Honey, You Can't Do it All

I'm sitting at my desk, scattered with dirty cereal bowls, half-empty coffee cups, and mile-long to-do lists. For the five hundredth time this week, I can feel the tears building and I'm not even sure why this time. I'm overwhelmed and I'm burnt out. I didn't start writing this because I wanted to complain, I started writing because I can't be the only one. Somewhere out there, another girl is about to hit her breaking point. 

I bit off more than I could chew and now I'm choking, simple as that. The realization that you can't do it all has been in the back of my mind for years. But until this week, my brain fought back and said, "yeah? Try me."

On Saturday, after months of not finding the time, I finally refurbished my coffee table. While I painted away, I listened to Jenna Kutcher's The Goal Digger Podcast episode 10. Jenna and her guest, Lara Casey, spoke about becoming completely burnt out on their careers and lives; a seemingly constant theme among her guests. For months, I listened to her podcasts, taking in every single word of advice on achieving a work-life balance. 

I thought I could take their advice and be successful after college. In my head, that burn out, overwhelmed time in my life could only happen as a 30-something career woman. I never saw it coming at twenty.  

All semester long the weight of being a student at Texas A&M, peer advising for the ALEC department, serving as the scrapbook chair for Sigma Alpha Sorority, working for Dynamic Auction Group, and growing my own photography business, Sundance & Co., slowly built up. I normally thrive in high-stress environments, so I never once thought to slow down.

Eventually, I broke. Mentally and physically it all seemed to be crumbling around me. I was forced to slow down a bit and think about my life. I started asking myself, how did this happen? Then, last night, as I laid in bed, I flipped open Boss Bitch by Nicole Lapin and the answer stared me right in the face. I read the heading on page 69 "JUST SAY NO". 

I've spent my whole life being an over-achiever, a giver of my time, a yes-sayer. But for the good of me, I realize it's time to focus on what's important and learn to say no to the rest. I don't have any of it quite figured out yet, my life still feels in shambles. But it's time to start. 

*May 3, 2017 - 13 days later: After hitting this breaking point, writing this blog, and taking 13 days to think and reevaluate what is important in my life, I'm doing much better. So honey, trust me when I say you can't do it all... 

Julia HayComment