Sunday, October 17, 2010

Too much

Raise your hand if you're a little down on yourself right now...

[Daily Bailey raises hand]

In some ways I have changed A TON in the last two months.

I do dishes regularly. I wash my sheets every two weeks. On Friday night I spent almost eight straight hours looking at election donations, line by line, categorizing them by type of donor. I don't remember the last time I gave such focus to one thing. Probably in early high school was the last time. I'm doing government reporting--every week I'm diving into a topic that I still know very little about, but I'm working hard to make it work. I went to the scene of a shooting this week, talked to a police officer, and wrote a news article on it. I've written an obituary. I plan ahead. I multi-task.

I couldn't/didn't do any of those things prior to this program.

But there are moments where I feel I just can't win. Just when I think I have my priorities figured out, something will happen to make me feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel I could be a better student if I didn't have the added bulk of work from an assistantship, but that would mean I would have to pay for school. Right now people are applying for summer internships, and I'm just trying to focus on what's right in front of me--which is about twenty things.

There are not just deadlines at the newspaper. There are deadlines everywhere.

The problem with being in a top-caliber program is that everyone is so smart. Some days I just want to walk into the classroom and announce, "All right, people. We're all smart. We all know this. So let's just let our walls down and treat each other like humans, like friends even. We don't have to be so combative, always challenging each other's ideas, one-upping each other with our knowledge."


I've all but sacrificed my social life. I tell people that my social life consists of Mike, Dibbs, and my fellow students, and I'm totally serious. I have 12 hour days and I feel sad for Dibby being left alone. I have to cut Mike off on the phone sometimes because I'm too busy, or sometimes I'm just downright falling asleep. This week we actually had to end our Skype conversation because Dibbs would not stop meowing because I had been gone all day and he wanted attention.

I can't make this stuff up.

And then Mike felt bad because I was so stressed out and he wanted to be here, and I felt bad because I couldn't give him attention, and I needed TLC just like Dibby did.

I was invited to a movie and a birthday party this weekend and skipped both of them. But do I feel like I got a lot accomplished? Not really.

Okay now I'm just complaining. But this is just a post to share that horrible feeling in your gut--the one when you think you're doing the right thing and then you get knocked on your ass. I know you've all been there. You might be there now. I would argue we're always there, to some degree.

It's really hard for me to know if I'm following God's will, but I do know that those snap-of-a-finger moments where you suddenly loathe yourself and question all your gifts and abilities are the work of Satan. You don't have to share my belief, but I sincerely believe that such is the case.

So do I feel that the opposite of low self-esteem, i.e. high self esteem, pride, are God's will? Absolutely not.

I guess I just think that trying to figure out God's will and ignoring Satan's attempts to knock us off His path are equally grueling battles. And a thousand times tougher than graduate school alone. But both are possible with Him.

I'm just feeling my lack of power without Him tonight. Not that He's not here.

Okay. Bedtime. Loves to any/all of you who are feeling the same. God is with you. You can do it.

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