MorningJoy Podcast is a biweekly podcast that focuses on education, mental health, and the music we use to cope in this crazy world. It highlights folks of color doing amazing work. 
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Damn, Why does Chipotle deliver?

Damn, Why does Chipotle deliver?

Before I moved damn near clear across the country, I was down fifteen pounds and working out two times a day. I found my solace in the gym or the running trails. Then I moved to the middle of a corn field, oops I meant I moved to Iowa--same difference really. 

I was already addicted to Chipotle before, but now that they delivered that fifteen pounds I lost came back and brought some friends. Ten pounds worth of friends to be exact. I guess my love for working out got left in a box I forgot to put in my car before I left Texas. 

They say people either eat their stress or forget to eat because they are so stressed. Clearly, I always remembered to eat. I really did not understand why or what was causing this extra stress. Obviously, my brain did not want to acknowledge the big life change that just happened. I found myself trying to operate at the same level as before. I truly never missed a step--well I guess I missed some steps in the gym. 

My point is, I was so high functioning (or so I thought) that I did not want to acknowledge the emotional strain moving away from my family and friends was taking on me. 

The learning curve in graduate school is so high that an Olympic pole vaulter could not even get over it without years of practice. But somehow I was supposed to clear the curve, make new friends, workout, and get eight hours of sleep per night. What is balance? My ass just kept ordering Chipotle and tried to keep my head above water in my classes. 

I read a thousand pages per week just for two of my classes combined and the only way I got through was with chips and guacamole in my hands as I flipped through the pages. 

On top of all the class work that caused me so much angst, I was struggling with being the only black person in every class. Yes, this takes a mental toll on you more than you would think it would. I thought I was prepared. I was tough! I had made it through high school as one of five black people. I had graduated from a predominately white institution for my undergraduate degree. However, in all honesty nothing truly prepared me (or anyone) for this.

I am not saying I was not tough, but clearly there was something going on. I mean I was ordering Chipotle even when I was not hungry; and it had not been a whole four months since my eight hour visit in a county hospital. I was searching for coping mechanisms and who the hell does not love food? Unfortunately, my anxiety caught up to me one morning before class. 

I only cried once today....

I only cried once today....

And. Still. I. Rise.

And. Still. I. Rise.