Sophomore year of college, I was in a big slump. And I wasn’t alone in how I felt - most of my friends were going through their struggles as well. We eventually realized we were all sort of going through the same thing, even though our struggles materialized in different ways: control issues with food, being lax on hygiene, turning to drugs - we really ran the gamut with our group. We all eventually bounced back; although I cannot pinpoint the trigger that both caused and resolved our slumps. I think it’s a natural progression; for each high there is a low, like a cycle.
My issues weren’t serious in the grand scheme of things. However, I’m a pretty intuitive person, so once something is off I’m pretty quick to recognize it. This intuitiveness has improved over time as I’ve aged too, between natural age growth and being intentional about learning about myself.
Lately, I’ve felt off my game. I’m doing the things I love - reading, spending time with friends, exercising, cooking, watching Desperate Housewives with my roommate (guilty pleasure that I have 0% guilt for)…but I feel off. There haven’t been any big life changes, but I don’t feel as fulfilled and engaged as I should/did/could be. Side note: I’m not a fan of the word ‘should’ after reading this inspiring essay on Medium - check it out!). As a result of this, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this shift happened. Is it work? Is it where I live? Is it my friendships? Is it my relationships?
When it comes down to it - I don’t know if it’s simply one source that’s causing this. It’s like my sophomore slump, where there were just enough things that were ‘off’ to make me feel like I wasn’t myself. I’ve noticed some parallels between then and now, which I found interesting. One is that when I’m feeling this way, I don’t go out. I’m not a huge bar gal, but I do like to go out on occasion….and I haven’t been out to the bars since 2017. WHAT! I’ve done the day drinking thing (a long-time favorite of mine) but I recognized that I’ve been a homebody, and that isn’t cool.
I’m working on making those minor tweaks to get back on my A-game, but the first step was recognizing that there was a shift. I’ll take small wins any day (per: Little Bets) so I’m pleased that I’ve figured out that I’m not where I normally am. One thing too lately is that I haven’t shown myself love or compassion, and that is WAY less cool. For being so in love with personal development books, I have been clueless about myself! The next step after recognizing the shift is to tell myself: “Hey Hilary, it’s okay you're off your A game, but we’ll get through this. You’re doing the best you can and that’s all we can ask. And by the way, your new shoes make your legs look great.”
This post has turned into my stream of conscious, and that’s okay. I’m realizing it’s natural to shift from highs to lows in life, it’s okay not to know what you want or why you’re feeling a certain way, and eventually I’ll bounce back, but for now I’ll take this as a learning opportunity. Question for you, reader: What do you do when you feel ‘off’ to remedy it?
Also, update: I wrote this post Saturday and now it's Sunday. I went out last night! And today was a really, really tough emotional day but hopefully it'll help me overcome this slump. Maybe you'll learn more of my thoughts later...