Over the summer, Jordan and Pete were sending me some ideas that they had for designs to go on QFYC merchandise (coming soon!). There were so many phrases that stood out to me as potential new mantras to take on, but the one that hit me most was “boycott busy.” It was one of those things where the meaning came to me progressively, more and more as time passed. At first, I wasn’t really sure what exactly it meant for me, but it felt important right away.
This summer in New York, every day was new and exciting. My job was engaging and in a field that I felt passionately about, my neighborhood was full of places to explore, and I was making new connections and building on preexisting friendships. In short, it was the perfect summer and I had never felt more alive and excited by life.
And then I came back to school. My schedule immediately filled up and when I looked at my color-coded planner—meetings in orange, assignment due dates in yellow, etc.—which has been known to bring me a sense of satisfaction in the past, I just felt empty. I quickly fell into a dull and restricting routine. Nothing excited me as much and instead of actually living, which I felt like I was doing to the fullest just a few weeks earlier, I felt like I was simply going through the motions of each day. To sum it up, I was feeling stuck.
We are told that college is “the best four years” of our life. While I’ve grown an incredible amount during these past four years and am grateful to be here, I’m not sure if I agree. I still remember that someone said to me my freshman year, “Wouldn’t it be sad if the best years of your life were over by the time you were twenty-two?” Woah…YES! The “real world” is often talked about as if it is a scary, distant place. A place that’s entirely separate from the make-believe land of college, but we must remember that we are already living our real lives. We haven’t been on hold for four years, we’ve been growing and changing and preparing for the next step, not an entirely different world. Right now, this is our reality. Yes, things will be different after graduation, that’s for sure, but we have to live for now. There’s no waiting for real life, because this is our real life!
We are so quick to say that we are “too busy” for certain things, when maybe the truth is that we just don’t feel called to participate in them—& that’s completely okay. We don’t need to make excuses or justify every decision we make, and to be honest, busyness is the most transparent excuse of them all. We are all busy, but we need to make time for the things that matter most to us. Unfortunately, it’s so easy to get caught up in obligations and “shoulds” that we tend to ignore the things that make us feel alive, excited, & fulfilled – but it’s time to devote ourselves to the things that matter. We will never get this time back, so we have to boycott busy to protect what’s important.
In addition to boycotting busy, I’m focusing on breaking out of my routine as often and in as many ways as possible. I am such a creature of habit and someone who likes structure. Even so, I know that too much structure can be confining, stunting, even. It’s so good for us to gain new perspectives and experiences. Whether it’s something as small as participating in a new event on campus or reading my poetry at an open mic, if it’s going to make me feel something new, I want to do it!
Finally, I always come back to the eternal struggle of being present and patient in all things. We must continually ground ourselves in the places that we are mentally and physically, and oftentimes busyness acts as an excuse not to spend time with ourselves. We keep busy to escape the chaotic thoughts circulating in our minds or other stresses of lives.
Busyness is an excuse and routine can quickly become an enemy to growth. I saw a quote recently really resonated with me. It read, “live less out of habit and more out of intent”. It is my hope that these goals will kick me out of this rut, help me to live each day intentionally, and bring me one step closer to building a life that feels meaningful and important to me.