Back From Hiatus p.1

Sitting here in IHOP after a real long flight at about 2 a.m. and I thought I’d hop on and fill you in on some things. Back from a little hiatus, but still ready to stuff my face with all the brunch carbs. I’ll let you read this while I inhale this combo, deal?

This semester hit me like a freight train in the middle of the night, like a baby toe on the end of a table when you’re looking for food at one a.m. it hit me harder than I realized and it took getting through it to realize how much of an impact it has been. I can honestly say that i didn’t really feel like myself the last few months. I started a new job the same day I started my senior year of college. (I’m just going to go ahead and say Starbucks is one of the biggest blessings God gave me. If you’re reading this and you’re Starbs family, I love you and you mean the world to me). Getting espresso for free or discounted meant I could get actually get enough to make a difference in my energy levels, which led to days where I would have about 13 shots in my system and that became a new normal. But it also led to a lot of withdrawal. Chronic sleep deprivation with chronic lethargy and exhaustion really take a toll on a person and it’s not something to boast about or glamorize. It’s hard. There were days I came home from work wee hours of the morning and passed out in my car because I knew I wouldn’t make it up the stairs. Days that I could feel myself dozing off at work. Nights where my body would keep me up because it had forgotten how to actually rest — wired but still aching. When a car’s tank is empty, there’s a light that goes off as a warning. I think our bodies warn us too, and I should’ve listened to mine. But I consciously kept working and studying and running myself on empty for months on end. Also, I’d just like to point out that caffeine addiction is a real thing and real underrated.  I never really noticed how much I took the Sabbath for granted until this year. God was on to something with the whole day of rest thing, y’all. 

But I’m not here to complain about my own poor time management or inability to say no, my exhaustion or the crevices underneath my eyes that can’t seem to go away. I realized in this season of absolute chaos that I am tremendously blessed to have such an incredible support system. From family that understands when I don’t see them for days on end, even though we live in the same house, to coworkers who turn near breaking points into crippling laughter; best friends who are still there after you go through seven different recluse periods in one week; professors who go the extra mile outside of the classroom (and beg you to quit jobs because sleeping in class all week isn’t ideal); people God put in your life solely for this season and taught so much more than you imagined. The point being, although there were literally thousands of times when i thought this season was going to end me — rather than showing me how strong or capable I am, it showed me how important it is to have a strong foundational support system; otherwise, ya girl would have crumbled like a cardboard house in a hurricane way back in September. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the support, love, and just understanding of my people, even when they all told me to do this thing way back when. 

With that being said, it’s with a heavy, slightly exhausted but excited, heart that I say I’m cutting back by about two jobs in the new year. {Quitting two jobs in two days takes a real toll on ya too, let me tell ya.} I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunities to work at so many places, but you can only do so much in a day. It took longer than it should have for me to realize where my focus was in my self proclaimed title of “overworked college student”. I was working all the time, going to class, sleeping a little, etc., but my focus was on the “overworking” part: I was so focused on working as much as I could to pay the bills, but I was casting aside the reason for needing the money anyways. I honestly brushed off the whole student thing in my head. But English is my passion and I can’t wait to start teaching and dive head first into a Masters Program. I can’t wait to start reading for fun again, maybe actually get around to publishing this book draft that’s been sitting on my desktop for months. Who knows.

I guess the take away is if you ever thought “Wow, she works too much; she should really take a break..”, I heard you and I am. Working less (slightly) and focusing more on the things that matter is exactly what I'll be doing in the upcoming semester and new year. Here’s to more sleep, less of a caffeine addiction, and more hobbies. If you’re a workaholic, I promise your health and stability is more important than the grind. Let’s stop glamorizing overworking yourself in 2019. 

Xoxo. 

DeAndra Merrills