Today is a bad day, a crappy day, the kind of day that makes you want to sit in a seedy dark bar to be left alone and sulk with a strong drink. It’s not the worst day of my life, but it does feel like I have been thrown up against a wall and had the wind knocked out of me. I have been putting it off ever since I murmured the words “I’m going back to school” but the ghosts of my past are haunting me today. I want to fight back, but that means confronting choices and emotions I am not sure I can handle just yet.
Most people who know me well know about my past university experiences in Morris. It was possibly the most pitiful year of my life. I went into a very prestigious and respected school and failed on an epic level. My biggest mistake was to run and hide. I am the flight in the fight or flight response. It’s my nature to cave. No, I am not proud of that, but it’s important to embrace your traits in order to use them properly. I believe you should know yourself, understand how your personality helps you, and then, how to work around yourself when you get in your own way. I had one little hiccup in my first semester. I had trouble with just one assignment, which I let snowball into a cascade of “duck and cover” manuevers which translated into just not going to any class at all. I didn’t know how to reach out and ask for help. I devoted all of my time to the one class I was excelling in, choir, and fell into a deep depression. I slept, I ate, I rehearsed, I repeated. I did not go to class, I did not wake up before 9 am, and I lived with a gut aching fear of what would happen. It doesn’t take a genius to know what happened. I failed. Pretty much every class. I didn’t even understand what my options were for withdrawal, I tried to reach out for help, but usually stopped short outside or closed doors, froze, and left. When the whole year was said and done, I left with a .22 GPA. It’s embarrassing to admit, but what I am trying to do is confront the beast so I can slay it.
What happened after I left was the rest of my life. I worked my door to door job that summer (refer to the post, “out in the cold”), met my husband that Halloween, and together we helped each other out of deep ruts and made a life. The program I graduated from didn’t take into account my old GPA after I started. Obviously nothing transferred, and those classes did not follow me here outside of checking off most of my prerequisites. I got credit for the classes but not the grade points. So, I have added 6 credits of finished class work at the University to my old GPA raising it to a total of 1.54. It’s humiliating, it’s not a reflection of who I am, and it’s dragging me down like a weight around my neck. On top of that I can not find my new social security card and I received notice from the financial aid office that they need to see it to continue my aid services. I have to try to get a new one which is easier said than done when I have no transportation or time. Getting my card is just one more item on my full and tipping plate.
Today was a horrible day. It didn’t start out very bad. My husband dropped me off at the bus station and I rode into campus same as always. I went down to my nurses lounge to get work done for my online courses and immediately ran into trouble. I had to fight a knee jerk reaction to just drop it entirely. I was trying to be a good girl by pushing through and time quickly got away from me. Then my day digressed further when I left the lounge for my across campus trek to the student parent HELP center. I gave myself two hours before class to print my “ticket” to enter my only class of the day, but to no avail. The website required different software to be loaded and doing so was blocked. I asked for help, but technical support never showed up. I eventually gave up and did the work on my own lab top which has no printer access and ran all the way back across campus with the paper I needed up on the screen, but I was already late when I was half way. I showed up two minuets late and was locked out of my lab. Showing up late is not tolerated.
It feels like my whole day is a waste. My immediate reaction is to sulk into a corner and curl up in the fetal position. The ghosts of my past are pushing me to just cave and quite. Quite over one stupid day. One stupid day that is going to effect my course grade and make a complete headache for me. One day that I was not able to produce the materials I needed OR get to class on time. I hate today. It feels like a blinking neon billboard above my head reads “worthless failure”.
I called my husband at work to sulk and wanted to throw in a towel for the whole day. I was upset, and he, like always, was understanding. He said the one thing that always gets me, “I just don’t get upset over things like that.”, and he means it. He is the calm voice of reason to my wind storm of worry and doubt. I was going to just leave and call the day a loss, but instead, I am trying to put this cascade of manure behind me and accomplish something I am proud of today. I want to set aside my defeat and move forward because that is what grown ups do, and that is the example I want to set for my daughter. I of course want to set that example for my son too, but I see more of myself in her, and I want to be able to look her in the eye one day and tell her I did the right thing and she can too. So here I sit, in the Moos tower coffee shop giving the ghosts a firm kick in the ass. I am going to finish my post, open my work, and get on with life. I am me, I am Mom, I am worth while, and I WILL SUCCEED.