried tomato, pesto pita wrap = lunch and dinner

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some steep ($5…) pistachio and nocciola gelato for the Feast of St. Anthony celebration in North End

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first dining hall meal! classic breakfast that I scarfed down because I had attend a meeting

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first dining hall dessert! they did not fail with this delicious carrot cake

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second dining hall dessert the night after — vegan apple cider oatmeal cookie mousse parfait — pretty luxurious and delicious

Lots of food. Some humans were involved too.

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It was also a productive weekend, getting lots of tasks done before classes actually start.

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including getting a head start on human physiology reading #nerd#geek#lame#sayittomyface

I genuinely hope each of you is doing well and that you have a wonderful week ahead! Today is my last Monday off before the grind begins woooooo.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
— James 1:2-4

So tell me:

Do you ever find yourself breathing from your chest more than usual?

Do you ever feel unusually sensitive to how others might perceive you?

What is your favorite kind of cake? Carrot cake all the way (WITH raisins).

What did you do this weekend? 

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Being Extraordinarily Ordinary

Do you ever have those days where you feel a little too proud that you were able to accomplish the most basic tasks?

For instance, sometimes I feel overly accomplished when I can do things such as…

  • get out of the house on time instead of three minutes late
  • remember to put the trash on the curb
  • park between the lines on the first try
  • make a doctor’s appointment
  • answer an email right away (I’m skeptical/in awe of anyone who answers all emails right away all the time)
  • manage to ease the brakes and come to a beautifully smooth stop in the car (even though no one is in the car with me, so it’s not like I care)

Yes, it is something to be grateful for that I can do these things in the first place (car, home, opportunities, hooray). But I’m talking about the fact that on some days, I feel like giving myself a pat on the back for doing these absolutely ordinary things.

Like, why?

Let me backtrack a little bit.

I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had dreams of being a superstar of sorts. When I figure skated, I wanted to be the next Michelle Kwan. When my brother won the school geography bee, so did I. When I was in middle school, I wanted to write songs and be like Miley Cyrus (LOL). When I danced, I wanted to be like Alvin Ailey dancers. When I read some of my favorite blogs that have become so successful, I want to improve my blog to maybe become like theirs. When I see people doing handstands on Instagram, I want to be able to do a press handstand, like, yesterday.

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The point of me sharing my deepest darkest secrets (not really) is to exemplify our desire to be extraordinary. According to dictionary.com, the definition of extraordinary is:

exceptional in character, amount, extent, degree, etc.; noteworthy; remarkable

And who doesn’t want to be any or all of those things?

I’m generalizing here, but I think when most people consider an extraordinary person, they think of someone who can do what the majority cannot do, or someone who possesses what the majority does not. Therefore, by nature of the word, not all of us can be extraordinary on a large scale.

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excuse the language, but this made me laugh

However, as I have matured (slightly), discovered more about myself, and learned to love who I am, I have accepted that maybe I can just be extraordinarily ordinary.

That sounds like it’s coming straight out of a sob story, but I mean this in the best possible way.

How would I define “being extraordinarily ordinary”? I would define it as going about my daily activities and endeavors with my best effort, a willingness to improve, and a greater purpose.

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Of course, hard work, dedication, and sacrifice are involved in becoming extraordinary. The saying goes something like: If you set your mind to it, you can do it. But I kinda need to tell myself that every day for the littlest things.

I don’t have to be “extraordinary” at anything in particular. I don’t even have to be good at ordinary tasks all the time (um, someone help me learn how to pay taxes…and stuff). I just have to do little things with a purpose in mind, no matter how insignificant the purpose may seem in the grand scheme of things. In God’s time, being extraordinarily ordinary can turn into being extraordinary.

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A lot of the improvement, discovery of self, and truly joyful moments happen when no one is paying attention— when you’re just being an ordinary human (cue this song). That’s where being extraordinary starts anyway.

So tell me:

Do you relate!? Am I the only one who sometimes feels accomplished for doing the most minuscule things right?

How can you be extraordinarily ordinary? I try to pick a personal development goal to work on each day (ex: holding my tongue when I want to be snappy, meditating, smiling more, conversing with more people, etc.).