You ever had one of those days that makes you want to crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head? The kind of day that isn’t terrible, but enough bad happens to demoralize you enough to want a redo? Yeah, I’m having one of those today.
Almost every day I wake up excited and grateful to be alive, to be a student, to drink coffee. Today I woke up and studied, went to class and took notes, then spent another hour and a half studying, went to another class, handed in a paper I’d written yesterday, met with my group for a project, studied while eating raw vegetables, then went to class and took a quiz that I’d been studying for for two days. I took a look at the first page and recognized none of the terms used in any question. The same for page two, page three and page four. Seriously, it was like one of those dreams I sometimes have about high school tests, only I had clothes on this time. I couldn’t believe it, I was stumped on almost every question.
Thing is, I really like school. A lot. I like learning about psychology, I like writing papers, I like waking up to go prepare for my future career every day; it’s neato. Not many people get to learn all day long, but I do and I enjoy every class. mostly. These times when I’m busting my butt to do well, while living in a different province from my husband and trying to live as balanced a life as I can will not always work out. I may study for hours, but sometimes it’s just not enough. With what I’m doing, I run the risk of failure: and if I do fail it’s right there in black and white on my scantron sheet, as well as recorded in some excel spreadsheet by my prof.
I knew when I went back to school that it was a risk, and I banked on me turning these few years into a long, productive, lucrative career. The fact that I could fail made the idea all the more exciting. Now that I think I could have failed something, even though it’s a small thing, it’s terrifying. I came home wanting to sleep, or cry, or eat chocolate. Anything to escape for just a few hours from my fear. Because what if I can’t do this? What if I’m not smart enough? What if…?
And then it hit me: I’m going to fail along the way. A lot. The more I try, the more I will fail. Like a baby learning to walk, falling down is expected. Funny how I had the idea that now that I’m a grown-up I should never fall. But logically, if i never fell wouldn’t that mean I’d stopped trying to walk? What about running, skipping, jumping? They all bring more falling. Thinking about not trying to learn or do things I’m not sure I can do isn’t called being an adult, it’s called keeping my world small. And if I’m going to live at all, why live small?
On second thought, I’ll risk it. Failure is a small price to pay for learning to walk. Winston Churchill said that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”. And right now, I think it’s true. It’s easy to go to school on days when I have nothing to turn in and no tests to take. It’s much harder to keep going when I’ve suffered a setback like today. But I’m going to keep going anyway. Thanks Winston 😉