3rd year and honestly my whole college experience has not been what I wanted. I thought it would be full of adventure and I will feel more secure and certain in my future and friend groups and that’s just not what happened. In fact, COVID hit and made it even more difficult to connect with people and just to be a student, trying to learn and study and grow.
Growing this year has felt utterly impossible. School feels like running through one hurdle after another, barely able to catch my breath. It’s not the fast pace of other semesters, but it’s the new weight we’re all carrying. I just feel so darn weary. I’m worn out and I’m only on week 6. It just blows my mind. Usually, I feel this way at the middle of the semester – like I’m in a race and we’re still charging ahead. Usually, there’d be some break to add a little space in our lives, a little margin that gives way for time to relax and really examine what we’re doing and where we’re going.
This semester, there is no break! It’s just charging on ahead until it’s over. And the added weight is getting to me. Never before have my friends and I talked so much about what’s going on in the world – whatever new disaster, COVID, politics, etc. I am just weary.
It’s not a weariness that a few days of rest would help me recover from. It’s not restlessness or a need to escape for a while. I’m just bonetired, soul tired. I’m worried and worn out – scared for the future – just all the things.
No one could have anticipated the way this year has gone, and no one knows its true impact down to our souls. At this point, positivity is toxic. There is no way we can be working in the same way before the world exploded. Even if my feelings of inadequacy scream that I’m only as much as what I can produce, it’s time to turn that voice off.
No longer can we push and press past the exhaustion and the disappointment this year has brought us. If anything, 2020 has truly taught us to expect the unexpected.
When the whole world has shattered, it really brings to mind what you believe.
I’m trying to believe that there is something purposeful here. Even in the ache of my body and the disappointment that hasn’t let go, there is a reason for this season.
It’s one of those platitudes. Things people say to make themselves feel better when everything has fallen apart.
But I don’t know – 2020 is what it is. It definitely isn’t what I thought it would be, and I can’t dream it away. All I can do is settle here and feel it.
Feel the pain – whether it’s physical or emotional. My body feels heavy and my mind feels numb. None of these things are what I would have chosen for myself, but they are what they are.
Life is a journey, and I can’t tell you that you’ll enjoy every pit stop. This one feels like a smelly gas station that somebody lit on fire, and now everyone’s getting the disgusting aroma.
This weekend, I was talking to a variety of people – my old roommate, friends, acquaintances and we’re just feeling it – the dread for what’s coming next, the desire for rest in our bones.
A few ago, I put a new post-it note on my desk – “The mess was ordained for a time such as this.” I’m pretty sure most people would say that they wouldn’t want COVID to happen, that this year would be better off if it had never happened at all. I often wonder about that. About the year that we all dreamed we would have that never was.
But there’s a flipside to that coin – and it’s every moment we wouldn’t have if this year isn’t what it is. I wouldn’t have socially distanced picnics of the Lawn, joining a new church, spending more time cherishing my room – a space I inhabit completely by myself.
We have lost so much. But we don’t know the worth of what we’ve gained.
At the very least, we’ve all learned to hold things a little looser and hold our people a little tighter. To not depend on a set of circumstances to guide our mood. To adapt and adjust as plans keep changing. We know what serves us, and the things that were draining us.
This season may feel like a standstill – a weird stretch of our lives in limbo – but it could be a season of renewal, a time to redefine the boundaries we let fall apart, a time to reinstate the values we cherish.
I believe it’s good to be angry, to mourn. Even to doubt the purpose of this moment in our lives. We can hold both sorrow and hope in our hands. We can grieve the present and hold expectation in our hearts.
I’m tired and I’m just going to feel that deeply. I’d rather wish it away, but that doesn’t help anything. I’m just going to be true to what I’m feeling now and open to all that will be.