Monday, January 28, 2013

Priorites and Distractions

No real posting as of late, at least not since a borderline nonsensical rant about quitting running. I write this from the community college campus, the same one I attended before going after my Exercise Science Bachelor's. I'm even taking a class that I took 4 years ago. Same room. Slightly different perspective.

I remember sitting in the lab in 2008. It was Winter. I was working 30-40 hours a week at my public works job and taking classes in hopes of transferring to WMU the following fall. I needed Basic Anatomy and Physiology to acheive that. I was taking the class to get out of town. I knew that if I stayed at my job any longer, I'd be stuck there in quiet complacency. I'd be likely to have a comfortable life, and possibly move up to a management position if I was lucky enough to stay. The job was good, but I feared settling down. I knew there was more. Actually, that's bullshit. I didn't know anything. I hoped there was more. Many warned me that there wasn't, with their own settling down. I was encouraged to follow suit. Going to a university wasn't that outlandish, so it slid under the radar.

Sitting in this lab, I remember thinking about my grades. I needed a C to pass the class and move on, and that's what I got. C+. Nobody likes a showoff. This class is the gauntlet for the would-be applicants to the school's nursing program. Other institutions seem to take it a little easier, but this is where I live. Typically an A-B student, I'm somewhat intelligent, but prone to getting by on intuition. A class that requires actual, honest study time was a bit out of my range. Arrogance of youth, right? My C+ got me on to bigger and better things. I remember professors saying that graduate schools like to see B's at the minimum. "Grad School? I'm trying to get a Bachelor's. Can I go now?"

4 years, a degree, lots of travelling, moving to Boulder and back(twice), working in Therapeutic Recreation, running up mountains, working in a foundry, and growing up just a little brought me to a realization: I'm still not ready to settle down. I'm still not done learning and growing. Shit, I'm drastically underemployed with no immediate job prospects. I couldn't afford to settle down if I had to. The Bachelor's was a stepping stone, as was my time off to run and explore other careers. Formal education is great, but I learned just as much in my time galavanting around this country. I met people that opened my eyes to the notion that I needn't feel guilty about following my heart and trusting my gut.

My gut hates the "C word." Not cunt. That one's fine. Career. To me, the word career is incredibly confining. I think of people giving up their passions and their desires for another life, one that is ever consumed by doing what they don't want to do. I know colleges say "Don't get a job! Get a Career!" but I think our society has shifted quite a bit. College no longer enusres their iteration of a career. We have to ensure that ourselves.

Anyway, here I am. Needing that B the professor warned me about. The past has come back to directly bite me in the ass, costing me about $1200 and time out of my Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Am I embarassed or distraught? No. I think of how I've so poetically ended up "back where I started," and I see that life is a journey, but not always a linear one. I think of all I've done in these last few years, and I'm glad it went the way it did. We determine our own goals, and our own success. Letting past failures, or even worse, the negative influence of others, determine our futures is a crime against ourselves.

I'm back where I started, but I'm not who I was when I started. The goal is to get back out and move forward, but the process is what I care about now. My "career" has already started, for I'm not waiting for the paychecks to roll in to think about how I'm going to help people.

With a lot of editing, this would make sense.

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