Monday, May 10, 2010

i'm surprised no one's told you before

I'm in the middle of exams, and it's really easy to get sucked into the super competitive atmosphere. It's exhausting and demoralizing. I kind of reached a point today where I couldn't study anymore, and felt overwhelmingly drained.

I can study all I want, but I won't get the grade that I want to get. I'm not smart enough. It's too difficult.

I realized then how close to being done my year was. Two projects and an exam away. That made me think about all the things that happened this year, and what they've meant to me. How many things I've done in 9 months, and how much everything has changed. I started to feel a little bit better then. I remembered times that seemed very difficult, and how they had worked out. Because they did work out. I made it work then, and I will now.

I think it's just as important to appreciate what you've done as it is to think about how far you have to go. It is easy for me to say that, and to be honest it is something I rarely do. I often feel overwhelmed by the expectations that I have for myself, and what I see as my limitations. I constantly feel like I should be doing more. I should be studying harder, I should be more conscience of my carbon footprint, I should be keeping in better contact with old friends. It seems that the more you try to realize your potential, the higher your expectations for yourself become. That's not a bad thing, ambition and drive are important. But it's also important to recognize how far you've already come.

As useful as it is to make resolutions on what you need to improve, how will you be happy if you don't stop and appreciate where you've been? There will always be more that you can do, or things you can improve upon. This doesn't make what you've done insignificant. Think about all the things that you've learned, all the people you've met. Make a list of accomplishments of the year. Be happy with that, because the world is different because you've done those things. Just by living your life, you have had an impact on everyone around you. Remember that when you start to feel insignificant. You are the furthest thing from that.

The road goes on for a long time, but you've made it this far. You must be doing something right. In fact, you're probably doing a lot of things right. You're probably doing more things right than you're aware of. You probably impress people all the time with what you've accomplished, but because of your own ambition you don't see it yourself. It is good to strive for more, but give yourself credit for what you've done. Recognize the beauty and the potential in the world around you, and recognize those things in yourself. No one said progress had to be linear. Let yourself see what other people see in you all the time.

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived- this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson




1 comment:

  1. Thanks Carolyn. I really needed this right now. Feeling the stress of finals, believing that I didn't study as hard as I should have, that there was more that I could have done. It really puts things into perspective and helps me to realize the things that I have accomplished this year... which I ultimately believe are a lot more valuable than school. Hope the rest of your week goes well!! :D