Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
This program I’m in? The HR Certificate? It’s not something I love. I’m about two thirds of the way through and have realized that it’s not… me, you know?
When I started it, I thought it was the perfect stepping stone for me to bridge the gap between the years of work and the years of being home with the kids. I thought it was the perfect way to stay “current” in the workplace while also being able to be at home with my babies. I thought I’d graduate and they’d be in elementary school and I’d go to work and everything would somehow fit into a perfect little picture frame. I didn’t give much thought to after-school care and how I feel about it, because those decisions feel like a million years away when you have a two year old and a baby. I didn’t think about the fact that I’ve never really enjoyed working in a corporate/for-profit environment, because I assumed that as I “matured” that would change. I had faith that I would be able to find the right place for me, that it would just have to be in a different field than I’ve been in before.
I forgot the one thing I know: When you see your path laid out clearly in front of you, it’s probably not your path.
In the past two years I’ve done calculus and statistics and excel spreadsheets and power point presentations. I’ve banged my head against walls because of required group work and I’ve told myself that lower-than-desired marks are ok (to be expected, even!) when you’re doing calculus and statistics when you had a hard enough time passing basic high school math.
I’ve read books that I love, really, really love that have changed the way I think – but never for any of my classes. I’ve had moments of relevations – but never in regards to school. I’ve taken one (1) class that I’ve actually enjoyed and felt a spark of passion about. The rest have been… a grunt. They’ve been something I’ve made myself get through.
So why am I doing this? I ask myself over and over again. Why am I putting myself in these situations that force me to be measured against something I’m not good at, don’t love and derive no satisfaction from?
Do you know what I really want to do? I want to write articles and stories and help people see that they have a flame inside themselves. I want to write it and say it over and over again until finally, I start to believe it for myself. I want to take a Masters in Women’s Studies. I want to train for marathons every couple of years. I want to hike to the North Pole. I want to stand on the edge of a volcano in Iceland and look down and be awed by the wonder of the power of the universe. I want to colour with my kids and push them on their swings. I want to hunch over and get a sore back from holding the seats of their bicycles. I want to straddle my husband, sweaty and passionate and feel completely in tune with him. I want to believe him when he tells me that I’m beautiful.
I’m taking the spring and summer off. I’m not taking any classes and I’m leaving the kids in daycare. I’m trying to get some more freelancing jobs and I’m going to read books about feminism and women and self-image. I’m going to take my kids to pioneer villages and farms. I’m going to focus on myself. And I haven’t said this to anyone yet: But I might not go back.
It’s an internal debate: money spent vs. money wasted. No one wants me to drop the program, that much I know. And I’m not saying I will, I’m just saying that I need some time to think about it. I need a few months doing things that I’m good at, because this constant measure of myself against something that I can’t/don’t want to do is taking its toll on me.
I’m almost done, three more terms and it will be over. Maybe what I need is some time away, maybe that will make me feel better about it. It definately doesn’t feel that way right now, but I accept that those feelings could change.
But I’m really, really tired of measuring myself by standards that aren’t flattering to me. I really, really don’t care about economics. I have no interest or even real comprehension of calculus or statistics or even the best way to create a power point presentation. I see very little value in group work. But by God if I haven’t been letting my ability to do the things (I don’t care about! Or even like!) define my sense of self-worth.
I don’t fit into a square-shaped slot, and this continually trying to do so is detrimental.