So… I’ve had an Epiphany.
What is my epiphany you ask?
I will NEVER be good enough.
No no, stay with me. This isn’t a sad “woah is me” post… well hopefully not. lol.
But in the phrase “I will never be good enough,” I have found my freedom from my continuous sleep (see last post).
If I will never be good enough… then why should I continuously strive to be good enough? All my life I have always been told (not in like a mean way) that I am not good enough. “You got a B on this paper, I know next time if you study harder you can get an A.” “You got a 96 on your test! Wow that’s great! This just shows that next time you can apply yourself harder and get a 100!”
Sometimes I do get those 100s. In fact, in one of my undergrad classes my final grade was OVER a hundred. During the whole class I was only ever docked two points and I gained both of them back with 6 points of extra credit.
The problem is that in my career path no matter WHAT I DO, I will NEVER be good enough. I will publish a paper and be criticized, a student will give me a horrible review as a teacher, I won’t get the grants I need to fund my work, I’ll miss a deadline for something, I might not get tenure.
All my life I have always been in the position of academia where it is IMPOSSIBLE to be good enough. Ironically though in every day to day life, when I get criticized for something I am not one of those people who take it as a challenge to do better. If someone tells me I am not good at something, I usually quit, feeling defeated. In academia though I have always striven to be good enough because I have felt that without academia then I would be nothing.
But I think being nothing (in non-suicidal terms) is better than the crap that I deal with daily. The only joy I find in academia is helping students and completing a paper. But I hate the constant pressure that I am not a good enough student or I am not trying enough.
Lately, as you may have noticed, I have been going through a depression, and have gained a “why am I even trying anymore?” attitude. So even though I didn’t go anywhere today in anticipation of getting much work done… I didn’t get anything accomplished. Well except laundry.
But if I really hate the path that I am on now, why have I made it this far. Why am I good at something (well good at in terms of getting good grades but people keep telling me grades aren’t the important thing in grad school), but no longer have a passion for it?
I think I once had a passion for it. During my first two years of undergrad (def not the last year…. the year of my thesis… worst year ever lol). My semester of my first year of graduate school was also pretty great. I was coming a bit of a basket case at the end of the second semester first year though.
I have met amazing people on this journey. People who will be in my life forever.
While coming to this epiphany, I was thinking about the path that God wanted me to be on. I realized I have lost sight of that path and I wanted to get back on it. But I thought “If this wasn’t the path God wanted me to be on, then why would He bless me with such wonderful people in life?” Answer: Just because I accidentally took the wrong turn, doesn’t mean that God abandoned me. In fact He promises in Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” That is a for realz promise.
I have realized exactly where I took the wrong turn. Second year of college when I decided that academia was more important than my love for helping others. I quit my position as Director of Community Service for an amazing organization I was part of, because it was getting in my way of striving to be good enough in academia.
I Love(d) helping people so much. But even if I found myself in a new career in which I was helping people (such as in a nonprofit) would I be good enough there?
The answer is still probably not. BUT I would still go to bed every night knowing that I have tried to do something good for someone. Instead of just going to bed every night knowing that I still had 20 pages to write in a paper that will really have no consequence on the world since I don’t hold a PhD.
BUT this is where my OCD kicks in. What if I do something on accident that ruins the lives of one of the people who I want to help? Such as accidentally loosing a file? giving bad advice? doing something incorrect? The idea of accidentally doing something that messes up someone’s life makes the OCD siren in my head go off. I know I would continually OBSESS that I have done something wrong, and I have ruined someone’s life because I somehow screwed up.
But maybe with the continuation of my therapy that is something I can get over. I am never as happy as when I am helping people.
So maybe God sent me down this path for me to realize that it wasn’t the path for me, and now he is redirecting me back to the right path. I just pray that this redirection isn’t taking the path in reverse but finding a connecting path to the correct one.
True Fact: I will be happy if I don’t get into a graduate program. If I do, I have no idea what that means in terms of my path that God wants me to be on. If he really wants me to be in a PhD program he would open the door to find me a program that wants me with full funding. But what if I get this just b/c I have worked my butt off for the past who knows how many years. How do I figure out then what my correct path is supposed to be?
If I don’t get in. I am going to be terrified. Because I have no idea what I can do with my life. I have no skills outside of academia. But I do know I want to help people. Hopefully I will figure something out.