As I relax at home for Thanksgiving break, I can’t help but dwell on different memories. Some are glimpses back into my childhood, while some are more recent, like the high points of this semester. These past few months have been a whirlwind of different tasks, projects and events. I’ve been busy with my two jobs at school, juggling internships (applications, on-boarding and actually working for them) and doing a couple social media side-hustles here and there. I love my daily routine and the people and work I’ve surrounded myself with, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get overwhelming at times.
Usually I pride myself on not being particularly impacted by stress, but I definitely have a set of coping mechanisms for when I am. I love to journal and do the stereotypical college routine of napping and watching Netflix to avoid my problems. Recently, I was putting together a fashion show at my school that required communicating with different brands, working with the national headquarters of an organization I’m in, delegating tasks to the team I’m on, advertising, working with my school for space/lighting/sound arrangements and making sure all of the models had their outfits and felt ready. I went to bed each night and woke up up each morning stressed about how it was going to go, convinced that it would be a disaster. I kept trying to imagine myself on the other end of a successful show, but it was nearly impossible to envision. The “To-Do” list seemed endless!
Between anxious thoughts, one line kept going through my head. Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, got to go through it. These are lyrics from “Going on a Bear Hunt”, a children’s song I used to love growing up. I can remember singing it with relatives on rainy days, vicariously experiencing the obstacles the bear hunters faced as they hiked through nature.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized this song wasn’t about crossing a river or strolling through a mushroom patch like the lyrics suggest. It’s actually a metaphor for life. When faced with challenges, we can’t cut corners, half-ass things or avoid them. We have to give projects our best and push through, even when what’s ahead, our own personal bear, is unpredictable and daunting. For the event to go well, I needed to stay hopeful and motivated, making sure everything got done without getting overwhelmed by what could go wrong.
The fashion show ended up going well with a high attendance, glowing models and successful partnerships with each of our sponsors. The decorations looked amazing, and there was such a positive, empowering energy in the air. Even with some smushed cupcakes and having to turn a school office into a makeshift dressing room, each challenge was met with perseverance, a great attitude and quick thinking. I felt so proud and relieved when it was over, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the amazing team of ladies I worked with and the beautiful models that owned the runway. This experience taught me that if you give something your all, keep moving forward and have great people working alongside you, ideas that seem impossible can turn into something spectacular.
I wish you all success in conquering your own “bears”, and as always, feel free to comment your thoughts below!