Overcoming being Overwhelmed

The end of one chapter marks the beginning of another.

Sophomore year already. Whew. It seems that so much has changed since I last resided at Appalachian State University. I am no longer a freshmen, my friends don’t all live in a dorm right beside mine, but rather I’m living in an apartment off-campus with one of my best friends, I now have a car so I don’t have to bum rides off of friends all the time, I’ve acquired a boyfriend who goes to a school 2 hours away, I’m becoming a leader in my campus ministry, I actually know what I want to major in, and I am starting to practice being a bit more self-sufficient.

I’m not going to lie, realizing that I am entering adulthood is scary. I realized that the other day as I was celebrating my 19th with my friends and family. I am beyond the years of large princess themed birthday parties. I am beyond the years of asking permission before leaving the house. I am beyond the years of blissful reliance on my parents. I now actually have to think about the decisions I make in daily life and in the long term and consider their outcomes. It is a bit overwhelming, trying to figure out how adults deal with things like bills, rent, groceries, cleaning, cooking, cars, gas, bus routes, scheduling events around work, investing in relationships, studying, maintaining leadership positions, etc., all the while still attempting to live as stress-free as possible. It is nothing short of a miracle that adults have any free time at all.

Just thinking about all of those responsibilities makes me feel sick to my stomach and I begin to seriously question my capability to handle so many things all at once. I think it is safe to say that everyone has felt, to some degree at some point, overwhelmed. As I was attempting to wrap my mind around all this transition, I realized that worrying will not improve the situation whatsoever. At the end of the day, God will provide (Luke 12:24) and the best way to go about solving problems is to take life one day at a time. It is kind of like looking at a “Where’s Waldo” picture.

Though the situation seems to be mass chaos from a distance, if you look closely and slowly scan along small portions of the page at a time, you will eventually find Waldo. Sometimes if life seems to be a lot like the crowd Waldo hangs out with, it may be best to find a different perspective, take it slow, and trust that there is a solution. You just might end up in a much more relaxed state of mind, or so I’ve come to find.

It is also important to remember that most of the things that seem important right now might not seem as important years down the road. Load up the pickup truck to move in and drive a couple hours up the mountain only to arrive at your apartment building and realize that the keys are back home? In a few years, it will be nothing but a funny story. (Yes, I did that, and I did cry a little.)

As my mom always says, “The only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.” I’ve never heard of anyone being presented with such a weird and unpleasant task as having to eat an entire elephant, but the principle sort of makes sense. I have to take it one day at a time.