Because I am tired of being the "dumb" one on the audio team at church, this fall I decided to take a college course on sound mixing at a local community college. Oh boy. Last week I got a first look at my thick textbook and a surge of anxiety shot through my body like a bullet. It is very math/physics heavy, and let's just say that I am not a math specialist. This is hysterical, given that I graduated with a degree in Accounting/Finance. The world at large is safe, however, because I am a homemaker and not working in that field!
|A little thicker than I anticipated|
When I first went back to college to get my degree (at the age of 36) I had to take a few remedial math courses first, before I could even take the basic accounting courses. One of my advisors asked me why I was pursuing an accounting degree if I wasn't good at math. I told him that I liked a challenge and that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. (Plus, I hate writing term papers. I figured there would be fewer research reports in a math heavy field and I obsess SO much about accidental plagiarism!) I think he thought I was a little crazy.
With some at home tutoring from my husband (yes, I know, this guy manages to show up in almost all of my stories), I managed to do very well in my classes. But, I literally made myself sick with anxiety. I considered anything less than an A to be an absolute, dismal failure. Nothing else was acceptable. Believe it or not, that was part of the reason I ended up in my psychologist's office in the Fall of 2009. I had just had a brutal summer of accelerated classes (same work as in a 16 week class stuffed into either 8 or 6 weeks). Sure, I got A's, but at what cost? My sanity. I was a walking mess.
I am determined to not let that happen again. I have decided that even if I fail this class, it is ok, as long as I learn something. I am only taking this class for my own personal information. I do not plan to ever get a job in this field, so it really shouldn't matter what my grade is. But . . . ah there is personal pride at stake. There is my own perfectionism I have to deal with. Though I hate to admit this, I can also be a very competitive person. I struggle when I am bested by someone else. I think my self esteem is a wee bit too wrapped up in my performance.
|The building where my audio class is held|
My ERP for this fall is to accept being "good enough." I have a quiz scheduled for next Monday. I will do the assigned reading and that is it. No more. I do love learning, just for the sake of learning, so I will concentrate on that. I will enjoy the smell of my new textbook (for those of you who are avid readers - you know what I mean!!). I will focus on the new friends I can make at class (even if they are 20 years younger than me!). I will walk through the halls and soak in the joy of being part of academia again. I will walk through the pretty campus and marvel at the changing color of the leaves. In short, I will just be. And that is good enough.