I realized today that summer began for me 52 days ago. I also realized (just now) that I have 49 days left of summer until I head back for training for admissions. Summer is more than half way over.
I have been to the beach four times. One of those times was in Rhode Island so I’m not sure that even counts towards taking advantage of the multiple beaches within 10 minutes from my house.
I had sunburn… I had worse sunburn and then I had a slight tan to my skin. Right now, I’m a combination of lots of sun-induced freckles (mostly from my 2 mile walk to work each morning) exhaustion, and bliss.
You read that right: bliss. How do you stay sane when you’re used to working 2-jobs and bringing in tons of money, and suddenly, you’re working full-time and bringing in no money (no money… like for shoes!)? How do you stay sane when you’re used to lazy summer days on the beach after a year of absolute non-stop school, work, school, work, exams, honors thesis, school, work? How (when you’re me) do you stay sane when it’s mid-July and you’ve yet to step foot in Yankee stadium?
You lift your head above the water and count the positives.
Over the past year I’ve tried to live by the “don’t stress out over things you have no control over” mantra. For someone who is usually neurotic and needs to have control over everything, this has been a challenge – but a challenge well worth it. The idea is that if you stress out over the things which you don’t have control over, you’re going to negate the things which you do have control over… things which could be positive for you.
Right now, I have no control over the fact that I have little time for a job which makes money – I am an intern. However, if I started to stress out (too much) over that it would negate the amazing experience I am having as an intern at WPIX-TV. Learning outside of the classroom is by far the most beneficial experience any one can have, especially in this business. Just last week I was sitting with a veteran reporter, who I have come to admire greatly, practicing tracking and my “reporter” voice. She was giving me tips on my tone and inflection and how to give something energy without sounding too high pitched. Every time I go out on the field with this reporter, or sit and chat with her about the career choice I anticipate making, it reminds me that I am in the right place. It reminds me that I am capable and competent, and that my childhood dream is really close to becoming a reality … how cool.
To tie in with that, with every benefit and reward comes a cost (hello business courses at Bryant University). Working 40+ hour work weeks means no time for the beach, but it also means 40+ hours of experience, knowledge, and insight into the field I wish to make a career out of.
Aside from all that, I’ve learned that it is incredibly important to figure out what and who is important in your life and try your damned hardest to make time for it. I’ve slowly but surely over the past year been realizing who gives as much as I give in my various relationships and friendships, and who is worth going the extra mile for – who makes me happiest because those are the people worth going to be a few hours later even though I have a 6 a.m. train, and the people worth making time for.
It’s particularly important to maintain a balance of work and friends/family. There are plenty of nights where I get home and want to crash, but a phone call or a Skype conversation or even just an hour out for some frozen yogurt is worth fighting the exhaustion. You have to make time for yourself, time for your bliss… or you’re going to go plain insane.
For me, the past 52-days have been all about that balance, all about keeping my head above water. I spend little time complaining (I won’t lie, I do complain sometimes, like when I was sick for 3 of the 4 weeks of June, bleh) and more time focusing on what’s important and making me happy.
No matter how frustrated I get when my bus from Providence to NY is 3 hours late (no control over it, no control) and I miss all the LIRR connections to Lynbrook until 3 a.m. with work at 8 a.m., the weekend before makes it worth it… and it’s really important to remember that.
The work-week might exhaust me, but it only takes one Saturday with the entire family laughing, eating lots of food and watching a movie in sweats to put it all into perspective (and cause me to need to start running again, ha ha).
My summer thus far may not be like summers past with endless beach days and lazy nights, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without its positives: mom’s surgery went amazing; our family was all able to get together for Grandma’s big birthday celebration; cute summer shoes (that was expected, right?); a boyfriend who easily makes me forget about my daily 3 hours of hellish commute M-F when the weekend comes and we’re together; friends that make me laugh; and my freckles—because even if I don’t get a tan this summer, they come out like crazy in the slightest sunlight, giving me the fake appearance of a tan at least on my face!
Life doesn’t come without frustrations or negatives, but if you focus enough on the positives and the happier moments, it does a lot to make the other stuff bearable.
P.S. Today my tuition bill came in and textbooks for the fall were listed — I think I’ll take my own advice now and go back and count the positives!