Ah, November. I have a soft spot for this month, because it feels like everything is finally getting settled. Not just the leaves on the ground, mind you, but also the fall season, school, routines…life in general feels like it’s finally getting it’s post-summer groove back. Do you feel the same?
When I saw down to journal about my November manifestation, I was a little unsure of what to say. Last month’s mantra to “slow down,” and I definitely lived up to my word on that one. I worked hard for sure, but also took plenty of breaks whenever I started getting frazzled. This approach, I think, helped me stay calm throughout the roller coaster first weeks of senior year, and is a huge part of the reason I’m genuinely looking forward to the next few weeks. Enjoying fulfillment in that area, though, left me totally clueless about what on earth I’d focus on next.
It took several minutes of scribbling before I finally stumbled upon the answer: TUNE OUT. I’ve always been hyper-focused on what others are saying, either to me or overheard, in person or via text or email. And not just the words themselves, but the tone behind them. This perceptiveness, however, morphed into a kind of paranoia, and I find I’m constantly poised to detect any negativity behind someone’s remark. As a result, I’m often anxious, hurt, or frustrated in cases that may or may not warrant such a reaction. I’ve honestly gotten to the point where conversations stress me out, because I’m so afraid of what people might say and how they might say it. None of these feelings is logical, of course, but I can assure you that they are very, very real.
Here at A Style Study, then, November will not only signify NaNoWriMo or #NoShaveNovember, but it will also be the month for tuning out. For interacting with people without over-analyzing everything they do or say. I really got on board with this idea the day after my journaling session, when I helped lead a workshop for freshman girls. In the meeting, we talked about assumptions and how preconceived notions (ex: “She said that to make me feel bad”) can wreck havoc on not only our relationships, but ourselves as well. Looking at the girls in front of me made me realize not only how much I’ve grown and changed in the last three years, but how ways I can still improve myself and life. I consider this “tuning out” a favor to myself, another big step away from the younger, less confident person I was then into the woman I am supposed to be.
What are you doing this November? Do you have any goals/mantras leading the way?