I took my "one more mile" philosophy from last week's post seriously, and got my plans for the rest of the semester set in stone. These next few weeks are sure to fly by. When I started writing everything down on my big desk calendar, I was struck by how fast each month seems to be moving. They say that time flies when you're having fun. I think time also flies when you're flying by the seat of your pants and there's a sense of urgency behind each work day. But, you know, that's kind of the same thing....
Anyway, I had a little journey of self discovery this week. There's really no sweet student story to go along with this little life lesson, but not everything in life is learned in middle school. Otherwise, I would've figured out wayyyy more stuff when I was thirteen. This lesson came from a different kind of middle--a middle of the road place.
I think most people who know me well would consider me a terribly Type-A personality. I compulsively clean my house at random times (ask my roommates), I am notoriously organized, and I hate clutter. But this week I had a lapse in mental organization, which led to a stress/tiredness-induced meltdown moment today. Last Monday, I realized I had forgotten to turn in a major assignment for a class I'm taking for my graduate degree. This meant a zero grade. Not only was I mortified at forgetting something so important, I was also mad at myself, because the teacher in me hated that I was one of those kids that frustrates me so much at work. You know, the one who can do the work and understands what's required, and just doesn't turn it in. I was very frustrated with myself, to say the least. That first forgetful moment set the tone for the whole week. I felt like I was playing catch up and losing the race. On top of that, I was fighting this mysterious cold-like illness that was making me feel terrible.
Now, I do my best to put forth a confident image of myself. I love my job and am proud of my work. I love my life and all the relationships in it, and I strive to make those relationships strong and meaningful. But I am not too confident to admit, to God and to the Internet world, that I have a little bit of a self-doubt issue. Needless to say, my week of mental lapses and missed assignments brought that self-doubt glaringly into the forefront of my mind. I want to be more than just good at what I do, and I've always been that way. I'm a striver. However I, and I think most people, also have this desire to be validated for that striving. In my perfect world, there would be a Validation Station in each work place and neighborhood. It would be a little stand where you could go on a bad day, pay a dollar, and have a sweet, smiling person remind you how awesome you are in whatever area you feel that you are lacking. I think I could make some serious money off of this idea.
Unfortunately, there are no Validation Stations in life. It's up to me to remember that I may not be perfect, but I'm striving. And that's the important part. As long as I'm giving my best, I can stand confident in knowing that I'm in the right place at the right time. Mother Teresa said "We cannot do great things, only small things with great love." I need to remember to validate myself in the small things--the smiles and sweet moments--and remember to breathe and know that in this moment, I'm doing just fine.