When I first moved to Atlanta the idea of stepping foot in Maryland ever again was blasphemous. I had spent the majority of my exceptionally awkward years in that state and the idea of returning to it usually sends me down a memory lane full of offensive teenage dialogue, local punk shows, and spending time doing stupid things with people I knew wouldn’t stick around throughout the majority of my post-Maryland life.
My choice to move to Atlanta stemmed from a desire to return home. I was born here, I had friends from elementary school here, I had family here. Recently, however, it hasn’t felt like home. I feel hurried and worn down on a weekly basis. Sitting in traffic for 45 minutes during the week and forcing myself to stick to a schedule consisting mostly of work and school is draining. I find it hard to enjoy climbing at the gym because it feels like I should be doing something more useful with my time. I get overly stressed about vacations, wanting to go to incredible places, and stressed about not having enough time to do all the things I want to do. Even in my writing I feel like it’s mostly me complaining about how hard it all is. It’s not. I’m just tired.
This past weekend I went back to Maryland. I spent most of the weekend moving between napping on the couch with a continuing stream of Harry Potter movies in the background, drinking mimosas and coffee with my Mom, and pulling plastic at the new Earth Treks gym in Crystal City. The most eventful thing I did was get my hair cut and dyed; a nice treat to myself after feeling stifled and trapped in the same routine for months. It was nice to come back to my routine and feel a little more rested, a little more prepared for the month ahead of me before my next big trip.
Maybe this is a learning moment. One of those things where I come back and I tell myself to suck it up and spend that hour at the gym after I get off work at 8pm, to really try and climb as much and as hard as possible in that hour. Maybe I’ll start juggling my homework better, finding a better balance between the multitude of readings and papers that need to get written. Maybe, I’ll start practicing German more regularly.
There’s no shortage of shit to overwhelm you in this life. Even trying to do this blogging thing can get a little daunting. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t keep going. Break up your time with things you actually enjoy. Make time for those things. Get enough sleep so you can enjoy those things.
My trip to Maryland wasn’t the most exciting but it was certainly refreshing to feel like I didn’t need to worry about anything, like I had gone home for the weekend. I got to climb with my first ever climbing partner, my Mom. I sent a v4 in the gym, one that I fell off the top of and started with a sit start on slopers (a perpetual weakness). I ran from boulder problem to boulder problem, smiling from ear to ear. I left tired and happy, read for a well earned Harry Potter nap at the house I grew up in the most.
So how do I juggle my life of school, work, internship, climbing and coaching? I don’t. There’s no juggling at all. In fact it’s more like dodgeball. But my dodgeball team is made up of a lot of great people. Well, maybe not team, more like the medics and coaches that pick you back up, make you drink water, and tell you to keep playing even though your leg is broken. You need those people too though, maybe more than any other players.