This I Believe

Elin - 907 42 Umeå, Sweden
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe

You may ask your mother, your friend or your working companion how they’re feeling today. But when was the last time you sat down for five minutes and asked yourself: “How am I today?”.

I asked myself how I felt one day when I sat on the bus, going to my demanding job where I was working extra during the summer. I found myself with sweaty palms, a burning yet cold feeling in my stomach and a big lump in my throat pushing water into my eyes. Still, I got to work and did my 4 stressful hours, then got home with an awful temper and went to bed angry.

The following weeks I felt the same, either if I was going to work or if I saw someone who worked there as well. My parents told me to get through the summer, and my boyfriend told me it was good money. They told me I was a hard-working girl who could handle it, but I didn’t feel that way. I cried when I was alone and secretly detailed my plan.

I was going to quit my job.

The following Saturday when I had finished my shift I went to my boss. I told him that I wanted to quit and he asked me: “Why is that?”. I responded: “If you don’t like what you’re doing, you’re not supposed to do it”. He nodded and said: “That is absolutely right”.

I called my boyfriend as soon as I got out from the building and he immediately understood what had happened because of the happier tone in my voice. I began my way home, riding my bicycle without holding on to the handlebars and smiling towards the summer-blue sky. It didn’t matter how much money I made, or how hard I could have pushed myself to get through the summer working there. Quitting made me feel free with a tingling feeling in my stomach. Suddenly I could appreciate all the green leaves and the sunset which had made my way home a bit yellow.

Since that day I find myself asking me, as often as I remember, how I’m doing. Sometimes I find myself with an aching stomach and I have to stop myself and ask “what’s wrong?” and take action. I try to pin down what’s making me feel stressed or bad in any way and trust whatever little feeling or thought I have considering any act that can make me feel better again. It can be to take a sleep-in morning or to watch TV instead of studying or just staying in a Saturday night instead of going out.

It can be hard to listen to myself, but asking how I’m doing is essential for me so that can make the best choices for myself which makes me live as happily as possible. I know how I am today, but have you asked yourself how you’re doing today? This I believe.