Last week, during the middle of an intern interview, I found myself engrossed in a conversation about space. I’m not exactly sure how we stumbled upon this topic, but we found ourselves talking about the importance of boundaries when it comes to physical, emotional, mental and social space.
Clearly, if you want to land an internship with Twenties Unscripted, you should be able to talk about very abstract concepts and be prepared to work with a strange woman.
This idea of limited space and energy in one’s life didn’t really rise in importance for me until post college. Perhaps like everyone else I was on the endless hamster wheel of exams, papers and parties during undergrad. It never occurred to me to be deliberate about how I spent my time or expelled my energy. But, once I got my head above water (also known as survived my first post grad year), I became a lot more intentional about how I spent my time and with whom I spent that time. I became more purposeful about what things I let occupy my mind because I started to realize just how limited the space and energy in my life was. I learned how to say “no” to things that I didn’t want to do on weekends instead of feigning interest and then bailing at the last minute. I started to see time, space and energy not as infinite resources and more as limited commodities that I had to use wisely.
Recently, I made amends with a friend and it was something that was incredibly important to me. I knew it was something that was occupying an unnecessary amount of my mental and emotional energy and I couldn’t afford that. I didn’t discount how or why I felt the way I did, but I acknowledged that I’m trying to do a lot of shit in this life, too much shit to be bogged down with issues that have resolutions. There are people who hold grudges believing it gives them some sort of leverage over a person. But, they don’t realize how nasty your insides get when you hold on to the things you could just as easily let go.
I’ve written at length about letting go and it is a concept that continues to reveal itself. Because, maybe that’s what life is, a constant tide of taking some things on and letting other things go. I’ve burned some bridges. I’ve let some people in and escorted others out. I have peered very carefully at the relationships in my life and considered whether those relationships were assets or liabilities. I have been fucking selfish, hyper-aware of how my life transforms into ruins when I try to give too much of myself to too many people or too many things. I’ve learned how to put my own sanity before a shit ton of things that matter far less.
But, maybe more than anything I have been honest with myself about myself. I have started to understand the weight and responsibility that come along with being an emotional and creative person. I have started to understand just how deeply I can feel, just how much I tend to let people in and how vital it is to be intentional about that space in my life. I have started to understand that when you are trying to accomplish giant tasks, when you are trying to conquer the very world you feel is your oyster, there is limited time for kiddie games. There is limited space to devote to small thoughts and you have to decide what is significant and what is trivial. You have to let go, over and over and over again, so you don’t make the mistake of selling mental real estate to a thought or person you’ll soon evict. Maybe that’s the difference between girls and grown women. Girls react to what people bring into their lives; grown women decide who gets to bring anything into their lives. There is limited space and energy in my life. I’ve started to understand just how deliberate I have to be about it.