Only time will tell if the “old” me is back for good, but today was a GREAT day! I felt like my “old” self again and was in a great mood and feeling and thinking happy all day! And I must admit, I found it rather surprising because that I was as “upbeat” as I was today since the weather was as nasty as it was today (it’s been studied and seen that weather conditions do influence mood).
First off, I want to go a little more into what I mean about being back to my “old” self. Over the past month mostly (but it has been longer than that, but more so just the past month) I haven’t been my typical optimist, confident, happy, upbeat self. In a sense, I would almost say I have been near depressed. This honestly was a new area for me. Never before have I been even close to depressed. Lately I’ve found myself easily annoyed, easily saddened, and struggling for confidence in myself.
All semester I have struggled with the idea of “am I doing the right thing going to graduate school in social work?” This issue has no doubt influenced my confidence, mood, and basically my overall being. I must admit, this is an area in my life that I wish I could get some good guidance and advice in, but if you know me, you know I’m VERY picky in who I will ask for advice and even more picky in whose advice I’ll follow. So I’ll admit too, I tend to lean towards getting advice from individuals who I view as more intellectual/wise than myself (we all know when I’m my “old” self I think I’m one of the smartest folks around! HA!) . So as I’m sure most of you are tired of me mentioning, I must say his name again, this is where the lost of my role model/mentor Chucky T is so greatly missed. He would be the person I would go to for situations JUST as this: advice and wisdom on life decisions. The last time I was in his office and talking with him HE was the one that brought up my decision to go the social work route; he said, “So, is the social work program still going to work out for you to do what you want to do?” HE was the one that remembered me telling him back last year when I was trying to decide whether to do social work or psychology that I wanted to be a therapist in the future and I believed I could get that end goal through going the social work route even though I preferred psychology over social work. So yes, not a day has gone by since his death that I haven’t wished I could ask him about what to do about this social work thingy, but I keep myself going because I know how much he always told me how he believed in me and knew I could do anything I wanted. I’ve never had someone make me believe in myself the way that man did. One of the most inspiring things was how he would always call me Dr. Smith. It wasn’t just when it was him and I alone talking, but he would refer to me as Dr. Smith in front of my classes with him. Do you know how much I would love to be Dr. Smith?! (Sorry, I know you are tired of me talkin’ about Chuck, but writing it out helps me deal, sorry!)
So, what else has had me “down” lately? Well, first, and I know a lot of folks will say “whatever,” but I’ve been putting on weight the past year basically. Maybe not real “noticeable” weight to others, but I’ve gained a LOT of weight in my face (I became aware of this when I got my new driver’s license this summer which I compared to my driver’s license I had got last summer). You can see the difference if you look at older pictures of myself and compare them to newer ones (trust me…you’ll see it). Then there is the whole idea of even becoming depressed that is depressing (this is because depression runs in my family and I have been determined to not let myself become depressed). I’ve also been missing my ACU friends lately (maybe you’ve noticed me asking you what your plans are following graduation if you’re graduating in May—hoping you might say “moving to the metroplex…HA!) Then there is the big factor of money that has hit me this year because of my new found bills (such as a car) and the idea of wanting to move out and get my own apartment. I’ve never been a fan of money! And finally the process of self-change is a tough issue to deal with (even if the change is for the good). I’ve found myself working toward change in three areas of my life right now. I have totally cut-out my “potty mouth” (which has become influenced these past few months from folks I’ve been around, such as people at work, school, and even home here sometimes). I’m working on “trying” to watch what I eat. I’ve cut back on French fries which I OH so much love and I’ve cut back on what I have been coined as saying “dinner number twos.” And finally, I’ve decided random alcohol drinking such as randomly deciding to go pick up some Smirnoff’s to have while I work on a paper with a friend is not needed. I was at a point at the beginning of the semester where I would be having drink once if not twice a week, and that is not me, so now I can say I haven’t drank alcohol for almost two weeks. And that last time was just a small bit anyways.
So, why do I think today I found myself “back to my ‘old’ self?” Here is my hypotheses: first, I woke up this morning and rolled outta bed realizing I was getting up really late and decided to come check my email even though I SHOULD have been getting ready for school. As soon as I took my away message off I was greeted with a very friendly “Good Morning!” from one of my favorite people, Miss Laura Singleton. I’ll tell you what, nothing beats an immediate, unexpected good morning from a good friend! So Laura and I chatted for 30 minutes this morning while I got ready for school (so I was off to a GREAT start for the day). Then I came home for lunch to find many encouraging IMs from Laura once again (what a great friend she is!)
But here is what I think could possibly have been nagging at me for the past few months unconsciously and I had no idea until now: the election. Yes, I know you’re thinking “WHATEVER,” but honestly, I don’t think people realize how much I can’t stand politics. There are not many things in this world that I can NOT stand (AKA “hate”), but politics include many of these things: liars, sucking up, saying what people “want” you to say, and most importantly trash talking other people. I can not STAND people talking negatively about other people. This election this year has been TERRIBLE with “candidate bashing.” But another thing that really bothers me, is the “dividing” politics does to people, especially friends and families. If someone claims to be a republican and someone else a democrat, you are automatically “against” one another or view the other person “negatively”; how terrible is that!?!? I can’t stand it!
I’ll be frank. Holly Herr and I spend a lot of time together as I’m sure all of you reading this know. Also, as many of you know, if I had to choose a politic party to associate with it would be the republican party (I get this from my family influence), and many of you know Holly does not tend to claim a party, but if she had to lean towards one, it wouldn’t be the republicans. So, Holly has been really frank with me (and others) about her opinion of Bush recently, and while I won’t say I care that much about one political party over another, I will say I feel like she is attacking me when she attacks Bush since she knows I lean towards that party. But since I don’t claim to know much about views and stances in politics and where parties stand on issues, I just stay quiet and don’t comment back to her Republican attacks. I think this has built up in me too.
But overall, I think the election as a whole, coming to a close today, has really lifted an unconscious burden I’ve had over the past few months. I’ll be SOO happy to not have to hear about Bush vs. Kerry anymore, mainly not have to hear the political party trash talking that I hear from friends, television advertisements, the students and professors at school, people at work, family, etc.
So, am I back? Will I be the Kimberly Smith again that you became friends with in the first place? I can only hope so. I miss my “old” self more than you do I’m sure!