Break out of routine? (Journal#008)

Working Bird

Working Bird

My therapist asked me a pretty simple question. She said I had previously expressed an interest in going back to school. She asked me why I don’t do so now (since my life is rather in transition anyway)? She wasn’t telling me to or telling me not to — it was more like a question for me to ask myself. So I just took the briefest of glances at a website that gives student ratings and price comparisons for various online schools.

And I’m posting here because I had this flash feeling of … possibility. Like, I could DO this. It’s really possible. Some of these tuition rates are not so out of reach (assuming I also get scholarships, which I’d definitely apply for).

Can you even imagine it? Me? Quitting my day job and taking CLASSES again? Can you imagine me getting a B.S. or something? It’s so crazy and free-feeling. I don’t actually see how a B.S. could help me in the future, but I crave one. It’s an old standard of self-worth I’ve struggled against for years (in my family, it was always just an assumption that we’d go to college after high school. What else would we do? Then I had my first mental breakdown and had to come to terms with a different outlook on my life). It’s years of coming to terms with being the low man on the educational totem pole in my entire extended family (minus the guy who just graduated high school this year). I’ve swallowed down most of that pretty successfully but seeing this now… so potentially doable… It’s a bit intoxicating.

It would turn my life upside down again. I cannot FATHOM not having work as the main focus. I actually just recently took on second, part-time job in addition to my “real” job. Even though that’s the kind of thing that aided to my most recent mental breakdown, and even my mom discouraged me from accepting this contract, I still found I could NOT pass up an opportunity to earn more money.

Could I relinquish the main focus of money-earning? Or would I be too insecure-feeling? I’d still hold onto the part-time contract, as possible.

I’m just such a BAD student, on top of this. I can’t read a text book to save my life and I miss assignments any time they deviate from the syllabus. I have to get special permissions for notetakers in class because my own notes consistently focus on the wrong things the professors say (what’s important and interesting to me turns out to be things that don’t show up on exams). I get special permissions to have my textbooks turned into audio files that I can listen to. But I can’t write a paper to save my life, either (you’ve all seen my writing. Imagine me formatting this into a coherent, linear, grammatically-correct document?).

But I freaking LOVE learning. If I could, I’d audit every class in the world. (Here, auditing means attending lectures but not having to turn in papers or take tests, and of course receive no credit for having audited the course).

I’m usually good at test-taking, so long as the tests are based on concepts and not precise details. I won’t remember dates. I won’t remember names. But I’ll remember a concept forever once I get it. I’m not afraid of the tests. It’s EVERYTHING else that I’m afraid of.

The idea of turning up my comfy world and trying something so different feels a bit like removing the safety net from beneath me. It’s terrifying. BUT SO TEMPTING!!!!! Can you imagine??? My life would be so, SO different.

AND, what would I focus on?? My first try at college would have had me wind up with an Art degree. I only needed the upper levels courses for that — I completed all the basics for it. But now, because I freaking love writing out monthly budgets and love the topic of money in general and most things that have to do with money, I have started to think I’d be really interested in Accounting. If I scroll down a list of topics, all of them sound interesting, too. So hmmmmm… At the same time, would I be able to handle a more sedentary job? I love computer work and definitely prefer that aspect of my current job. But historically, I really do best with tactile, hands-on jobs. And my REAL dream is to work in Animal Rescue, so what could I study that would help me with that? I’m too allergic to animals to do VETT studies.

I like to imagine I’d have the self-discipline nowadays to accomplish online courses. But in reality? I really don’t know. I have not had motivation in the past — I’ve done much better with in-person lectures. I’m living within walking/bicycling distance of several colleges/schools right now — it’s not impossible to think of taking in-person classes. But then I’d have to deal with my own tendency toward tardiness. I have no track record for attending classes on time, because of my anxiety. So much to consider and no idea how to decide!

Update: I’m not sure why wordpress deleted all of my paragraph breaks. I think I’ve put them back in where they were originally, but it might not be identical.

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4 thoughts on “Break out of routine? (Journal#008)

  1. Some observations/extrapolations. You said: “And my REAL dream is to work in Animal Rescue/I’m too allergic to animals “. Perhaps you’re only allergic to a subset and could work in a specialty with others – e.g. birds. Also, how about volunteering with some animal rescue orgs to see whether the dream matches the reality.
    You said: “I cannot FATHOM not having work as the main focus/But I freaking LOVE learning.” How about working full time and studying part time. Then you’re trying something different without removing the safety net. I don’t know enough about your jobs/you to know if this is practical.
    You said: “in my family, it was always just an assumption that we’d go to college after high school. What else would we do? Then I had my first mental breakdown” how about taking classes in subjects that you want to learn (whether or not they feed into a degree or career) and set aside family expectations. (You may have to listen to Mom’s advice (or mine), but you don’t have to take it. 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! 🙂 I’ll try to answer your questions~
      1. For allergies, I’m allergic to feathers, too. And saliva and dander. It’s a bummer.
      2. I like the idea of seeing what it’s like at the rescue orgs to make sure it’s what I want before I go all out on this.
      3. Personally, I’m not really capable of splitting my energies into two. It’s like, if I’m focusing on school, all of my energy goes there and my work suffers. I’ve tried to work full time and just take a single class on the side, and it was way too much for me.
      4. I like that idea, too – of taking classes but just for interest, not for the focus of a degree/etc. That would help me keep the stress down, I think.
      Hmmmmm. Lots to think about!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cool – I’m glad some of the ideas were potentially useful. Bummer about the allergies. I know the feeling, I love cats but can’t touch them or I pay the price. Great that you know your limitations about your ability to expend energy – that helps the decision making I’m sure.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s great that you’re looking at the possibilities available to you, and I think you are doing the right thing by trying to consider several alternatives. If I was to make any suggestion (not something I’m ever keen on doing) I would just remind you that it’s for you that you have to consider these things. Don’t add pressure by worrying what everyone else wants, for that matter, just don’t worry. But when considering things, remember that in the end, it’s what’s going to make you happy that really counts. As for the paragraph breaks, my theme tends to do that also if I use Office to write the draft, and then cut/paste multiple paragraphs. A bit of a nuisance, but no real biggie. So take care, stay healthy, and I’ll read you later.

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