When I was younger I was a gymnast. Not, by any means, a fantastically talented gymnast; in fact, I started gymnastics at a late age and was really too old to be any more than average at it. I loved gymnastics though. I loved powdering my hands before using the uneven bars, I loved mastering a new trick, I loved practicing my flips on the trampoline. The balance beam was one of my favorite acts, however, it was also one of the most difficult. Perched on top of a skinny beam you are alone performing your tricks. Falling isn't simply hitting the mat, there is a danger of whacking a shin, elbow, or head against the hard beam. Some days it was easy to perform a trick, my body would remain perfectly centered as I pirouetted, jumped, and occasionally flipped. Other days I spent more time falling and picking myself up from the fall than I did on the actual beam. Some days I had balance, other days I didn't.
It's a bit like that now. Instead of balancing my body on a plank four inches wide, I'm balancing my life on my sanity. I feel like for years I've struggled to find the balance between responsibility and fun, adventure and reflection, relationships and solitude, chocolate and vegetables. It is more clear to me now, here in London, than ever before that striking the right balance is crucial. Unfortunately, the awareness of the need to find balance does not provide me with the guidebook. I have built in myself the habit of imbalance. I stress over not writing papers and instead of just sitting down and writing them I let the stress overwhelm me until the only thing I can do is vegetate while watching TV or reading and then I'm forced to pull all-nighters writing a paper while guzzling energy drinks and eating shit food. This is of course followed by a crash and then the vicious cycle begins again.
But I'm done with that. It just won't do anymore.
I'm learning from my mistakes. I'm practicing the art of balance. I am sleeping eight hours a night. I am working on homework in advance. I'm making sure to take breaks to explore London and to have fun. I am making wholesome meals with chicken and vegetables and fruits but I'm also eating chocolate when I want to. I'm doing what I need to to be well both academically and physically. Figuring out balance is not easy. Some days I spend far too much time watching Doctor Who and look around suddenly to find that not only have I not done any homework but I've also spent the entire day indoors. On days like that I go to be grumpy and discontent. I'm learning to listen to my instincts- my inner me doesn't want to waste days indoors getting nothing done. On the other hand, when I first arrived in London I ran around nonstop and went sightseeing and went dancing and I ended up with a nasty cold; the physical me has a limit and if I fail to respect that I can do damage.
I'm trying to learn balance but it seems that, at the same time, I'm also learning a lot about me.