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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Need a pick me up? Have heart to heart with your strict mom.

Yesterday, mom and I got off to a strange start, with her asking me to make sure I scrubbed the pan from the baked chicken breasts I'd made to put over salads (I should probably post that recipe.)  Of course, at the time, I was in my room on the phone with an admissions counselor for a university offering courses that would lead me to a job, certifications, and licenses to mentor, teach, and tutor special ed students as a real job.  I couldn't answer her question about that stupid pan!

Of course, she came to my door with that patented expression of maternal annoyance and, 'you'd better not be ignoring me!'  I pantomimed that I was on the phone and this sparked a whole conversation in silent, expressive gesturing, silly faces and random pointing to objects.  She went back to her laptop to mind the queue for work, granting me enough time to finish with the adviser.

When I exited my room to clean that pan, I wasn't the happiest camper.  College is expensive.  Universities are expensive.  Graduate degrees, even when you're taking all your coursework online, are even more expensive than the four years you spend in a university getting your bachelor's degree.  Even with the scholarships I was eligible for, I still wouldn't be able to afford school without incurring EVEN more student loan debt and I also wouldn't have the cushion of a part-time job helping with my expenses. 

Naturally, my mother's mom sense was tingling!  She asked me what was wrong and I started weeping all over the place.  "Stop that crying!"  She said.  I was too busy being upset with all my short-comings and unemployed status to actually think about what she was really saying. Since we've reached this point where we can seriously talk to each other, she explained herself.

School is expensive- you know that.
Jobs are hard to come by- you know that too.
That job you had wasn't a good fit for you- You were always uncertain of your performance what you were being asked to do.  You recognized that.
It doesn't mean that you're broken or that there is nothing out there for you.
It doesn't mean that you can't find a good or a better job now that it's over.
It just means, you have more time to analyze yourself, to grow into a better and stronger person, and to expand on your strengths.
Don't worry about things.  Stop being sad.  It hurts me when you're sad.

This whole little speech/laundry list of how I should be conducting myself was both uplifting and made me feel a little guilty.  While I was being sad and making ugly faces, I was troubling my mom AND preventing myself from recognizing what's actually good for me.  Jobs are a means to an end, that end being, self-actualization, financial security and overall happiness.
If it is not creating one or more of those ends, it's not worth what you put in.  If it marginalizes your existence, your loves, and your self-esteem, it is completely worthless.  Sobbing over it is also worthless.  Dwelling on what might have been and what you could have done and why you weren't able to be Office Jesus will block out the room you need to seize your real blessings.  Thanks mom.  You're the queen.

I gotta remember this next time I get a application rejection letter. 

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