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3 Realizations That Made Me Stop Saying, “I’m Fine”.

Post-grad is tough. But you don't always have to pretend to be.

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Via godskingdomembassy.org

If I've learned anything after studying hard, graduating from an exceptional university, and receiving my degree (and the weighty student loans that come with it) it is that nothing comes easily, there will always be an element in your life that you wish you could stress less about, and when you simply say "I'm fine" it usually means you're quite the opposite.

It almost seems as though we live as a number of different beings as we coast and climb through the many stages of life. There's infancy, where life seems infinite and yet we are completely out of control of taking care of our own basic needs. There's adolescence, where we might learn what is right and wrong according to a figurehead whether it be a parent, a sibling, a teacher, or a friend. There's the teenage years, where we begin to feel the need to classify ourselves as "something"; a jock, a brain, a daydreamer, an outcast. There's the college years when all of those titles are blown to hell, and we really find out what we want to be. And then there is the ever-so-humbling time called "post-grad", which in my experience has you questioning almost everything, but mostly yourself.

I don't claim to be the authority on post-grad life since it has only been about 6 months since I walked across the stage and I don't claim this to be groundbreaking news. However, I can tell you that this short time has changed me and my mindset on life as I move forward into new adventures and obstacles.Post-grad life feels like the strangest time in the world; not yet adult but definitely not a child. It is the time when you have to address the regular curveballs that life hits you with on top of new stresses like student loans, job hunting and feelings of rejection and anxiety. It is enough to make a person feel like they are going insane. Through all of this negativity I've come to a few realizations and this why I've decided to stop saying the words "I'm fine" when I'm actually not at all.

1. It's time to be honest. It's soon to be the year 2016 and there is no time like the present to just start being honest, especially about your own feelings. Gone are the days of June Cleaver who was expected to carry a smile from morning until night, have her hair perfectly coiffed, and tend for everyone else's needs before her own. As far as I'm concerned 2016 will be the year of the strong woman and strong women don't feel the need to shelter their feelings from the world. For years, either by choice or unconsciously I would act as if I was fine in hopes that there would be someone out there who would be able to read my mind and break through to me and make me feel better. Even though I seemed to have found that person, I've realized its unfair to myself and my partner to be anything but truthful about how I am and what I need. By opening up and telling those around you how you feel you will certainly receive more peace of mind than if you choose to bury it inside yourself. Chances are the person you open up to won't be able to solve all of your problems, but just knowing that someone else is on the same page can help in easing the tension in the thought that you're on your own with your troubles.

2. Your problems are worth it. Once I realized that it's time to be honest about how I feel, I decided that my worries had value. Even if you are stressed over something that seems insignificant to another, if it's getting you down you don't have to be ashamed about getting worked up. No one should ever be able to make you feel as though you or your struggles aren't worth talking about. There have been times in the past where I was nervous about opening up to certain people when I was asked if I was okay because I was nervous that they had more expansive dilemmas going on in their own life. A good friend or family member should never make you feel judged for the reason that you're feeling overwhelmed. The best listener does just that, listens. If you don't have anyone in your life that you feel comfortable talking to, I find that writing it down can be just as appeasing. Either way, you and your thoughts always have value no matter how insignificant or consuming they might feel.

3. It's okay to be not fine. When you lie about being okay when you're not, you are unconsciously telling yourself that you're not allowed to be a mess. Expecting yourself to be in the highest spirits every single day of your life is improbable and realistically impossible. Some of the greatest triumphs take place after moments of tragedy. The fog will always clear, there is always light in the dark, the rain won't go on forever – and all that. The important part in being not fine is realizing it so that you can try and figure out how the hell you can move on. My stresses are best dissolved by taking an extra minute to think about how many beautiful people I have in my corner. I know that as long as I'm not fighting the good fight alone, there will always be a reason to trudge through the ugly parts of life like unemployment and debt. Today might suck and you might not feel fine, but tomorrow could be beautiful just as long as you remember to trust that your struggle will bring you vibrant success one day, even if it's not tomorrow.

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