Besides the weather I am doing quite nicely - well, variably nicely.
Time seems to be going incredibly fast and sometimes I struggle to keep up, but somehow I feel that my uni work is still on schedule. Or perhaps I'm delusional.
Seriously though, I am exhausted. And it's not because of the workload or because of the stress or my perfectionism. The sheer effort that it takes to keep myself from spiraling into panic mode, or alternatively complete apathy, eats up a huge amount of energy. I'll try to explain this in some more understandable way in a moment.
Physically I'm doing great - I sleep well, I exercise and I eat well (a bit too well sometimes....). I take vitamins, and every Sunday I have a proper rest day when I make myself a pile of pancakes for breakfast, accompanied with a pot of tea and stay in bed for hours doing whatever it is that I feel like doing.
Mentally I'm much better than during the summer: my mind is full of ideas and inspiration for my graduation projects. My research topics are fascinating, and I enjoy discussions with my tutors and peers to the fullest. To be surrounded with such a supportive and academically challenging environment is a gift that I'm trying to make the most of when I still can. And emotionally I'm feeling somewhat more stable and kind of alive than a while ago.
Then there is the other side.
The truth is that the amount of work that I still have ahead before I can put my head against a pillow and not think about university is crazy. I am aware that both my art project and my dissertation are quite ambitious, more so than many other undergraduate students have. I am aware that the expectations that I set myself are remarkably higher than many other students set for themselves. I know that there is a limited amount of time, and I know that it will only get more stressful towards the deadlines. My plans for post-uni life are vague at best, and I am more than painfully conscious of the unpredictability and general madness of the art world. Not to even mention the economic swamp where the whole EU is sat together.
Call me a neurotic, or a hysteric, you are probably right.
I don't know if there is any way to put into words just how much of mental struggle it takes to keep myself calm at the moment. I can do it, which is great because it allows me keep working on stuff - but it does not come without a cost. And it is super important to emphasize how this is not about me pushing myself too hard or stressing too much about uni assignments at the cost of my own health; this about me doing my utmost to retain my ability to carry through this degree doing my best, and to do it without falling apart in the process.
It's like there is this really fragile, vulnerable thing inside of my that I need to protect from the outside world until it gets stronger. And because I can't switch off the outside world, I've had to build solid walls to shelter the fragile thing. But because all kinds of things are constantly trying to break through the walls, I need to keep on repairing them day after day after day - and that is what is draining my strength. Mostly it's fine since I manage to complete my tasks in bursts of energy, and then have a break in between. I've also reduced all of my activities to only those that I actually need to or want to do. Being tired, when your brain just feels like a mush of useless, sleepy braincells is frustrating but once you accept it, you just learn to live with it. My main objective is, after all, to stay sane - everything else comes second.
And let's have a little bit of light-heartedness after all of this morbidity.
I bought a new pair of shoes! Too lazy to take picture of them myself so here's an online one.
|so much looooove|
Another current favourite of mine is a peanut butter mocha drink from my absolute fave coffee shop, Coffee#1. They recently added peanut butter syrup in their stock, and have been advertising a peanut butter hot chocolate. I don't particularly like hot chocolate so I invented my own combo, which a friend of mine completely fell in love with as well. It's just all of the best things in one mug: espresso, cocoa, peanut butter and steamed soya milk. Well, all of the best things after the very best thing in the world: tea, that is.
And since I'm such a peanut butter whore, I've discovered another fantastic way to enjoy it: a peanut butter and banana wrap! Yeah, not very thrilling as it's pretty much the same as a pb&b toast. But I just love how you can sort of squish the ingredients together once you wrap the tortilla, and also it's so easy to add some other toppings to the mix without everything ending up on your clothes or the floor. I'm personally loving some sunflower seeds and cottage cheese, quark or greek yogurt with the pb&b. And yesterday I substituted the banana with fresh strawberries and that was delicious too.
Today though, I've run out of tortillas so I've been stuffing whole wheat pitta breads with the same ingredients. Someone needs to stop me, I'm going to be the size of a whale by Christmas at this rate. Already finished a jar of peanut butter in less than 48 hours.