you don't have to be good
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Wild Geese - Mary Oliver
You do not have to be good. Its true. I don’t have to be good. In fact, I don't have to be anything. I don’t have to be skinny, I don’t have to be a straight A student. I don't have to be overcommitted, sleep deprived, stressed, and always on the brink of coming down with a cold. I don't have to be, but most days I choose to be. I choose to buy into the Vanderbilt lifestyle. I choose to believe that I need to be overcommitted, overworked, overcaffinated, yet still act like I have it all together.
But today I am choosing rest. I know…mind blowing. It is a crazy concept for many Vanderbilt students (me included) to come into the realization that all of our obligations are choices we are making. I wake up every morning and plan my day around classes and coffee dates and working out and clubs and papers, but I never plan my day around rest.
Last night I went to the Chi O house in-between class and a club meeting. I had about two hours and a long to-do list filled with homework and applications and resume prep. I sat down in the living room and was so overwhelmed. I had so much to do that night that I was making myself physically sick. I was spreading myself too thin, but it was all my own choice.
Today I made another choice. I made the radical choice to rest.
I cancelled my 7:15am Bootcamp class to sleep in and it was so good.
I ordered THE BEST caprese grilled cheese today for lunch.
I spent time with my sorority sisters and worked on a paper and didn’t schedule every single minute of my day in my planner, and it was the happiest day I have had in a while.
Somedays are going to be busy days. You might need to schedule every minute and work really hard, and thats ok.
Somedays are going to be early morning workout days. You might push yourself in the gym and sweat out some of that stress, and thats ok.
Somedays are going to be really healthy eating days. You might track your meals and and count ounces of water, and thats ok.
But whats even more ok is having days where you don't do any of those things. In fact, those days are more than ok. They are filled with thankfulness, pure joy, and a grateful heart.
So please, take a break. You don’t always have to be good.