This phrase has been on my mind a lot lately. It's how I think about wielding whatever frustration I'm having in life in such a way that I get more fired up about achieving my goals and getting myself out of the bad situation. The opposite of this for me is laying around and having a pity party and feeling sorry for myself for longer than is really necessary, and wasting a bunch of time and energy in the process.

It's sort of hard for me to know sometimes when I'm wallowing, and when I'm just giving myself an opportunity to cycle through my feelings. I had a mini-freakout on thursday morning and texted a close friend about it- "I'm upset at my aunt, I'm upset that my family is not supportive or available and can't help me through this, I'm upset that I'm struggling to find work and an apartment in the middle of midterms after being falsely promised that I had a safe place to go, and wading through these hurt feelings about all that's happened. I'm upset that someone else who was supposed to always be there turned out to be unhealthy and let me down. I'm upset, I'm upset, I'm upset." Instead of feeding into all of that or coddling me, she texted back "I love you and you're not alone, but this happened a few weeks ago and I think you are letting your aunt and your family own you, despite all you've got going for you right now. You have work to do."

I was really glad that she had the courage to do this for me and tell me straight-up. It snapped me out of the pity cycle I was spinning in. But, at the same time, I realize I need those days like last Wednesday, when my body was so tired from running so hard and being so scared and sleep deprived, that I needed a day of doing nothing to let myself recover a little.

I visited my mom and grandfather a little bit this weekend as I was dropping things off at the storage unit in preparation for my next move. It's always a little hard being here, they share a really small apartment, my mom works two jobs and takes care of my grandfather to a certain extent, and the place is cramped and dirty. I try to take care of it a little when I come down to see them once every few months. I'm seeing now that even though couch surfing isn't perfectly ideal, I'm better off doing that than being here.

I had a talk with my grandfather who made me promises that he would be able to continue to help me pay for a few basic items while I look for work- it turns out that's not the case anymore for the foreseeable future. After that, I had this moment where I felt myself teetering on an edge between falling back into a dark place and getting weepy and pissed off about my situation, and doing something different. I got up and went to a coffee shop with my laptop and started applying for jobs, worked on the homework I've missed, began my FAFSA for next spring, and made a profile on the school's career center website so I can be considered for jobs at the college. I guess I'm kind of doing the same thing now- if I'm at my mother's for too long I get anxious and upset with her for not cleaning, for taking in strays that might get the indoor cats sick, for stuff that's really not my place to comment on and totally out of my control. I'm at the coffee place again, teaching myself the french lesson I missed on wednesday and doing research (I'm on my long pomodoro break as I write this.) It feels good. It feels like I'm doing what's right to take care of myself instead of waiting for someone to pick me up. And, on the upside, I continue to be blown away by the generosity of my friends and even minor acquaintances I don't know that well, that have reached out to me with encouraging words, leads on jobs, offers of places to crash etc.

Anyway, perspective is a choice, right? I've had a lot of reminders of this lately.