Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Do or do not, there is no try.

When I was little and at school, one of my teacher's (funnily enough, my Dad's) catch phrases was "there's no such word as can't". Indeed, according to him, all things were possible, I just hadn't found the solution yet. I can remember being cranky and wanting desperately to give up on whatever fantastical problem solving task he'd given me and being furiously rebellious in my head by shouting "can't can't can't" over and over. But what made me angriest still, was that I knew he was right. There was always a solution. Sometimes it was inelegant. Often I didn't like it. But there was always a way.

I find myself now, with too much on my plate and an exam that I'm certain I will fail wailing desperately in my head that I can't. I can't do this. I can't do more of this. I don't WANT to do this. And then I hear his voice as well, telling me that there's no such word. And I'm cranky. So very very cranky. I don't want to think of a solution. I don't want to work hard and that BE the solution. I just want things to be easy. But they're not.

I have too much to do and not enough time. I have too much I want to do and no ability to factor it in. And there are things that desperately need to be done that I don't want to face. And I want to hide under the blankets until it all goes away. Except it won't. And I really only have a few choices of which can't is not one.

The first choice is that I squander $2450 and a good portion of my self respect and just fail my exam. Not show up for it. Or not attempt it. Face the consequences of that. Ignore the looming deadline, be the parent and the artist I want to be, and make it up later. As if it were that easy (financial implications aside). This exam which I am sure to fail regardless of the effort of the next few weeks is more than just about getting it out of the way. The results are given to my training hospital. All my superiors are given my results. I have good reasons for not being able to study as much as my single, financially unencumbered, childless colleagues. But do you think they'll care about that? Or will I just be another clichéd woman who ought not to have been given a training place in the first instance?

There is no leeway. There is no understanding. There are no magical extra hours in the day that I'm given. And so my poor children go to vacation care every day with no parental holiday to look forward to and I force them to accept this life too while not being able to show benefit for it. There is no extra income. There is no extra time. I am not a better parent. We have no house. We own nothing. We are not building anything. Just my career which takes and takes and takes. From all of us.

And I know it gets better. I know that 5 years from now if I finally finish this that that's it. There's the finish post. The final one. 15 years after passing GAMSAT. 19 years after starting university. 32 years after starting school. It's there. And I think to myself, 5 years is really not so bad. Out of 32 it's less than 16%. I've made it 84% of the way! I have to keep going. And I hear my Dad and he smirks a bit and reminds me there's no such word as can't.

But the tantrum in my head right now is so epic. So painfully loud. It wakes me from sleep. It taunts me when awake. It clangs around and makes my eyes burn and my stomach clench and my muscles ache. And I ought to be studying right now. Practising exam questions until I can rote write beautiful essay answers and not have to have this conversation with myself again in 6 months. But instead I'm listening to the tantrum and I'm angry with myself for not listening to my Dad instead.

There is a solution. I just haven't found it. Yet.


Melissa Mitchell said...

I don't even know what to say. I can't think of anything to say that would't just make it worse. Sound trite or stupid.

But I'm here and I'm listening.

hissychick said...

There's nothing wrong with a tantrum every now and then. Given the pressure you are under I am surprised you are not up some clock tower taking random shots!

I hope today it all seems a little clearer and the breathing a little easier. If me out and let fly.

Good luck x

Penelope said...

You can do it Jenn. From what I've read in here you're pretty amazing.


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