Back Among the Living

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"] Closed Door[/caption]

Four years ago I decided to take the leap and take some college classes. I received a small scholarship from the local community college, picked a major, and took the plunge. I decided to start with Algebra first because math has always intimidated me so I wanted to get those classes out of the way. My first test was nerve-wracking, but I ended up getting 104% on it and it dawned on me that natural talent isn't everything; if I was willing to work hard I could succeed in things that felt beyond the scope of my natural capabilities. It was a great lesson to learn and helped me move forward. My overall grade in that class was a 96. That lesson was further reinforced when I took an English and then a Government/U.S. History class...and struggled. I've always thought myself to naturally excel in those subjects so I didn't work as hard. I still ended up with an A in English, but Government netted me my first, and only, B. Ouch. Talent is not everything and is certainly not a substitute for hard work and determination. Lesson double-learned.

I quickly developed a love-hate relationship with my classes. I loved everything I was learning. I loved the hard work, the notes, the assignments, and even, strangely enough, the tests. I loved pushing myself and seeing how far I could go. It felt good to learn and grow and I loved seeing concrete evidence of the hard work and effort I was putting forth. However, I hated the stress it brought, I hated how much time classes consumed, and I hated how inactive I'd become because I spent so much time sitting reading, sitting taking quizzes and tests, and sitting doing homework. There was a definite internal struggle going on and I couldn't tell for a long time if I was supposed to push through or let it go.

So why did I finally let it go? When I signed up for this last class I saw that I was halfway to my A.A. I was briefly excited and then very discouraged that I still had so far to go. I started praying in earnest that God would show me what he wanted me to do and I finally admitted to him that I was afraid that his answer would be "quit." Slowly, gradually, I started to feel that this wasn't the right path for me. Not now, anyway. I finally took Psychology 101 and realized some things that made me rethink whether or not I really wanted to be a counselor/therapist. I also realized that I find a lot of joy and peace in other activities and I realized that schoolwork and a professional job would not be joyful or peaceful, but a struggle. Last, but not least, I've had some issues with my health and I realized recently that it really escalated when I started classes.

Looking back, I'm grateful for the things I've learned and experienced, but I'm ready to focus on some things that are truly important to me: God, family, health, and friends. The first day I decided I was done for sure, I happened to be up at school to take a midterm and I felt a sense of loss and I teared up. That feeling began to fade, though, and I quickly came out the other side and felt free. It may sound corny, but I do believe that when one door shut another one opens. I keep telling God that I'm trusting that, while letting go is hard, he has something better for me. And now I'm free to find it.



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