Stephanie’s Stream of Consciousness

Hello, everyone!

Have any of you ever felt the need to just write out all of the thoughts wandering through your mind? Well, that is what I felt compelled to do today, which resulted in the following stream-of-consciousness post. I already tend to write out my thoughts in my posts, but with my mind that is currently trying to compartmentalize the many different concerns regarding my life, I thought that simply letting myself write them all out without strict organization would be helpful for my well-being. Perhaps this post would be like Grace Helbig’s amazing stream-of-consciousness videos, I thought, except with a lot less charm!

So, have any of you ever felt the desire to read through the thoughts of a random, odd college student? If so, you are in the right place.

Please enjoy (and excuse my rambling).

I feel as though the following questions that I have asked myself over the past week aptly represent how this week has gone:

  • Why do I always make terrible mistakes while working ahead?
  • Have I done enough work?
  • How does one properly respond to the question “How are you?” while they are at a wake?
  • Am I getting too comfortable with certain people?
  • Is it a bad sign that I have been called a socialist by multiple people and on multiple occasions during this week?
  • How can I return to being the best version of myself?

Over the past few weeks, I have often stated that I found these chunks of time to be fairly unremarkable and basically just incarnations of previous ones, which is prevalent in some of my more recent analyses on my ongoing post.

Well, I should have known that phase was not going to last very long. Long story short: This has been an odd week for yours truly. It is not that the week has been absolutely horrific in every way possible, but I cannot say that it has been great either. I do not know how to label it, and this indecision exemplifies my uncomfortableness with recent events.

It is like this week has been comprised of a few different episodes, each with different plots and subplots yearning for my attention.

I am at a point in which I feel a loss of control and certainty, and losing these comforting senses has been odd; I feel both vulnerable and a sense of responsibility.

I usually do not do very much outside of my comfort zone, but lately, I have not only been forced out of it, but am also trying to step outside of it voluntarily. Throughout this week, I have dealt with an online community and its strictness, joined Reddit, shared this blog of mine with someone I look up to, sent many emails, asked for & acted upon recommendations, given impromptu speeches, done multiple prepared presentations, and tried to face my emotions head-on. Doing so has been thrilling in some ways, but the various forms of feedback (and a lack of it) has been frustrating and confusing.

Not receiving immediate feedback is the weirdest feeling. Even beyond the aforementioned ventures outside of my comfort zone, there are still many assignments for which I am waiting for responses. Consequently, I have been on a sort of hunt for feedback, especially that of the positive kind.

I almost feel guilty about my search for validation that has been taking place lately. Whether it is through follow-up emails, frequent questions, constant apologies, or meetings that I predict could result in more prompt feedback, my craving for affirmation is clear.

I have received positive feedback multiple times this week, but I fear that it was forced, unearned, or given before a clear judgement could have been developed. I even feel unsatisfied when the remarks I receive are not exactly what I wanted, and I can tell that I am trying to elicit those desired judgements through what I say to others.

“I regret every moment I spent relaxing this weekend” was a thought that only somewhat-jokingly went through my mind as I went through my day on Monday. Why did I think it would be okay to take walks outside while listening to progressive bluegrass  music when there was so much I should have worked on? Well, it was the weekend. Still, a newfound sense of urgency started to run through me early this week, which still makes me worry about how I should be managing my time. There is always something to work on, and time is always slipping away.

So, basically, I do not know how to feel at this point. Should I let myself feel okay, or will doing so only make me feel let down, like how I felt this past Monday? On the other hand, should I force myself to constantly feel concerned and pressured, which could make me feel weighed down and overwhelmed in such a way that could make me lose my spark?

This spark is something I have reflected on lately. While sitting in bed late at night, thinking about what I wanted to accomplish the next day, I realized that there is a sort of mindset that makes me feel in control, and it is one in which I feel prepared and authoritative. Thus, I am trying to create that mindset for myself, which could make me feel both capable of handling the feedback I inevitably receive and energized to take on future tasks. So far, I can say that it has been helpful in making myself feel confident and coordinated.

Also, I have been debating on how to make small changes that could help me feel refreshed. This past Sunday, I moved to a different setting to do schoolwork, and although I enjoyed it, something occurred later that night that now makes that space have a strong negative connotation for me. Ugh. On a more positive note, though, I have worked to finally bring myself to read “the classics” upon asking for and receiving recommendations from a classmate. I just bought the books yesterday, and even just beginning to delve into one of them is making me feel genuinely excited. My mind has been wandering a lot lately while reading textbooks, and so enjoying material that totally requires my attention in order for it to be worthwhile should help me improve my ability to focus on anything I read.

While craving these small changes, I am trying to seek comfort through validation and entities that make me feel comfortable, but I also do not want to become dependent on them.

Even though I want feedback, I admittedly do not want harsh criticism; the need constructive criticism remains all the while.

Basically, I need to learn to take all feedback with dignity. I am aware of this; it is just that this waiting period is not making me feel any more confident in my past or current abilities.

And here is the part that concerns me: There are still many ways in which I will have to go outside of my comfort zone in the near future. Decisions must be made, steps will have to be followed, and more assignments will be due. How should I feel about these future endeavors when I have not received much feedback on the previous ones? I am unsure.

All I can do at this point is keep working to improve myself, and focus on the future, while keeping in mind possible mistakes of the past (of which I am still waiting for official notification). It is okay that I do not feel completely secure right now, but I should use this feeling as motivation to be my best. I cannot just hide or wait in solitude at this point. I may not feel as though I am at my best, and I may think that I do not deserve to think that I am currently in a place of control, but I might as well prepare for any scenario by doing my best work now. Also, I cannot just depend on the thoughts of others. Yes, I am not an objective viewer of my work, and I do not have expertise, but I need to learn to own up to what I have done and be able to point out my own flaws and potential.

It is great that I have started to force myself out of my comfort zone. By doing so, there is not the possibility of looking back and wondering what could have been; instead, I hope I can look back on this time and be proud of what I accomplish, despite the criticism I may receive along the way.

Well, it is time for me to make that hope a reality.

Whew. I have a lot of thoughts. It is time to get back to work (and watch clips of Gilmore Girls, which is a show that is akin to a comfort blanket for me).




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