I have been doing college for a while. I start, get distracted, do poorly, take a break, and then start again. Through the various colleges and universities that I have attended the most important thing that I have learned is that I’m more capable than I think I am.
Capabilities come in many forms. I know that I can be a successful student, friend, employee, girlfriend, family member, dog mom. This past year is the first time that I have attempted to fill all these rolls at once. I have not been successful at juggling all these rolls. Each one has had to take the back burner for a bit while other more pressing obligations (responsibilities) took center stage.
This is a huge adjustment that I have made. In my prior attempts at college when my responsibilities had me spread too thin, I quit. And I mean I quit all of them. I thought that if I couldn’t be all, all the time then I would be nothing. This all or nothing mindset kept me from moving forward. I was stuck in a pattern that always started with the best intentions only to get derailed when life happened.
Recently (the entire month of October), I have found myself slipping back into that same pattern of discouragement and having the intense desire to quit. I was finally able to recognize this horrible pattern that I had created for myself. I decided that if I was going to quit it was going to be on my terms, not because I missed an assignment or two (the actual count is somewhere around 5 depending on how you count missed and what qualities as an assignment) and got overwhelmed, stressed out, burned out, and scared. If I was going to quit, it was going to be because I wanted to. It was not going to be a reaction to all the other stuff of life. It would be a conscious decision and not a knee jerk reaction.
This epiphany took too long to come to, but I’m glad it came. Being able to recognize this pattern has made it easier for me to see patterns in my other behaviors and in those around me.