To-Do: Self-Actualization

I met with a college advisement counselor today who advised me to meet with another advisement counselor. The first one, an elderly man with a warm smile, was checking off classes on a list, writing down programs and semester names, chatting about how education is truly the greatest profession.

I smiled. I nodded.

The whole time of course I’m thinking about how long it will be before I can finally get out of this school and start teaching. How much out-of-pocket and scholarship money it will take to complete a teaching degree. How many more semesters of my life I will be sitting in classrooms being lulled to sleep by teachers–not counting the years my own students will be lulled to sleep by me.

I’m thinking about how I don’t even want this career. I just want to write, write and be heard and accepted; write and get all these freakin’ stories out of me. Write and maybe help people. Write and get paid to do what I love, write so I can find some meaning for myself.

I’m thinking about how I don’t even care about life most days; it’s just one foot in front of the other, dragging and scuffing and stubbing my toes. I assign meaning to a college degree: when I have my BA, I will be happy. I will be self-assured. I will be successful. I will be okay.

I’m not at a place yet where I can just be happy, but I feel I should be. I think I can take some of the pressure off by reminding myself that I may never reach true joy in this life. Mostly I’ll just keep stumbling along doing my best, and sometimes not even that. And that’s okay.

So when I attend the advisement appointment tomorrow with this newly recommended adviser, I’ll tell myself that it doesn’t matter how many semesters it takes me to finish this degree.

At least I don’t have to worry about keeping self actualization on my to-do list.

And for those of you looking for some oh-so-slow music to help you keep some perspective, I suggest Low, one of my dad’s favorite bands. This song is about recognizing that even when the band members go deaf from their rock and roll days, there will be lots of perks.

So they rock out.

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