Know When to Walk Away
You would have thought I had learned my lesson. I wrote briefly here about it in August of 2014. Alas, I still struggle with accepting and understanding how much bandwidth and capacity exists within me. This semester I figured I could take 18 credits hours. That’s six classes for those of you playing along on the home game. It started out well enough but by the third week I was struggling to balance my life, my work life and my new found relationship life. Something had to give.
Here’s the advice I would ever espouse if I was given the chance to speak at a high school graduation ceremony –
“You don’t know everything…and neither do I. Accept this reality, understand the humble posture that it requires and buckle up. Life isn’t fair – and no amount of your complaining, whining or attempts at posturing and justifying will change that reality. Things in life will not be handed to you or gifted to you. There is a thing called ‘intestinal fortitude’. It is defined as, ‘[having the] courage and endurance to go on.’ The World outside of these walls will measure you by your capacity for such fortitude. Fortitude is described thusly as, ‘courage in pain or adversity.’ Be willing to admit you’re wrong. Be ready to respect other’s opinions, ideas and views. Learn to not denigrate them as a human being simply because they think this and that which is so different and foreign from your own theories on life. Live humbly. Speak kindly. Love Loudly. Hug tightly. Smile widely.”
There’s plenty in there that I’ve already learned in my short thirty three years on this green ball of insanity but there’s one that I’m still struggling with and I’m convinced given the evidence it will be some time before I get this one licked. So for the second time in my reborn college career I withdrew from a class. I had chosen Introduction to Cinema Studies as a fun class to help dilute the lunacy of having four English classes in one semester. I began to feel the pressure between Intro to Linguistics, History of English, Analyzing English and Intro to Literary Studies. I plotted out my assignments for the semester and discovered that Reality was going to have a fiery crash into my world if I didn’t make a immediate course correction on the seas of my schooling.
Admitting I was wrong to take 18 credits was a week long journey. I talked with my girlfriend towards the end and she gave me a wry smile when I mentioned that I felt like I had let my Ego and Pride get in the way. It was cool to be taking 18 credit hours. I was so tired. I was working so hard. The reality was harder to accept but very easy to see. I was probably going to put myself in a coma or a funny farm if I kept the merciless schedule. Something had to give.
And so I withdrew from the class. It was a great relief. I now had four hours of my life back during the week. It’s wonderful thing. But Reality veers back into my lane with a gentle honk of the horn as if to remind me that those four hours will now be filled with studying, homework and impending essays. And I’ll give him a nod of my head and a kind wave. I’ll be a much saner Aaron for it and that’s more than enough motivation to carry on.
Someday soon I’ll be writing the words, “Tomorrow I step inside a classroom for the first time as a teacher.”
And that’ll make all of this worth it.