Regaining Okay

Today, everyone I started uni with three years ago will hand in their final essays (and then probably go off and celebrate with a suitable amount of alcohol followed by a few days/weeks of sleep).

Taking leave from uni in October was the right thing to do. I have no doubt about that. Not going back in January was undoubtedly also the right decision at the time (albeit one which I had slightly less control over).

It doesn’t stop it being odd, though. Last week my Facebook was filled with dissertation hand-ins and this week it’s full of final hand-ins and celebrations. It feels like more than seven months since I was one of them (a living, breathing, highly caffeinated student). It feels like a lifetime ago. A lot has happened and changed in the past seven months, but it’s not just that. I really underestimated how much I was in the uni bubble, and I really underestimated how quickly I would fall out of it and feel so out of it.

Life is bringing more changes for me at the moment. I’m moving out of the place I’ve been living for five months this weekend. I’m starting a new job in the next few weeks. I’ve just finished the course I’m doing at Mind. Lots of things are changing. It’s all positive change but change nonetheless. I’ve come a long way in the past few months, but there is a long, long way still to go. I’m not working on trying to get the ‘old me’ back any more. Too much has happened and changed, and I’ve changed with it, but I’m still working on getting to a place where I have more good days than bad days, a few less ‘grief attacks’, and hopefully a lot less anxiety (something which continues to rudely interrupt my life no matter how much I tell it I’d really quite like it to disappear).

My friendships have changed, too. A lot of people who I expected to stick around haven’t, but that’s okay. It’s life. Some things some people have said or done I’ve not agreed with, but I’ve also learned to stand up to that, and I’ve learned it’s okay to leave people at a point in your life. Not everybody has to make it to your future. I’m learning to trust some of my closer friends more, and to go to them when I need them, something which is really hard to do when one of the people you always thought would be around and be there for you dies.

I don’t regret taking time out from uni. It was the right decision. It has given me space, allowed me some time to breathe, and enabled me to meet some wonderful people who I can now call my friends. I’ve really settled into a new volunteering role (which I’m hoping to keep up alongside my new job), and I would never have found it had I not arrived on their doorstep five months ago and basically spilled my life story to them and asked them if they could help me.

Even with knowing it was the right decision, it is weird seeing everyone finish and I imagine it will be weird come graduation, too. There is also a nagging voice in my head telling me I should have stuck it out and ‘just done it’ (fun little words pop up like ‘failure’ and ‘weak’). I’m trying to ignore it, though. I know that’s not the case. I’ve continued to live, continued to get up every day and do things even when they scare me, I’ve continued to work on regaining ‘okay’.

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4 thoughts on “Regaining Okay

  1. This is so true.

    I lost my mum around 2 months ago and, as a young woman, there is no denying that this is a life changer.

    I think it is at any age, but in our 20s we have to remember that we are, ourselves, going through an awful lot of change: education, jobs, accomodation/homes, relarionshios, possibility if children and marriage. Add to the mix the death of your mum, it’s a heck of a lot.

    Grief is an absolute beast. I don’t think it goes, but it’s possible to “tame” it at times. I think you said it perfectly when you said it’s okay just to be okay.

    I can only say that before my mum passed I was so enveloped trying to make sure everything was perfect: my relationship, my career, how clean the house was and even my mum’s care. Perfection isn’t what I strive for since my mum passed away- it takes too much energy and gives me nothing in return. Okay really is good enough for me.

    Stay strong and I look forward to reading you next post x

    1. Thank you for this – it’s so nice to know I’m not alone, though I’m sorry to hear about your Mum! Perfection is almost a diseasse, challenging it is brave, but also incredibly freeing. I hope you’re doing okay xxx

  2. The brave choices you have made are the complete opposite of “failure” and “weak” and tough situations show you who your true friends are. You are amazing and your Mum would be so proud of the lady you have grown into. Trust your judgement and live life to the full face challenges head on and have fun always. If it is not fun it is not worth doing and investing your time. Jxxx

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