by USjournal Student Writer: Rebecca Darrup, Cross-Country Cowgirl
Iím not sure a semester has ever worn me out as much as this one has. Weíre halfway done now, and my time in college is winding down. Thatís crazy to think about! Itís been amazing me lately how easily I can get distracted from my long-term goals when I get lost in the little nuances and chaos of every day, and before I know it, time has flown by and I realize Iíd better start looking ahead to the next thing. Itís so important to slow down sometimes, and Iím not just talking about crawling on social media for Ďjust a minuteí before you start that next project... I wasted quite a bit of time on Facebook before I finally got to work on this!
As humans, we are occasionally guilty of doing things that we didnít want to do, just like wasting time scrolling on our phones. How often do we still make the excuse that we did when we were kids: ďI didnít mean to!Ē
We do something we didnít intend to, beat ourselves up for doing it and lose more time instead of immediately correcting it, and then what? Sometimes we make the same mistake again, right away. A few weeks ago in church, the title of the message was ďWhy Do I Do What I Donít Want To Do?Ē and it really caught my attention. I am in no position to preach, but just see if this sounds relatable to you. ďI donít understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I donít do it... I have the desire to do good, but not the power.Ē
Does that hit you like it hit me? Itís from Romans 7:15-17, which is written by a guy named Paul, one of the last people youíd expect to be one of Jesusí biggest followers Ė really imperfect, just like me and you. Sometimes, I feel like I just canít get it right, no matter what I do, and thatís how Paul was feeling here. The underlying issue is this: We get stuck in a rut and do everything except what we know we need to do to get out. We will all make mistakes, but then what? What happens next?
For me, thatís been a big problem lately. Okay, I didnít do very well in one practice run. Whatís one run, right? But then, I let it affect the next run... and the one after that... and the one after that... you see what I mean?
I do it in my interactions with my teammates and my classmates too, as well as my professors. I am the worst over-thinker you might meet, and although Iím told it doesnít seem like it, I can get pretty negative and hard on myself pretty quickly. One tiny mistake in the morning can lead to me beating myself up all day, if Iím not really careful. As Iím sure you can imagine, that leads to a vicious cycle: Itís still on my mind at night, so I donít sleep well, and I wake up doing the same thing the next day. Yucky, right? Life can be overwhelming enough without me making it harder on myself!
Thankfully, if thereís two things Iíve learned since Iíve been at Mesalands Community College, itís these:
When I can make myself take a deep breath and slow my mind down, thereís a good chance that I donít need to be panicking about whatever it is that has me so worked up. Having a loose plan and being flexible is usually better than no plan at all (because nothing gets done) or too rigid a plan (because things will go wrong and then what?). Stop and take a minute to be thankful for the small things Ė a friend who brings you a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day, the duck whoís making friends with your horse when both animals are injured, and the unexpected text from a friend or your mom when youíre nervous. Be thankful for the people who have more faith in you than you do Ė they can see the things in you that you donít. On the flip side, though, make sure you make time for what you want to do when other people have so many demands on you because of what they know you are capable of. Just a thought!
Our college rodeo season started again last weekend, and this is the end of it for me. I should have enough experience and confidence to be competing hard and doing great, right? Yeah... probably. Last weekend, though, I had one of the worst weekends Iíve had in a long time. Thanks to a handful of people, I realized that it couldíve still been worse, and that although I might not qualify to the College National Finals Rodeo, Iíve learned a lot and come a really long way since I was a freshman in college! Did I waste my time completely; did I blow it as a college athlete? Despite the fact that it sort of feels like it, thatís not the truth. Iíve made friends and connections, improved my skills, traveled to incredible places, and learned so many life lessons that I wouldíve missed out on otherwise. It doesnít mean itís not a frustrating situation, but thereís always something good.
When you make a mistake, and you will, itís okay. Youíre allowed to have a meltdown, you just canít unpack and stay there. Get back up, forgive yourself, forgive the one who wronged you, and keep on keeping on. Then comes the extra hard part Ė let it go. Donít bring it back up, let the past stay in the past. Itís hard, and sometimes a little reflection on a mistake isnít so bad because you remember what you learned, but then you have to let go of it. Otherwise, it will keep eating at you, wearing you out, and you have so much more to do than regret things!
God has a plan for you and it is good. It wonít wear you out, but leave you feeling content, tired but satisfied. Youíve got to do the best you can with what you have and where youíre at, and thatís all you can do. You wonít always do exactly what you want to do, but you have the strength to adapt and overcome.
Here are Rebecca's other posts, in case you missed them:
Best of luck in all your endeavors,
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