Posted On May 20, 2014 By In Advice For Men, Advice For Women, Girlzone

The Search for Balance: The Push Until the Crash


A text I receive far too often: Where are you? Are you dead?

I see my home as much as I seem to see sunlight—almost never. I rise early in the morning every day, then return home late on a regular basis. There’s class, or work, or my attempt to be social, or always some reason to be out.

This year, I have been trying a new plan of “productivity and proactivity.” My belief has always been that I have the same number of hours in a day as Obama, Beyoncé, or Oprah. There is no reason why I can’t be just as productive, and working toward grand things as well. I have reached the point where lethargy, or plain lack of productivity makes me uncomfortable. My ADHD mind is continuously wondering how I can be multitasking in the moment.

This plan has motivated me to study more, create more, participate more—more, more, more—to the point where every minute of my day seems to be scheduled. Although I love this new energy, I sometimes wonder when my “crash” is going to come. When will I have to classify myself as a ‘workaholic’? It’s like I can foresee the day when I just break down, and I won’t have the strength to be a Thomas the Tank Engine then. I often wonder when the “push” will become too much—and how I’ll be able to tell when I need to stop. “Know your limits” seems like an impossible feat because I never know how much I can handle until I fall off the brink of sanity.

I assuage myself every night with the reassurance that I will catch up on sleep the next night—only to find myself in the same ceaseless cycle. How many 4-hours-of-sleep nights will I really be able to handle? How many activities can I cram into my schedule before I start sacrificing more mealtimes than I already do?

How much is enough?

Perhaps it’s time to discover the foreign concept of balance. I love how I now accomplish more things in a day and procrastinate much less, but I’m beginning to contemplate how “worth it” over-working myself is.

Be gentle with yourselves, friends. I should start listening to my own advice.

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Karen hails from Boston, but she now hails to the University of Michigan, where she pursuing degrees in English and psychology (otherwise known as a career as a starving artist). Although she is still waiting on her Hogwarts acceptance letter, she aspires to be a writer or journalist. You can usually find her at the nearest Panera, discussing good films, good art, and perhaps the meaning of life.