(I do love coming up with interesting titles for my blogs. I like to imagine it's close to click-bait and also full disclosure, the pic above isn't one I took so I don't own it.)
What seemed decades ago, a boss to me: You should consider management seriously.
Me: As a profession? Yeah, no thanks, I will end up killing someone.
Ex-Boss: You're actually good with people. Maybe you'd maim, but no more.
Me: I think I'll stay where I am, happy and secure and not tempting a stint wearing orange, which is not a flattering color on me.
Me 2020 version: *After deciding to get certified in management; beginning to take classes to prepare for the exam...screams into the void...* OMG I'M DUMBER THAN DIRT AND WILL FAIL SO BADLY THAT I'LL REDEFINE THE VERY MEANING OF FAILING!
Me 2021 version: *After lots of roadblocks the first attempt I think, maybe, possibly, this shiz is sinking in and I'll maybe not fail as badly as I initially thought*
I don't know about any of you out there but personally, I suck at classroom/formalized learning. Distraction is probably my worst enemy as well as a good dose of natural antsiness. I can't sit still to save my life (unless I'm reading although I can walk and read at the same time since my peripheral is pretty epic) or do one thing at one time. I am compelled, always, to be doing a few things in concordance to one other, probably in the process, not doing any of it very well. But that's just how my brain seems to function.
When in school, I was a solid "C" student (nope, not ashamed of admitting this). Sometimes I got worse, mostly in any sort of math, and sometimes I killed it, usually in the realm of English or the arts. Of course, this all flies in the face of my brownness where I should (generalization alert!!!) have been getting straight A's in anything that had to do with numbers or equations so that I would become a doctor or engineer. That didn't happen, much to my parent's everlasting regret.
Couple the zero knack for calculating with the inability to sit still and the result is no real success to be had in the traditional school environment. Still, I had hope that my lovely personality alone would get me into a good college (I did go to college and it still shocks me that with my sad SAT scores I got into anywhere) and after that? I had the absolute gal to dream of law school but with an overall lowish GPA and LSAT scores which weren't quite abysmal but not awesome, that idea was dropped. Instead, I went on to be a paralegal/legal assistant at some big named law firms. I was good at that profession. In fact, I kicked some major bootay; where I picked up on management skills as I was a part of the Antitrust practice groups where we handled, specifically, mergers and acquisitions.
I almost reluctantly admit that I'm not much of a go-getter. Things fall into my lap or a direction is often just there, and I take it. I work hard, don’t misunderstand me, but probably when it comes to advancement, I don't work as hard as I could/should. I watch others around me taking classes, reading self-help books, attend motivational courses, really dive deep into figuring out the next phases of their life while I sit around wondering why I would even bother when I'm comfortable.
I should change the word comfortable to ‘a minion of the devil’ because when I get too much into this state of mind of contentment, it’s utter inertia. I will do everything in my power to not disturb it. Nothing can get me out in this thought process unless it’s a huge life event.
Also, let me just say that there's nothing wrong with comfort. Nothing at all. Isn’t that what most folks are just simply striving to do? I think so, but it’s problematic when it becomes a way of life that lulls you into a belief that that’s all there is to life and that nothing else matters hence no new challenges, no new adventures, no new…nothing really. For me, what I really didn't consider was that maybe I would benefit from something more?
To explain, in context, the kind of person I really am. A person said to someone I'm close to, "she may not be terribly active or do much but when she does, she really is pretty amazing."
The first time I heard this I was completely insulted, outraged even, and had I pearls on? I would have sure been clutching them. However, it took 5 short minutes to realize that the comment wasn't completely off the mark. Can't hide from yourself, kiddos, even while you try to fool everyone else. And I am not an advocate of pulling the wool over my own eyes about myself hence why I can admit that I feel like I'm legendary in my sheer laziness. Likely my biggest nemesis, I've tried to slay this particular dragon so many times. Now, I'm still lazy as the day is long, if I have the opportunity, I'll chose to do anything but what I should be doing but I'm doing a bit better with it.
Now imagine the person I just described as the same who is presently working towards getting certified, in anything, other than a slug? Yet here I am, with eyes bleeding, gazing out windows wistfully, sobbing internally as I relearn to study, educate myself, immerse. And in the process of this, I've wondered if I'm not just really setting myself up for some big huge honking fail. I mean that literally: fail the exam which is 4 agonizing hours long.
It was told to me that this certification shouldn't be taken lightly, that it's really, really hard (as if 1 really wouldn't have been enough for me to get it) and that it required lots of study time. I damn near broke into hives when I heard this. Yuck…studying. In the past as I asked supervisors if it would be a good idea to go for it, I usually clung to those who said, "no, it's not necessary" while dismissing those who said it would definitely be beneficial long term. What the hell did they know anyhow?
So how did I eventually get here?
After a few years of consecutive unemployment, looking for a new path, trying to redefine myself (lord, doesn't this sound like some new age bullshit?), and coming to the understanding that I was most motivated, downright at my best, in a fast-paced environment where I play some leadership role and work within a team environment, the words of that ex-boss came back. That, coupled with a few colleagues commending me for some projects I led, has me here, agonizing over a pending exam that is literally consuming my every waking days and nights including dreams.
Here's the thing, my lovelies, and it goes way back to my title: I can do new things and my age is not a determinant factor. I am able to 'learn' and not just life lessons, which I'm determined never to stop doing. I can actually take on a whole new subject-matter, ingest a boatload of completed unrelatable information and apply it to questions on a test and know the right answer. Then, and this I found to be the trick, relate it to my own past experiences.
Now, a manager in the making am I (sure, I've actually been one before) as defined by a leading organization who tells the world I'm legit and really know what I'm doing. Seems like such a joke in so many ways but that’s the intended end to this path, a sense of legitimacy.
Truth be told, there are times when I still wanna flip my computer over, throw shit around, burn a few textbooks on a pyre and just go for a long drive, but I resist that because I'm not an animal (I just resort to growling at the computer here and there), instead plodding on trying to prove that I am not obsolete.
Anyhow, if you're out there wondering, take it from this old bitch who believed herself to be doomed to relative obscurity in her career/life, never realizing any dreams whatsoever, that if you want to do something, at least try. I bet you didn't know there was gonna be an inspirational ending, did you?
I can also tell you that it's okay to hate every excruciating minute of it, to want to give up, to want to curse the fates. Do all that but keep going. Eventually, you'll get there or know when the best time to bow out is, which would for sure be when you've given it your honest to goodness best shot, not the type where you say it but didn't really do it (something I've been guilty of in the past).
Anyhow, thanks for reading, as usual. Show me some love, tell me what dreams you’ve had/have and how you’ve gotten there or wish you had pursued.