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Saturday, May 3, 2008


As you grow older you learn about yourself. Little things, like how good a listener you are, when to leave well enough alone, when to keep your mouth shut (still working on this one), when to say you need space, to realize when others need space. You also learn what you're good at; what your true skills are, what needs work, and what skills you may never really acquire.
In school I was pretty much good at everything. It's funny when people talk about what they were good at in school because it's such a short period of one's entire life, but for someone my age school is still something you tend to judge yourself by- at 24 your time in school constitutes the majority of your life. Now I find myself in a "big-girl job," married, with a house and lots of bills that need to be paid. I can't do things just because I want to anymore, there are a lot more consequences. When it comes to careers or career changes I can't just decide based on how much I'll enjoy the job, I have to think about whether or not we can afford the change, and what the long-term effect on my life these choices will have.
As I said before, school was always pretty easy for me- I was a success. I tested well, wrote fantastic essays that got extra credit, and did just well enough in math to keep a modest grade. I always knew math was not a strong point, though I loved science. Most of the time a person is either good or bad at both. Not me, I loved the details of science but not those of math. I love the details of the human mind, of nature, of the plays on words and deeper meaning I find in literature. I like the details that stretch the mind. I never found those in my math class and so it didn't keep my attention well. Today, this affects me in new ways. I always thought I didn't succeed in math classes because I just wasn't good at it, plain and simple. My mind didn't do math. Now I realize my mind doesn't do those kinds of details naturally. The kind that take intense concentration on the smallest of decimals. The kind that is important when filling out paperwork, keeping files in order, and just plain doing the nitty gritty of a job in the business world. Its those same kind of details that I struggle with. And though it may sound like an excuse, I really think it is part of my nature to not be able to wrap my mind around those sorts of things. This is not to say I can't learn to do it, but it's a stumbling block and has been a shock to my confidence as well. I'm not used to not succeeding. And as terrible as it sounds, I'm not used to having to try so hard. A passing grade isn't enough anymore, not when money and reputation are concerned.
Now I know this, and now I have to decide if this is what I want for myself or not. I want to succeed, I will not back down from a situation just because I'm frustrated with it. However I have to decide in the long haul if this is what I want for myself.

Here is another thing that has changed since school. What happened to the social butterfly I was known as? I feel like the butterfly has crawled back into the cocoon. In high school I spent all day with people, couldn't get enough of them- over committed myself because I wanted to be everything to everyone and soak up all the world had to offer. I spent all day every day with friends, even when we needed sleep, we just napped at eachother's houses! We stayed up late, talked for hours about nothing, and enjoyed it. Now, more often than not, I want to be alone or with one or two other close friends. In large groups I'm quiet and reserved. I actually had some one tell me the other day that I needed to talk more, that I was too quite! That was truly a first. My family knows - I've never been quiet. I feel now as though I don't play well with others, at parties I'm thinking about getting home, about going to work tomorrow and how much it will suck if I'm tired for it. I avoid commitment to committees and parties because I am afraid I'll miss time with Andy or not get all the myriad of things done that I need done. Yet my car is dirty, my house is never as clean as I'd like it, and I still rarely see my husband. When did I become a homebody? Some part of me has gone missing and I don't know where it went or even how to begin looking for it. I also don't know if it's just a part of growing up. I hope it's not, I didn't intend to become a boring person as I got older. Right now, I'm feeling unfulfilled. Don't look at this as a cry for help, I'm just thinking out loud for those that wonder what I'm up to.