How I Found A Work-Life Balance During My First Post-Grad Job

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Let's face it: We’ve all experienced a time in our lives where we focused more on ourselves than on those we care for the most.

It’s hard to understand life happens, and with that, sh*t happens.

There are multiple factors that pull us in different directions.

For instance, a new job, new friendships or new relationships all affect us in some way.

Other responsibilities on top of managing work, significant others and friendships are really hard to juggle.

The main problem is how we prioritize and manage to keep everyone and every path happy.

Someone once told me success comes with many setbacks.

If I had to put my life into an analogy, I would definitely be Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy, in "The Devil Wears Prada."

For those of you who don’t know the plot, Andy has a hard time juggling her relationship and friendships as her newfound career launches forward.

A couple of months ago, I went from being part-time to full-time at an amazing company.

This, in and of itself, was already taking more time away from family and friends.

Then, in just another three months, I was promoted to a different role at the same company.

This demanded more from my work and personal life.

On top of this, I also found myself in a new relationship. For the most part, I genuinely felt everything was going right in my life.

For once, I was financially stable. In this day and age, not many people can say this, and I am truly blessed for that.

Not having to worry about living paycheck to paycheck, being on good terms with family and having an amazing boyfriend?

Call it picture-perfect.

Well, except for one thing. I was losing my friendships.

Old friends from college, as well as peers from a dance company I used to passionately dance with, felt I was becoming distant.

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact the friends I used to see two or more times a week for rehearsal or just an occasional night out turned into friends I only saw every few weeks (if I was lucky).

At first, I thought I had the hang of things by GChatting, FaceTiming, texting, calling and seeing them whenever I could.

Then slowly, I started realizing keeping in touch is really hard.

Being full-time demands a lot of energy from me.

My days literally consist of me waking up, commuting to and from work, eating dinner, preparing my lunch for the next day and sleeping.

Rinse and repeat. It became a really uneventful cycle.

Whenever I received a text, just the effort of having to reply felt exhausting.

This was especially hard when I had to relay the same story to multiple groups of friends.

That, in and of itself, was my flaw. I felt drained.

I could not keep up with everything for the life of me. It got to the point where I got lazy.

I took my friendships for granted.

With this, I realized I had to change if I wanted to keep my friendships and maintain a good and healthy balance of work and my relationships.

I had to try harder.

I am not a perfect human being. I know this, and my friends know this.

What I’ve realized this coming year is a lot can change in a week. Time moves fast and doesn’t wait for anyone.

A single day without talking can turn to weeks, months and years.

I regret this so much because there are friends I haven’t contacted in months.

I feel it will be awkward if I do because I feel bad.

Why did we let our friendships get to this point?

But, I know now I can’t live in my fears and in my past.

Now, my goal is to reach out to my friends at least once a day. A short text can go a long way.

Just a simple "hello" can show your friends they are in your thoughts.

Even a quick Snapchat or a "throwback" post on Instagram of you and said friends can show you care, and they mean something to you.

I’m slowly learning how to balance work and play. It’s still in the works, but I know I’ll get there.

I am grateful for my friends and family, as they are patient with me and understand life gets in the way.

But to those who have ever felt betrayed and forgotten about, please don’t feel this way.

Some things are out of our hands. Just know you are important.

To those who are feeling overwhelmed and are struggling in life like myself, just know you are human.

You have a right to make mistakes and learn.

That is the great part of life.

You are learning and improving yourself with every step you take.

To wrap it all up, everyone just needs to engage in conversations and know there has to be a healthy checks and balance system on both ends.

You can't get through life by allocating all your energy toward one thing.

Prioritizing isn't wrong. What is wrong is when you forget about the other things.

The best way to succeed is to spread love and affection evenly among all the things in your life.