I don’t want this to be a personal blog. It’s not about me. But sometimes, especially in this position, our personal lives become impossible to ignore while doing our work.
This semester has been an emotionally difficult one for me, and I have found myself struggling with mild depression. Nothing is as easy as it used to be. I force myself to go to the cafeteria, to wait in the lines, to eat my food. I force myself to go to class. I force myself to go to my resident’s sport’s games, to talk to my RA teammates, to do office hours and rounds. After a day of making myself be physically present in all the right places, I no longer have the mental and emotional presence to bring to my hall. I can’t bring myself to clean my room, to email my residents, to do my homework, to go to the store, to advertise community builders, to go door-to-door asking my residents to sign up for one on ones. Without advertising, ingredients, and energy to promote, community builders are floundering. I am not having real conversations with many of my residents and I can’t bring myself to leave the door to my messy room open. I am not even getting my homework done. Things fall apart. Right now, it’s all I can do to look like a functional person, let alone to create an effective community.
I’m struggling, and it only hurts more to constantly feel that I am failing my own expectations. I want so badly to make this the kind of community in which people are proud to live.
But then I think about that fact that I am here to tell my residents that their pain and struggle is okay–these depressed moments are not a sign of our failure as human beings, but of our strength and ability to care. And so, in spite of my frustration with myself everyday, I’m trying to be forgiving with myself. And patient. I know I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Maybe it’s enough to keep myself afloat right now. And as for my hall, I’m trying to trust that, maybe this time, the community will come to me instead of the other way around.