This year I haven’t spilled as much if any “real” tea. To be honest with you all, it has been a hard year. I have sat down to write this multiple times, but nothing worth posting has come out. I think that explains how this school year has been for me.
Normally, I am fairly confident in my ability to produce work I can be proud of. Graduate school has kind of changed that for me. At every turn in graduate school I find myself questioning my abilities. Which has spilled over (obviously) to the rest of my life.
I wasn’t born confident. I had to work up to it and continue working at it every day until at some point I just felt confident without trying (if that makes sense). Then graduate school happened and it was like I was back in high school having to fight every day to have some sort of self-confidence. The ability to look at myself in the mirror and say, “You can handle whatever life throws at you today because you are a badass, hardworking, woman who knows what she is capable of”.
I guess if this year has taught me anything it’s that sometimes shit sucks and struggles are necessary. I don’t want to assume but I have to imagine there is at least one reader out there who can relate to that statement especially at this time and place in life. Today I am talking to that reader.
It’s easy to lose yourself at a time when we are encouraged to care about everyone else just a little bit more than ourselves. I’m not saying caring about others is a bad thing. We should care about others. Life isn’t just about ‘me’ it is about ‘we’. But what I am saying is that when an airplane loses cabin pressure and the masks drop from the ceiling what are the passengers instructed to do? Put your own mask on BEFORE assisting others. The airlines seem to understand a fundamental principle I tend to forget. The principle being if we are unable to assist ourselves by prioritizing our own (mental) health then we won’t be able to adequately or beneficially assist others with theirs.
I realized unfortunately a little too late (Thanksgiving break) that I was trying to put other people’s masks on before putting on my own. I was willing to hype up and compliment everyone else on their ability to succeed but I was unable to do the same for myself. I don’t think I am alone in this. This semester it was dang hard to find and celebrate the little wins, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.
Did you turn in an assignment you didn’t think you were going to? Did you pass a test you could barely bring yourself to study for? Did you email the teacher asking for an extension or for help knowing you just couldn’t do that assignment by yourself? Did you get out of bed in the morning and try even a little bit? All of these things are little wins.
This year was all about the little wins. So as the semester raps up. As we say goodbye to the class we wish we had never had anyway, let’s think back to the little wins, and let’s prepare for some big wins in the future. Next semester and next year are just waiting for us to turn them into big wins. But for now if you need to be quiet and reflect on life, this year, anything. Do that. Put your own mask on first. Finish this year strong and remember the ability to rule your world resides inside you. Wake up and choose to rule it. I don’t know if that is tea but it is from me to WU.