In Hannah's Words....Reflections of an eleventh grader

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Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2018 10:41 am | Updated: 11:17 am, Tue Aug 7, 2018.

What We Need 

Sometimes what we need isn’t what we want. This is a lesson I feel like I’ve learned over and over, and still every time, it fails to stick in my brain. Maybe it’s because most times, it’s hard to know what we need. It’s a lot easier to know what we want, or more accurately, what we don’t want. But sometimes, the things we don’t want to do are exactly the things we need to do.   

A couple weeks ago, I felt like I was in a funk. I didn’t want to do anything or go anywhere. Even stuff that was supposed to be fun felt like an obligation and a chore. Every time I left to go do something, all I wanted was to come back home and relax on my couch, read a book, or do some cross stitching. Except, the second I got home and sat down, I couldn’t think of a single TV show I wanted to watch, I didn’t feel like reading any books, and cross stitching was driving me crazy. It literally felt like I wanted to do absolutely nothing.   

At the same time, I was dreading going back to work. I’d just finished up working four days in a row and had a couple days off before I had to head back for another long weekend. Since I mostly work evenings as a CNA, I still have all day to do whatever I want on the days when I work. Unfortunately, sometimes it just feels like I spend all day thinking about when I have to go to work, and it can feel like the day is taken up anyway. Either way, I was not looking forward to going to work on Friday, especially because I had to go in for my eight hour shift an hour early to help out one of my coworkers.   

When the day finally came, I was still feeling very unenthusiastic about it. I was imagining the stress of working a shift I don’t usually work, with residents I don’t usually work with, and trying to forget that I wasn’t even going to get off work until eleven, which is later than I usually go to bed. I knew that it wasn’t going to be the end of the world, and it probably wouldn’t be as bad as I thought it would be, so I tried to focus on that: on just going and doing the best I could, and then coming home and going to sleep.   

However, it turned out that going to work was exactly what I needed at the time. Not only going to work, but working a different shift with different people than I usually do was a much needed change. Once I got settled in, I appreciated the familiarity of my job and the satisfaction that comes with it. I liked passing ice waters to the residents, having a little conversation, joking around with a few of them. It lifted my spirits when they definitely needed lifting.   

The next couple days that I worked went smoothly, and I felt energized, rather than drained, by the thing that I hadn’t really wanted to do. After that weekend, I felt better. I appreciated the activities I was doing, I felt like reading again, and I even buckled down to keep writing a story I thought I had abandoned. Even though it was the last thing I wanted, a little productivity and socialization turned out to be the thing that clicked everything back into place for me.   

If you find yourself unhappy for whatever reason, you don’t have to just stick your head in the sand and wait for it all to go away. Of course,   it’s okay to take a break from everything if you need it, but sometimes the best thing for us is to do things that we don’t want to do. But I guess the only way to know for sure is to give it a shot. See you next week!  

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