Well it has been 3 months since moving down to Texas, things should be settling in right? Wrong. Of course things are still all up in the air! But such is life. I think that has been the main thing I have learned since moving, life comes in cycles. As I sit here today in 72 degree beautiful sunny weather I am reminded from my dad that Illinois is actually in winter right now and it was near 20 degrees this morning. Perspective has been hammered home over these last 3 months. While it started out super stressful living in an Airbnb, not knowing whether or not I was going to pass my boards, in 100+ degree heat, and being away from all of my family in friends. Texas in the fall has me settled into an apartment, finding several new friends, temperatures mellowing out and only a minimal amount of stress from work.
Even though there are those day to day stressors, overall I am very lucky to be where I am at. Each day is a new adventure and I think sometimes we lose sight of that. I had 2 or 3 days at work that seemed to just drag and it had me questioning everything. Is PT right for me? Am I already experiencing burn out? How was I so passionate about this in school but now it has been tough? Is this really what I will be doing 40 years from now? All of these thoughts ran through my head as I was working for an amazing organization, in a destination city, while getting paid to help other people. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I would challenge you to take a step back and realize how lucky you are to just be here and healthy every day.
I eventually called one of my long time mentors because I just didn’t know how to handle all of the thoughts in my head at that point. She listened to my concerns and simple told me, “Life is full of cycles, right now may just be one of the tough points but it gets better. At work, in business, and in life, you will have hard times. Yes it does suck that you are getting these feelings right at the beginning of working, but stick it out and at least give it a chance to get better.”
I couldn’t have needed to hear something more at that point. I have never understood the quarter-life crisis our generation is facing. I was in grad school and always had an end goal. Now that I am out I am learning what it is like to stare life in the face and feel like any time I am not productive is time wasted. That being said, I am still trying to keep things in perspective. Listening to GaryVee really has helped me with this troubling time as well because he is constantly telling 20 somethings that they should never feel pressured because we are so young in the game.
Having the self-awareness to know that I will never be someone who is complacent and just working for a paycheck has helped me accept watching football on Sundays is okay for right now. If I want to take a weekend and just do some chores and binge some Netflix that is okay. Being 26 and ambitious is a very weird spot, I feel like I am drowning and totally under control at the same time. I am trying to take my own advice and not over think things, but that is hard when you’re in a different state away from the people you grew up with.
All I am trying to say with this is even though we hear “life is short” all the time. Sometimes it helps to realize that life is also very long to each individual. As I was talking to some of my co-workers I verbalized that I hope to learn a lot from them because they have literally been practicing longer than I have been alive. This thought just made them laugh when they took a second to think that through.
This newer perspective has me accepting that it is okay to take a personal day or two. If you are in a similar situation of feeling a little lost, lean on your mentors, reach out to your family and friends, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Those who are older know what you’re feeling and those who are the same age and seem like they have it together may just be in one of those good cycles while you’re in a bad one. You don’t have to live with the idea that you have to be perfect every day. Some days will be better than others, and it will likely equalize at some point. Try not to let the highs get to high or the lows get to low, but if you are in a great cycle where things are going right, keep on riding that wave!
Good luck to everyone who has a lotto ticket and as always, I appreciate all of you who take the time to read my thoughts!
Feel free to reach out if you are ever going through something and let’s talk through some ways to get you back on one of those good cycles
I am a new graduate DPT and am interested in personal growth and becoming a connector within my profession.