The New Adventure or I Am Returning To School!
For the last few years I’ve really wondered what turn my life had taken. I kept jumping from job to job, never really being happy at what I was doing. This was not a recent development. This was basically a decade of being miserable with brief hints of happiness. I don’t tend to fall in the habits of drink and drug, I did my drinking in my twenties. I still engage in the social drink now and again and rarely go off on a bender. As far as drugs go, I’ve never been a fan. I didn’t try pot until I was in my thirties and it really never did anything for me. Since I didn’t rely on either of those to fall back on, I would end up going through bouts of depression. These last 2 months were rough on me, losing both my employment and being involved in a short romance that was more intense for me emotionally than the person I was seeing (though that isn’t a fair assessment of the situation for her). So I did something the other day that, if things work out, will shake up my life considerably and I am hopeful that it will be for the better.
On May 12th 2011 I filled out my financial aid application and made the determination to return to school.
This is a giant step for me. I have actually been living in the shadow of past failures for too long. My academic career after graduating from boarding School was a string of flame-outs. I flunked out of Drew University with a perfect 0.00 Grade Point Average. I had initially put blame on my failure there on my Boarding School for not preparing me for college with its strict daily routines and regimen. The truth was I should have adapted and risen to the challenge of college but was just to lazy. The structured environment of Boarding School wasn’t to blame, I was. In fact every school I attended since 1991 I failed out of because I was just too damned lazy and take on the workload necessary. In some cases I found something to distract me that I would zoom-in on. At Landmark College in Putney, Vermont I discovered the joys of video production. It was the one class I consistently showed-up for and did my work for. Sadly I got carried away with it and ignored my other classes. It was very odd, the obsessive need to be at the editing board to splice together clips for stuff only I would watch. This was the early 90s mind you, the advent of widespread PC/Mac home editing software was hardly widespread. These days your average 14 year old can splice together their own unique PSA or music video right from their laptop. I didn’t have that luxury. I would lay-down control track, lay down sound track and then splice footage. It would have been maddening if I hadn’t become so engrossed in it. It was the one thing class I was never lazy for.
Since 1994 my life has been spent in this haze. I’ve worked more jobs than any one man not yet 40 should. I’ve spent time homeless, vagrant and despondent. I am habitually bad with my finances and am usually scrapping by and what I do make when I’m working. I’ve known for years that my education is both my downfall yet eventual savior. But I kept putting it off. I kept telling myself that I lacked the discipline to return to school and succeed at it. I honestly believed that. Previous attempts proved what I am saying to be true. So what is different this time? How am I different than I was before?
The answer is I am no different. I am the same schlub just with a healthy dose of life experience. My habits really haven’t changed that much. I’m lazy and inconsistent no matter what task I undertake. I’m going back to school and the odds are not exactly in my favor. To say “Well this time I’m going to buckle down an work hard” is ridiculous because every time I say that I always find myself falling into old habits. What I need is to realize that I’ve got some very big weaknesses and try to adjust them so I am ready to continue on this path I’ve set myself on. I am not talking about changing the basis of who or what I am, I’m talking more along the lines of adapting to the situation I’ve put myself in so that I can cope with the workload, stress and environment of academics. I cannot go into this and let the lazy side of me be pre-dominant like it has been in the past. I cannot delude myself into believing that my habits as a student are any different now than they were when I left school last time in 1994.
What I have now is 17 years of laziness and procrastination to shake off. I’ve got so much mind plaque on my brain that it will take a high dosage of mental floss to shake it all off. I think the hardest part will be doing reading because I HAVE to as opposed to reading because I WANT to. I love to read, I devour most literature put in front of me and not just comic books. Large amounts of fiction I have devoured with my eyes. Fiction of all shapes and sizes. I’ve consumed whole biographies in a few hours. Books on history, cooking, and language have all been put in my greedy little hands and more often than not get completed promptly. But that was reading at my leisure, reading at my pace for my enjoyment. Reading because it is required of me is another animal. That takes the fun of reading and makes it work and I don’t want to work while I read, it can kill the sheer joy of reading for me. That isn’t to say all required reading that I’ve done was joyless. Actual literature of classical variety I can read for a class because all I have to do is shut my brain off for fiction to take me away. It is technical manuals and math and science books that drive me bat-shit crazy. That and Faust. Seriously, Faust was something I wrestled with in Boarding School. The rhyming made it damn near impossible for me to read and that was in English! I can’t even begin to imagine knowing German and trying to read that thing in its original German. I don’t even know German but if I did I’m sure I’d be cursing up a storm in it as I tried to not go insane thanks to Goethe.
But back on point…
The next great adventure in my life is about to begin. I’ve attempted this adventure before and ended up dashed on its rocks. I need focus, I need patience and I need my brain to be at its absolute peak. I have a stronger support system now then I ever did during my previous attempts at higher education. So many friends have told me how proud they are of me for finally going back. It is good to have people be proud of you, it means that they will actually be there for you and try to inspire you to greatness you didn’t know you were capable of. I don’t know if I can achieve greatness this time out. In the past I maintained my status quo by just getting by in life. Well I’m sick of that. Just getting by means I have short-changed myself at every opportunity given to me. Well I this time no more short-changing. This time no more self-sabotage. This time I am going to get through school. I am going to get my degree and see that the second-half of my life dwarfs the first half like the Sun dwarfs even the largest planet in the Solar System.
So here is to me, bring on the classes and the work. Bring on the studying and mental fatigue. I’ll take what “requirements” you need me to and not just complete them but ACE them and not look back. I’m saying good-bye to the lazy, unmotivated shiftless layabout I’ve been and advancing to being the motivated, driven student I should have been 17 years ago. I plan to come out of this wiser, dedicated and strong in mind and body. I’ve thrown a challenge down at my own feet and you bet your ass I am going to answer it and CONQUER IT!