2/24/2016

Dealing with the Romanticization of Exhaustion

Hi there! A longer, more personal post with some advice, here. If you aren't interested in this, feel free to check out some more lighthearted, fun things like this video of puppies playing or this Melissa McCarthy clip from SNL.


I am a fairly competitive person. I usually credit my craziness to my ambition, high goals, and incredible standards, but I think most of it stems from my need to compare myself to others. "You are your own worst critic" may just be the most accurate statement on the status of my self-confidence.

Lately I have caught myself constantly thinking "I wish I was more like so-and-so" or "so-and-so does so much, I feel like I'm not doing anything." I average five to six hours of sleep a night and am constantly running between multiple organization meetings or rushing to do homework for my twenty-two credit course load - I'm not sure I actually have the grounds to say I don't do anything.

It wasn't until I read this article a wonderful friend of mine shared on Facebook that I really realized I have fallen victim to my generation's latest vogue: romanticizing exhaustion.

One of my best friends, Cat, and I call ourselves twins, a moniker earned from similar drives, ambitions, and physical characteristics. One of the biggest ways we have bonded, however, is over complaining about our schedules, often involving sentences like "I have to wear business professional all day because I have four classes, work, and three meetings" or "I'll probably pull an all-nighter because I won't get out of a meeting until late, then I need to go write a paper I have been putting off for two days, and I have an exam after so I might as well not sleep."

If you're dealing with this problem too, you may scoff at the advice I'm about to pass on, but if you happen to have any advice, please feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

While walking home from a late meeting the other night with a new friend of mine, H, I made a comparison saying that H does so much and that even with all the things I do, I'm a few levels below him. H proceeded to give me the talking-to I needed, explaining that one should never just compare number of commitments. "Think of it like stacks of books," he said. "I could have fifty small books and you could have a single book with the same total pages, but it's not the number of books that matters so much as the knowledge and happiness you glean from them." Does that make sense to y'all?

The next time you freak out about how it sounds when someone says they have dozens of responsibilities, kill the comparisons by reminding yourself the impacts you have already made and how those have made you happy.

How have you dealt with society's current romanticization of exhaustion? Share your tips below!

xx
Catch you next time.

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