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  • Madelynn Lockwood

On being a work in progress: Maddy’s year in review

By: Madelynn Lockwood, Features Editor and major work in progress

At the end of my sophomore fall, I wrote one of these emotional long reflections, and I titled it “A love letter to burning the candle at both ends.” Since that time I have shied away from writing an article like that for a multitude of reasons, most of them having something to do with wanting to erase both of the semesters that came between now and then. Again, I have found myself there, but in a moment of reflection and perhaps a moment of being proud of myself — unheard of lately —, I decided this is the exact moment that I need to write another. 

This time last year I was staring into what I imagined the back half of my college career would look like: I figured I would be at the end of my first term of president of my sorority and just generally maintaining my mental health. (Now looking back, I realize it was at the very beginning of a decline.) Neither of those things happened. Instead, I lost my position on my sorority’s executive board altogether, and only within the last two months have I got my mental health back on track. This is again where I call back to that article I mentioned above with my opening line, which read, “Sometimes life will just shake you around, hit you a couple times, then put you down and claim you’re going to be just fine!” and I would like to point out that she didn’t know what the eff she was talking about yet, but she will really soon. 

Losing an executive board position seems incredibly unimportant to most people. I think that most people would perhaps have some bitterness and maybe a callous exterior, but that is not who I am. Admittedly, I am a highly sensitive person, and it crushed me… for a long time. This drastically changed many friendships, and, honestly, if you catch me on a bad day and ask me about it, I still have a hard time holding back tears. 

This blow to my confidence came at the same time that I faced what became the worst version of my anxiety and along with that finally accepting that I do, in fact, have anxiety. Throughout that acceptance process, I avoided returning to the Counseling Center after my previous counselor left, maybe because I was afraid of verbalizing my worst fears and maybe because I was so wrapped up in other things that I couldn’t see how I deserved to not feel like I was going to burst into tears at any moment.

Throughout all of this, I have been able to maintain probably the single most important relationship in my life with my love, without whom I am not confident that I would have been able to tackle this last section of life. He inadvertently helped me see the importance of tending to myself before others and how to reconnect with my faith. He didn’t do this through preaching or talking about it, but rather by doing it himself and always treating me with more love and compassion than I knew existed. He has been my biggest supporter, along with my parents, and somehow he knows exactly when to open his arms for a hug or use them to push me towards my goals.

Unfortunately, I am not able to walk away from this article or this year with the blinding optimism that I would have given you a year ago. Instead, I think that this is me understanding that I (along with every other person on this Earth) am a major work in progress; more than anything, time will continue, and life will happen. Taylor Swift will keep dropping albums, and my friends will continue to drive me nuts, and I will keep doing amazing things, and the world will not end every time my heart breaks.

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