Self-Improvement

I May Not Be Perfect, But I’m Better

I am in a good place. With the stress that accompanies the last year of a degree placed on my shoulders, you would expect that may not be the case. I don’t know whether that relies on me being prepared and completing assignment months in advance of deadlines or because I am ever so slightly insane (the second one may be more correct) but I feel good. Why does that feel like such a narcissistic thing to say? It’s like when you’re in an exam and you feel like you’ve aced it (Albert Einstein who?) and everyone walks out saying it was the toughest thing they’ve ever done. Your heart starts beating fast. Your brain starts working through every question; what’s have I missed? How have I cocked up? I feel a similar way right now. Does that sound stupid?

This made me think about why I feel this way. Physically, I am working on getting to be in a good place. I’ve started going to the gym (I’ve been for six sessions now so I guess I’ve finally become a fully certified ‘gym lad’…maybe) and have been getting at least two hours of exercise a day. I’m trying to take care of myself. I still walk out of the gym looking like I’m about to keel over, heart rate of 170, face redder than a baboon’s backside but I feel good. I can see why people say exercise is a cathartic past-time. I’m still not satisfied with the way that I look but I’m making an active effort to change that. Watch out lads, I’ll be beach body ready by summer…2024.

Mentally, I’ve been making an active effort to be prepared. I’ve been getting assignments done weeks in advance; applying for internships and going to a library (yes, an actual library with actual books) to get sources compiled for my dissertation. The bibliography is a work-in progress (22 sources so far and I’m only 1000 words in) but at least I know everything is prepared and ready for when I need it. Hopefully, that should avoid some stress when April finally rolls around. Then again, the way time is flying at the moment, I’ll close my eyes and BAM! Graduation!

Emotionally, I still have bad days. I can admit that. I get lonely. I struggle with my self-worth. I struggle with loneliness. I struggle with a lot of things that have plagued me for years. I guess I’m just getting better at working through those issues instead of bottling them up. I am so incredibly lucky and I keep reminding myself of that. I have an incredible family, amazing friends and a boyfriend who completes me. Recently, my family and I have been through an incredibly tough time with illness but we are pulling through. Having people to talk to, to verbalize what I’m thinking about has been the best thing. I can let my defenses down and people will be there for me. I don’t think I could have got through this time without that knowledge so thank you (if anyone is reading this). I feel so narcissistic saying all of this; it almost feels like I’m making this all about me. Everybody goes through tough times. It’s how you recover and use those times that help you to grow and move forward.

So I guess, on reflection, I am not in a perfect place yet. I’m not living in the lap of luxury in a utopic paradise (then again utopia means ‘nowhere’ so I guess utopia can’t be lived in. I’m going off topic) but I feel good. We all have good days and bad days, such as the nature of life and the universe, but we can learn and grow. The narcissist is back but I genuinely believe I am a better human being that I was last year. I am stronger. I am happier. I am braver. I have a lot of people and experiences to thank for that. I feel more at peace than I have been in years. TC mark

Related

About the author
Ellena Restrick is a Creative and Professional Writing undergraduate based in Canterbury and Bexley. Follow Ellena on Twitter or read more articles from Ellena on Thought Catalog.

Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.