Life’s Twists and Turns

Moving in didn't go exactly how I anticipated.  From getting on a flight too late to moving in technically after I was supposed to, I was a bit frazzled to say the least.  While moving myself out of my freshman dorm and stashing all of my crap in a storage unit two blocks down, I never pictured moving back into school single, on medication, and fatter.

This past summer hasn't been one of the highlights of my college career. Yes, it brought its good things and great opportunities, but it wasn't some "beach bash at the Hamptons" or "backpacking through Europe." I'm an acting major at Roosevelt and rather than going home for the summer, I stayed in Chicago. Well, Oak Park, technically. I worked as an intern for Oak Park Festival Theatre from May 24-July 25. I didn't want to go home, I feel more at home in Chicago. So I stayed.

My (then, now ex) boyfriend of 8 months lived up in Ravenswood. Going into the summer we both knew we'd be working our butts off, and that it would be a commute for us to see each other.  For all of May and June, I was kicking ass. He was kicking ass. I was cast as an understudy in the show I was working on with my internship, and I had a boyfriend who loved and supported me with my craft in the city I loved. Honestly, it took me a bit to get my footing socially with the other interns but we got to the point where we flowed as an ensemble.

Because it took me a bit, my mental health suffered. I thought I wasn't putting in enough time or effort, or that I wasn't a good enough intern. I felt alone being so far away from my boyfriend (who'd grown to be one of my best friends in the whole world) didn't help. I felt as if I could stand mid-state street, jump around and scream and no one would notice me.  Why? Was I doing something wrong?

In hindsight, I was putting in more hours in my internship than I probably should have. I didn't take care of myself (mentally or physically). I saw my boyfriend a total of three times in those two months, and only one of those times was spontaneous. We were used to seeing each other on (practically) a weekly basis.

My boyfriend and I broke up in June. He left and I felt like I'd been dumped flat on my butt in the middle of Chicago. I felt like the world had stopped. I’d lost my best friend, but I still made myself get up and go to my psychiatry appointments, go to work at my internship, and try to function. There's nothing else to do.

My doctor started me on medication, which I was completely fine with but not exactly anticipating to be honest. I worked several hours overtime on my internship and created wonderful friendships and connections with people at the theatre. I worked another internship with a summer intensive, and auditioned for a national tour of a Broadway show. I had some really great opportunities and accomplishments that I never thought I would be able to achieve and I did them myself.

Moving back into school, I got all of my boxes out of the storage unit and into my little room in the UC. I've set up shop for the most part and I'm ready for the school year to start. I had pictured moving back in and then meeting up with my ex for dinner, or him asking if I needed anything during the move, and the fact that those things didn't happen is okay. The fact that I'm getting help from specialists to help with my anxiety is okay. The fact I'm not in the shape I pictured myself being in as I started my sophomore year is okay. I'll get there. The fact that things didn't go exactly how I had pictured is okay. That's life.

Life isn't how we always picture it to be or how we anticipate it to go, especially not in college. I remember going into my freshman year with one plan and coming out not following that plan what so ever. And I wouldn't have wanted to. I don't think I would be the person I am today if I wasn't thrown the challenges that freshman year hurled at me. I’m ready for sophomore year's challenges, whether I know them, or not.