Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Holding Pattern

I took my first graduate school course in July 2009. When I started, I was very enthusiastic about my future. I was writing creatively and looking forward to obtaining a master’s degree. As school began to take precedence in my life, the things I loved—traveling, spending time with family and friends, and writing creatively—took a back seat. As a result, my life became unfamiliar to me. As I went through the process of obtaining my degree, I felt as if I was in a holding pattern and suddenly, that fire I had about my future started to fade. It went from a blazing, excited, rambunctious inferno, to a neatly contained simmer. I began to wonder what happened to me. I am now one class and a thesis approval away from completing my degree and that slow simmer has been turned up significantly.

What happened to me along the way is my big picture goal got lost in the shuffle of all of those papers I had to write and all the books I had to read. If you find yourself pursuing a necessary and desired long-term goal, there will be times when all you can see are small and seemingly insignificant pieces of the puzzle. Keep pushing. There will be days when you wonder if you are making any progress. Persevere. There might even be moments when you question whether that long-term goal—like graduate school—is taking you on a detour from your larger purpose.  Fight through that uncertainty. 

As I look back over the last two years I realize a few things. One, two years is not that long. I’m nearly finished with my program and now I wonder where the time went. Two, what I learned about reading has helped me not only become a more critical reader, but a much more aware writer as well. Three, what I discovered about myself during those two years will be vital to my professional and personal future. I might not have felt that fire burning as significantly while I was going through the process, but now that I’m coming out on the other side, it is so back on! Push, pull, force yourself through that holding pattern. Do whatever you have to do to rekindle that fire you have for your life. It’s a great feeling and it is so worth it.

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