Week in Review: Stormy First Drafts

April 03, 2017

There are so many raisins to love your body! 

Three hours ago I drove home from my parents' house after arguing with them essentially over nothing. The pounding rain on the windshield matched my bawling face. I could feel my emotions taking over, everything bubbling up. I knew my thoughts were irrational. I knew I was just in a bad mood. I was completely aware of these default reasonings my brain conjures up. And yet, I couldn't help but make myself feel worse. I was spiralling.

I have been irritable for the past couple of days. Stemming from feelings unproductive, I . I have been judging myself hardcore for not working on the things I "need" to get done, for allowing myself too much rest. I ended up spending the night over there the night prior and on Sunday morning I woke up feeling flat. The day hadn't started and I was already hating on myself for being lazy. Throughout the morning, I could not for the life of me motivate myself to do anything. I was literally switching among mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, complaining about how I needed to actually do stuff, and asking myself what was wrong with me, why couldn't I just get up?

 I was talking to a friend the other morning and we had agreed that our freshman year selves would be disappointed in our efforts now specifically around academics. Past Kaylee is ashamed of Present Kaylee. Everyone says to "give it your all." So when I feel myself not putting in my 150%--what I know I could be doing based on prior experience--, I act disdainful. Like in the case of that morning ^^^, I look . I find I am constantly comparing myself to who I was or who I want to be rather than accept the person I am in the moment.

While I was sitting at those multiple stop lights, all snotty and gross, I was reminded of a concept Brene Brown talks about in Rising Strong called stormy first drafts or SFDs for short (the kid-friendly name 😉), which is also very apt for today's weather. Basically it's writing everything & anything you're feeling without judgment. You know the type we have to submit in elementary school for teachers to correct. Making one allows you to build awareness and move through your thoughts and feelings without falling prey to the cognitive traps we set ourselves. In those moments of hating on my laziness, snapping at my mom, continuing to disparage myself in the car, I knew I was creating conspiracies and confabulations in my head. I knew I was in need for an SFD session.

After that good cry where I let it all out, when I got back to my apartment I cooked up soup to distract myself from myself, which may or may not be the healthiest way to cope but it helped my emotions settle  down nonetheless. Although I didn't physically write an SFD, I did not continue to judge myself for my "failures." Awareness is after all the first step. Maybe I am not working as hard as I used to. But maybe I don't need to. What matters is that we are all trying our bests given the tools and circumstances granted to us even if it may not feel like it. 
"All I know is that my life is better when I assume that people are doing their best. It keeps me out of judgment and lets me focus on what is, and not what should or could be." - Brene Brown's husband

Thank you Meghan for letting me share my accomplishments yet again. And thank you all for listening to me ramble and have a lovely week! Here's to doing our best wherever we are at. 

  • Attended the first meeting of another Body Project session. I had done one about a year and a half ago now but wanted to see how much of my body-image outlook and self-confidence has changed in that time. 
  • Got to attend a pre-interview dinner for the next round of potential interns for the firm I interned at. Strange to be on the other side of things. I thought I was done wearing  But yay for free fancy food! 
  • Started the new Harry Potter book, Cursed Child! It's nothing spectacular but an easy read was exactly what I was needing. 

It's okay to lose your marbles. 
  • Had a thought-provoking conversation with my counselor last Tuesday about feelings of anxiousness and worry. I believe a little worry is good for us. I think it gives us a sense of purpose. It can be a tool for motivation. Too much, however, and it can debilitate us, overwhelming, consuming us entirely. She paralleled carrying around little bouts of anxiety to marbles; we need to learn which ones are okay to simply let roll away. In a way we need to choose what worries us. I tracked and illustrated what worried me throughout the day in a marble jar drawing. It was really interesting to see where my worries typically came from. Again, building awareness is the first step. 

  • Bonded with my aunt over dinner, TV and usual conversation. We had shrimp tempura, brown rice and sesame roasted veggies. Then watched the latest episodes of both Survivor and Amazing Race. 
  • Posted some of my favorite eats of the month
  • Discovered a new study spot on campus that meets all my criteria:

    ☑️  Available outlets
    ☑️  Comfy chairs
    ☑️  Semi-isolated but still okay for people watching
    ☑️  Natural lighting
  • Made it to the matinee showing of Kinky Boots in the nick of time!  
  • Picked up groceries for the cooking club meeting. We'll be making a beef curry dish this week! 
  • Also watched Hidden Figures as yet another form of procrastination. My university offered a free screening during the middle of the day last Friday and I couldn't turn it down. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.

Is there such a thing as giving yourself too much rest?
Do you catch yourself creating stories in your head, the beginnings of SFDs? 
What does giving your 100% mean to you? 

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  1. It's fascinating to me that we have so much trouble letting ourselves relax and recharge. Instead of recognizing it as a form of self-care, we declare ourselves lazy and feel guilty. It took me a long time (and some therapy) to realize being lazy is wonderful and something to be proud of, especially in our go, go, go, do, do, do society. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

    I want to see Hidden Figures. It's on my list.

    I hope this week is a better one for you.

    Also I love the journal. Is that a Bujo?

    1. Yes, I truly admire those who can be lazy and just do nothing. I wish my brain would just turn off sometimes.

      No, it's not a Bujo by the way.

  2. Okay, so first of all, I can 100% relate to that feeling when I feel so guilty about the things I need to do and that guilt almost makes it harder to start working on the things. Ugh. It's this nasty place where just getting the stuff done *or* just choosing to take the day/morning/whatever off would be so much better than doing neither and beating myself up. :(
    I have mixed feelings about reading Cursed Child. The Harry Potter fan in me really wants to read it, while the...other Harry Potter fan in me?...really doesn't want to be disappointed. I've heard it's pretty good if you go in just knowing it's not going to be as good as the original seven books.
    I sometimes have my students an article about SFDs; the "adult" version by Anne Lamott. I love it, but I'd never thought about applying that same philosophy to my life more generally. You're totally right; sometimes in life we've got to be okay with doing a not-so-awesome job. We can't be our best selves every single day. Then we wouldn't be our whole selves.
    What did you think of Kinky Boots? I totally want to see it sometime.

    1. I liked the plot of Cursed Child in theory. It was interesting to think about but the way it was written (very fanfic-y) didn't sit with me.

      Love this line: "We can't be our best selves every single day. Then we wouldn't be our whole selves." 👏 May have to steal it!

      Kinky Boots was pretty good! Not necessarily my favorite play but worth the watch.

  3. Okay well to start, can I steal your "mason jar marbles" idea? I think drawing this out for myself would be super interesting and helpful. I've never thought of the notion of "choose" what worries us. Thank you for sharing this - I am going to think on it and see where it takes me.
    Second - what a freaking hard feeling day/afternoon/evening for you, especially as you drove home from your parents. I know those drives all too well, unfortunately. But at least they have always given me that space to fully release what I'm needing to feel - snotty gross tears and all. Your second question is actually ironic to me. Just yesterday I found myself thinking through all my thoughts and at one point I said, "I really should be writing this down as a mind dump!" but then I thought.... but I'm working through it now, just in a different way. By letting myself write that SFD in my head, I felt better - just as I would have if I wrote it down.
    How are you feeling now that you are back in your own space? I hope the idea of starting a new week has let your brush those past feelings aside, know that you can learn from them, and now just start again. Maybe focus on doing one thing today that makes you feel proud. Email me anytime you need to rant.

    1. Of course! It was neat to see what worried me throughout the day especially the little things. I actually wrote down "Am I worrying too much?" as one of my worries. Twice.

      I am feeling alright. Still unfortunately feeling a little anticipatory guilt and stress for the weekend but not in meltdown mode. Trying to take it a moment at a time. Thank you so much for your kind words and thoughts, Cora. Will definitely take you up on that email offer some time.

  4. I guess, theoretically, "too much rest" would be if you continue to rest after you feel well-rested...but I suspect most of us feel too much guilt about being "lazy" to actually get to that point. I know I definitely have a tendency to say "too much rest" just based on time spent resting, without stopping to check whether I actually feel rested!

    1. Hmmm, interesting point. I too don't check-in with my rest levels. Or oftentimes I think that it's rest though I am not 100% resting in the moment if that makes any sense.