I am stubborn about very strange things sometimes. I get fixated on an idea and then I really struggle to let it go. It’s not my best trait. I am pretty sure it is connected to my difficulty with life transitions, because of how I connect to an idea of how my life is and then I struggle to let it go and adjust to a new thing. Once I adjust, it is okay but man, while I am holding on to that initial idea, things can feel pretty bleak for a bit.
But you know what? I think I’m improving.
I took a lot of classes this quarter. I had 16 credits, which is not at all the maximum but is certainly a decent amount, and I have spent the last three weeks feeling frazzled and unhappy. I have been trying to get my homework done only on the weekends and failing. I have been feeling overwhelmed by everything. I expected it to just be like this the first week (I always feel like that in the first week) and when it continued straight into my third week, I despaired and thought maybe that was it. Maybe my entire quarter would be this way. Sometimes I do that. It’s a little hysterical, I know. And it’s funny for someone who is often so resistant to change. But at some point, if things don’t go the way I want them to, I just throw myself onto the floor, splay out my arms and announce to the world that this is my new life.
It’s not the best. I mean, it’s not super fun for anyone around me and it’s also not fun for me. I feel super whiny and I don’t like it but I also don’t know what to do. After all. How am I going to continue to cope with this terrible life? Woe.
I can laugh about it (and I try to, frequently) but it’s also very frustrating. After my first week of my 1 credit grammar class, I was banging my head into a wall. This was never going to work. I cannot remember specifics of grammar. I am not a person who remembers noun phrases. The entire textbook read like gibberish to me, which is not a thing I am used to. David cautiously suggested that perhaps I should drop the class but I quickly gave him all of the reasons that was CLEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. I have to graduate by next Spring, which means I must take at least 16 credits every quarter. I love Stan, my teacher, and I learned so much in the last class and surely I would learn things in this class too. This is important! I wanted to learn to write better! I frantically threw words at him and he backed away slowly.
But then last week I was in class talking to a friend and he was talking about dropping a different class and I found myself saying, “I’m thinking about dropping Stan’s class.” I knew as soon as I said it out loud that I was going to. That’s how I work. And you know. That is in fact what happened.
I have a W on my transcript now. I have decided that I’m not going to worry about it. I will take it as a reminder that I should listen to my friends even when in the throes of panic. I will have to take 17 credits one of the quarters next year. That’s okay. I’m planning on taking a number of independent study plans. I can manage 17 credits.
And then there was yesterday. Yesterday I woke up, which is a good start. It was 9am but I had slept remarkably well (if not that long). I realized I should reread my article for class that day. And that that was all right. I realized I would no longer have class on Monday mornings. That in fact, I could spend every Monday and Wednesday morning relaxing and rereading my assignments for the day. I read my article and then I read some Julia Child, which made me feel absolutely amazing about my life.
It was somewhere in there that something clicked. Everything is going to be okay. I am going to do homework during the week, like most people. I will manage my time differently. Just because I have always done it entirely on weekends in previous quarters does not mean that will work now. I have to learn to adjust to the shifts around me.
Being a student is interesting and has been challenging for me in a lot of ways. I have worked jobs with very steady schedules for a long time. I am used to putting myself on a schedule and staying with it. I’m used to being able to go home and be home and not be taking work home with me. But as a student, you can only do that for 10 weeks before you have to change it all up again. And that’s good. Learning to adapt to my life as it comes without letting it run me over is probably the most important lesson I could possibly learn. Not to mention learning where to build my own space, how to make sure I have my own time and what I need in the midst of chaos.
So you know. Everything is going to be okay. I will read Julia Child, I will learn how to write scientifically, how to read studies, the baby beginnings of statistics. On Tuesday we are going to learn skills on Excel. My brother is going to be in town this weekend and I will send him off on his amazing adventure across America with all of the support and love I have because I am honestly super proud of him.
Life is fucking good. And I feel like the best part is often when I realize it can get better.