Where do I even start? This past week has literally felt like the worst week of my life. I haven’t had this feeling is so long. I truly don’t even know the purpose of this post. But for some reason, in my heart, I thought by perhaps sharing my raw emotions… I could maybe resonate with some of you and we can get through these murky puddles together. Because life is tough. And NOTHING, no matter how perfect Instagram might look or what kind of material things we possess, can satisfy the real requirements that we need to thrive in life. Love. Purpose. Passion.
Before going deeper, let me start by prefacing all of this… I have an incredible life and I acknowledge the immense blessings the Lord has provided me. I realize that, by societal standards, I have nothing to really complain about. I’m privileged. Yes, I said that dreaded ‘P’ word we’ve all come to dislike. I am privileged. God has been so good to me, my family and my circumstances… and I recognize He could take it all away in an instant (if He truly wanted to). But just because I have these blessings, does not mean I am always fulfilled inside… My feelings are valid, just as yours would be when you are having an off week. You are allowed to feel whatever it is you’re feeling, no matter what. Whether you have 1 million dollars and a private jet, or only a penny to your name… You’re allowed to feel.
So, let’s have some #realtalk here! I am a generally happy and optimistic woman. I love cracking jokes, spending time with loved ones, and making people feel like they’re apart of something. But lately I am just burnt out. Take my education for example… I am a learning enthusiast and have always enjoyed it since I was a kid. But recently I’m starting to loathe the structure of my education system. Recently, University has left me no room for creative freedom and the ability to foster an innovative spirit; I have no INTRINSIC DESIRE anymore. Instead, any opportunity I get to express myself, I am being graded and asked to meet a certain level of criteria. Granted, even most jobs are like this. In fact, we’re being graded every day- I bet you are probably grading this blog post right now. But the difference is, my degree, GPA and academic worth ride on the kind of grades I get. However, the amount of shares and likes this post receives… does not. This post is strictly for me, and for the purpose of letting you know that if you are feeling down that you are not alone.
Next realization… Overextending myself. After an already hectic year of balancing between pageants, school, work, and life… I somehow managed to wrap myself into a million other commitments. Though these are commitments that I am connected to and thankful for- I wish I understood the value of down time before taking them on. You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to not feel guilty about copping out. You are allowed to do what is best for your mental well being. It’s ok. And for me? Well, I recognize that some things I’ve said yes to this year… should have been a no because I probably just needed a GOOD LONG BREAK. But I didn’t because I didn’t want to let opportunities that I’ve longed for go to waste. And now I’ve ended up spending 3 or more months fighting horrible sleeping habits due to the anxiety of doing ‘too much at once’ took over me. And we all know that causes a ripple for many other poor emotional affects to arise.
Last, but not least? Perhaps one of the BIGGEST reasons I am feeing so low and discontent (bordering on waves of depression at times) is that I am not spending enough time with God. All of my anguish over not feeding intrinsic desires, overextending myself, and the anxiety that’s accumulated up to my eyeballs… Is because I am not leaning on the one and only entity that can pull me through with superior ease. Instead, I’m staying up late until 3AM letting my loud thoughts consume me and filling my head with TRASH.
I cannot tell you the countless times over the last few months I have heard His voice whispering “Pick up your Bible, Shanelle. Just spend time with me.” But instead? I just ignore Him TOO OFTEN than I’d like to admit. It’s shameful. And what makes it worse for me is what I do alternatively… I watch drama and controversy videos online about how YouTubers like Logan Paul are harming our younger generation. I scroll endlessly through Instagram looking up inspiration photos of what I can capture with my camera next. I sit in self pity asking when will my time come for success. I have news for you friends… none of those things will ever feed your soul. And this week was a wakeup call for me to get off my merry-go-round of misery and stop filling my spirit with negativity. After all, they do say that misery loves company… and how can I be a positive light in the world when I’m not even being a light to myself?
So, yes… This week was probably the worst I’ve had in a while. (Even for reasons beyond what I’ve mentioned here, but that’s maybe a different post for another time.) I guess everything just finally came to a head and God was tapping me on the shoulder to be awakend. He aimed to restore me, strengthen me, and breathe life back into me. And just think, maybe you’re reading this post today because He wants to revitalize you too. Maybe this blog was YOUR wakeup call. Maybe it was time you realized that you need to dive deep into His word instead of the quick emotional fixes of the world.
I always try to remind you that you are made for love. I say it because I mean it. You are made for love, purpose, and passion. But I can promise you that you will not find those by dancing with antagonistic elements of life. You will only find it by filling your life with the authentic and pure desires of your heart. So I encourage you to go out and do some good today! Serve the Lord and yourself by only doing the things that give you joy… the things that you were made for.