I haven't posted in a while.
Big surprise, right?
Life has been crazy lately - between school, the launch of A Different Kind of Flair, and just plain living, it's been kind of a whirlwind. This whirlwind has been different, though, and a bit sporadic.
I came to a revelation as I was getting ready for school after becoming a zombie for the entirety of last week: I have set ridiculously high standards for myself in a lot of areas of my life, but ESPECIALLY in school. Allow me to explain.
After the hell that was last Spring semester, I went into the Fall semester with the mindset that life is too short to stress out about my schoolwork. I planned on just going with the flow and accomplishing my tasks as they came; then I got sick... for THREE weeks I had a ridiculous cough, could hardly speak, and was completely zapped of energy. Homework and to do list items kept getting pushed back and began piling up. By the time Fall Break came, I knew that I had a massive amount of work to do; however, I had this crazy notion that I should actually take a break from school during my break from school. Ridiculous, right? Ah. So anyway, needless to say, last week was a nightmare - a very appropriate term since I got very little sleep. The weekend was spent camping as a leader with my high school youth girls and guys from church. It was a blast and true medicine for my soul, but I was completely worthless by Sunday afternoon. There was one point where I had fallen asleep while the Ginger in my life was trying to get me up to brush my teeth - I had fallen asleep so hard and fast that he scared the crud out of me when he lifted my hands to try to help me up. Like I said, I was worthless.
My revelation came on Monday morning. I hadn't had the chance to study for a test that I was taking on Monday afternoon and was stressing out about it big time. Seriously, at 8am my heart rate was increasing and my chest was getting tight.
Then it hit me: WHEN in my life has getting an A on every test/assignment/course been my norm?!? NEVER, that's when!! Never ever ever in my life have I been that perfect student. Not even close. I'm telling you, I didn't even graduate High School with a 3.0 (the many reasons for that can be discussed later). My first and second semesters in college were just about the same. It wasn't until I came back to college at the age of 22 that I even took my grades seriously. Even then, I was frustrated by the fact that I worked my butt off and got Bs every single stinkin' time... then the end of the semester came. For the first time in my life, I got straight As. I was so ridiculously excited. So guess what? I tried even harder the next semester and got all As and a B in College Algebra (a course that I originally failed - don't get me started on my hatred for mathematics). Again, I was stoked. Never had I been the student that the parents were proud of, but now I was. That's called success... right? Well, sort of.
As the semesters went on, I kept getting all As and the excitement grew - I had finally found my niche in the education world and I found it in English Education. The courses were more interesting, the professors were incredibly knowledgable about subjects I was interested in, and the standards began to rise - both those applied by professors and by myself. After all, I couldn't let my professors down and get a B in their course, right? I couldn't let my mom down and not get perfect grades again, right? I couldn't mess up my transcript now that it looked so good, right? Ugh. Talk about stressful.
I have come to the realization that my grades don't matter in the long run. If I get a B in a course this semester, my transcript still looks WORLDS different from my HS transcript. If an English professor doesn't approve of me or I don't perform as well as expected, I have to remember that it's not the end of the world. I have failed many a test on my academic road, but I'm still here and doing really well.
I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I should never expect myself to be that perfect student - if I do, I will fail eventually and the imaginary world that I have created will come crashing down upon me. Lessons are learned by both having successes AND making mistakes. I won't always manage my time perfectly. I might not fulfill all 27 parts of an assignment because spending time with my family and friends is far more important. AND THAT IS OKAY.
I have to keep telling myself that it is okay. That I am not a failure if I don't do it all perfectly. That it's not the most important thing in my life.
So do me a favor... be sure to remind me of that every once in a while when you see me stressing the small stuff. Pretty please. It will make us both so much happier. :)
***P.S. - PLEASE, to anyone that reads this, please do not think that this post is me taking a chance to brag about myself. There are years of deep-rooted self-esteem/worth issues that feed into this self-inflicted notion that I somehow have to be perfect at something. Years of trying to be the best at SOMETHING because that's all that was recognized. I am in NO way trying to flaunt my very recent development in the academic world; this is simply me working through my thoughts and trying to make sure that my priorities are not completely out of whack. I WAS that student that didn't give a jimmy crack corn about school, who wouldn't study for a test, who showed up simply to be there, but now I've realized that I hit the opposite side of the pendulum. This is my realization that I need to be balanced somewhere in the middle.