I know most 20 and 30-somethings can relate when I say I feel like I have a lot on my plate. I’m not complaining and I’ve figured out how to juggle it all, but in order to reach this point, I’ve had to make certain sacrifices. I work full-time, part-time, and go to grad school, all while having to welcome new roommates into my apartment and my life, attend numerous (and rather frequent) family functions, maintain friendships, and make time to see my immediate family.
I haven’t had time to get my eyebrows waxed in months, my DIY manicure is nearly entirely chipped off, I haven’t been to the grocery store in two weeks and as a result am living off of oatmeal, popcorn, and Jimmy Johns, and I don’t even do my hair anymore because I know I’m just going to sit alone in my office at work and come home to sit alone in my bedroom to work some more.
I have chosen to make these sacrifices in pursuit of my education, my career, and my family. As a result, relationships with my friends have suffered. If there’s one thing I could voice to my friends it would be that my neglecting is not personal. I am plagued with the continuing agony of having to defend my choices, and it weighs heavily on my mental health. I hate being the girl who always has an excuse for not getting together. I know on the other end of that text message my friends are rolling their eyes at the fact that I’ve “blown them off” again. To my friends, I am sorry that I am unable to always make the time.
But one thing I won’t do is apologize for putting myself first. My career and my education are two of the most important parts of my life right now and that is where my focus is going to remain until I have finished my degree and landed my dream job. I have to work to go to school and I have to go to school so that I can work. It’s a vicious cycle that consumes most of my energy and a majority of my time.
I think I’m definitely learning who my true friends are during this time of my life. I’m beginning to decipher the ones who respect and understand my decisions from the ones who complain about them.
To speak frankly, I genuinely enjoy my life the way it is and in the end, that’s really all that matters. Don’t get me wrong, there are slow weeks were I do get out and about and I’m able to let lose and visit with friends. But know that if I’m not always there physically, I’m there in spirit. I wish I could have made it to your BBQ, and that movie night, and that time you went to the mall, but I just couldn’t do it all.
Thank you to those who respect my choices. Cudos to those who find themselves in a similar situation. And good riddens to those who think I’m nuts.