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May 15, 2013

Believe in Yourself...I Think?

This past semester has been intense. Taking seven classes has not been easy. I knew this when I enrolled for my classes last year but once you're going to school five days a week and going to work four days a week (and sometimes even more) and never having a day off when you could stay home and rest, you understand how time consuming and even LIFE consuming it is to take on this much of a load. I keep telling myself that I knew what I signed up for. At the end of the day there is my goal and that's what I'm striving for.

I've been dealing with heaps of anxiety lately, more than I have in years. I have been overwhelmed and under a lot of stress and gaining weight (-_-). This is honestly the point in time when my strength has been tested to an extreme. Have I been passing with flying colors? NO...but you know what? It's okay. It's rough but I'm human and sometimes I can't live up to my own expectations and that's okay too. I can tell you though that I've grown a lot. For example, the last time I fell into this kind of stress about school, I flunked out. I didn't e-mail professors, I didn't try to change what was going on, I just let my anxiety and stress devour me, chew me up, and spit me out. I didn't think I was good enough to do what I was studying at the time and it didn't help that my friends and family kept telling me that a theater degree was going to get me nowhere and I totally believed it. 

It's been quite a ride this semester, starting from the very beginning. I started out having to go to the hospital for a kidney infection on the first two days of the semester, the week after that my sister gets into a bad car accident and I go to the hospital late at night and leave to go to school in the morning, and then let's not forget work and all the stress it brings because I'm expected to handle responsibilities that I don't want (and honestly aren't mine to begin with). Sometime around the middle of the semester, I get hit with the flu and the week after that I break out into mysterious hives. In all, it's been quite the experience. 

This time around though, I e-mailed my professors and told them: "HEY! Listen! I care about school but I'm going through some stuff right now" and you know what? They actually listened and were compassionate and understanding! I was completely taken aback by this. I've always been the kind of person who doesn't want to share too much with their professor because well I don't know, it's almost like they're parents. Some of my classmates have great relationships with some of my professors and I always wonder how that happens but I realized (recently) that it happens by opening up. I digress. My professors have shown me that they care about what the hell is going on with me and more importantly what I can do in order to get myself back on track before it's too late. 

You know what else happened? They told me they believed in me, one in particular, and this meant the world to me. Sometimes I'm working on something and I look around and think that I'm not good enough and it eats me up. I can show my family something and they'll look at it and give me the impression that my work is a finger painting but then my professors tell me it's beautiful and I'm there like: girl... what? Are you sure? Should I change it? Seriously, are you sure? It only reinforces me that I'm doing the right thing.

I'm actually glad that everything has been happening the way that it has been. I would've never found out that I was truly passionate about graphic design (even though it was clearly obvious when I was growing up) if I hadn't failed miserably the first time around. 

Here's what I think:

1. If you find yourself anxious about school and/or work, ask yourself if you really want to be doing that? Is it worth going through anxiety or stress? 

2a. If the answer to number 1 is no, then stop doing what you're doing and if it's school FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT FLUNK OUT! WITHDRAW LIKE A MOFO! I speak from personal experience!

2b. If the answer is yes, PUSH THROUGH! Speak to your boss and/or professor and let them know the deal. Chances are they'll be on your side and will try to help you and encourage you because even when you don't believe in yourself, they might! 

3. Take the time to figure out what it is you like to do and once you do, go after it! Chase it like a beast! 

As time goes on, I know that there are times when I don't believe in myself, but if you're truly passionate about whatever it is you're doing, then you have to look ahead and not get stuck in that negative moment. Talk to someone, get it out, don't let it devour you, fight for what you want, even when you're tired. Don't forget it's okay to be indecisive, we are human after all.

,
Elba


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