My spring quarter class starts tonight and I’m squirrely-nervous all over again, wondering if I’m going to get lost finding the room or somehow show up at the wrong time or just be the wrong-looking person in the classroom. It would be awfully nice if I could bypass these pointless anxieties whenever I approach a new situation, but my personality doesn’t seem willing to bend on that front and I’m too goddamned nervous about asking about Xanax to ask for Xanax.

The subject is nutrition, and I’m hoping that taking a course in something I assume is so relevant to my long-term interests will help . . . I don’t know, clarify my path a bit. The process of signing up for a class this quarter was a little discouraging as I chewed over my limited options and got on waiting lists and tried to find a middle ground between being overwhelmed by everything and, you know, not seeing the forest for the trees.

Have you even looked at the prerequisites you still have to take? When do you think you’ll be able to get this stuff done? It’s not like they offer evening classes for everything. And you’re not the only asshole with ninety thousand low-level math classes to take, which is why they fill up the instant registration opens. At some point you’re just not going to be able to progress any further, so why waste the time and the money now?

If I want to really freak myself out, I go to this page. That’s the page of my Mondo Beyondo dream, where somehow we are living in the Eugene area where we have always talked about raising our children and somehow I have the money and time and brains to be finishing up a program that there’s no way I can actually afford or qualify for or graduate from due in part to terrifying words like “biomechanics” and “microbiology”. Somehow my age doesn’t matter and my kids’ schedules work with mine and I’ve got the energy and freedom to make a complete career transition.

It’s like being an armchair mountaineer peering at a photo of Everest, where you just can’t tell if the challenge is worth the dream—or if it’s just too fucking huge and far away, you know?

Still, I’m telling myself I’m doing the right thing by moving forward rather than staying still. Even if I’m not entirely sure where I’m going. One more class, and who knows what the next months will bring. Maybe there’s something between right here and way over there. Maybe the path doesn’t have to be as long as it looks. Maybe when you shoot for the ridiculously big stuff, you’re bound to land somewhere good.


66 Responses to “Peptalking out loud”

  1. Amanda Blair on April 7th, 2010 7:27 am

    Would you tell your kids to go for it, if it were them? Of course. Don’t treat yourself any less.
    “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”
    I’ve been wanting to take a nutrition class, let me know how it goes!

  2. Gaby on April 7th, 2010 7:28 am

    I’m 27 weeks pregnant with my first, paying out the butt for a master’s I earned in a field that I’ve discovered I don’t love, working at a job I hate, and I’m considering going back to school for another master’s. And you? Are inspiring the hell of me.

    It’s good to hear that you’re apprehensive; it makes you human. You know how much your kidlets and husband lean on you, and you’d never compromise their security, but you also know that you cannot compromise on your happiness, and that level of awareness is truly admirable, Linda.

    Not to mention, reading through your comments section, you have an incredible gift of influence. You and your words have helped people change their own life. Now, it’s your turn to change your own. Go get it, girl!

  3. Beth on April 7th, 2010 8:05 am

    Some science stuff came easy and some hard, but in the end I did what I could to get the end goal of taking the longest route to get to being and RD. Which is what we do in nearly all situations of life, all requiring different skills or thought processes. Being in a field that involves the human body is amazing and I hope that you keep going on with your goals – who cares if your 30 or 60.
    BTW, microbiology not that bad actually kinda interesting learning about all the things that keep us going or make us puke our brains out.

    I hope you love your nutrition class!

  4. Shawna on April 7th, 2010 8:33 am

    “Maybe when you shoot for the ridiculously big stuff, you’re bound to land somewhere good.”

    Love that.

    My husband and I are trying to figure out where we want to end up in the next 5-10 years and what we’d have to do in order to get there. The process of figuring that out alone seems daunting sometimes.

    And I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’ve always impressed me with not just how well you put words together, but the scientific accuracy you often display when you venture into that territory. You’ll do just fine. I believe it.

  5. shizzknits on April 7th, 2010 8:51 am

    you are going to do great…this is ONE class…it’s not the rest of your life! Sometimes looking at that dream/goal can be overwhelming, so break it down into manageable pieces!
    And as my yoga teacher is fond of saying: if you feel nervous or anxious, it’s likely that at least 1 other person in that situation feels that way. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE!
    Hang in there, you’ll be fine!

  6. victoria on April 7th, 2010 9:51 am

    Whenever I need to feel encouraged about some of the goals I’ve set for myself, I will just look at this comments senction. I’m “adding to favorites” this page.

  7. Amanda on April 7th, 2010 11:20 am

    Eugene! A city so verdant, can only work to make dreams that much more likely to come true. I think the anticipation is the scariest part, once you start down the path, you just kick ass and find a way. Can’t wait for pictures of your boys cheering you on in a Butte to Butte!

    Go ducks.

  8. Liz on April 7th, 2010 3:47 pm

    This is a little embarrassing, but my mantra when I went back to school for aaaallll the math and science I needed to get into (and then through) med school, my mantra was as follows:

    People much stupider than I am do this every day. I can do it too.

    Seriously. These programs would not continue to exist if smart, capable people with good study skills and an interest in the material were unable to complete them. You have all those things. Enjoy.

  9. Kristine on April 7th, 2010 4:02 pm

    Why NOT you??? Hmmm???

  10. Sassy on April 7th, 2010 9:11 pm

    As others have said: You’re a rock star, an inspiration, fully capabable and deserving, and more powerful than you know.

  11. yaya on April 7th, 2010 9:51 pm

    In order to graduate with my Bachelors Degree I had to take THREE full semesters of low level (classes that don’t count) math at the neighboring JC, in order to even enroll in the math class I needed to graduate from my state school….I did it, wasn’t easy but I tried hard and I aced the classes and i understood the stuff (shocker, that never happened in high school). and yet another inspirational story (proud sister warning), my brother barely, barely barely graduated high school with a C- average and an even lower opinion of himself academically due to teachers in our school system who could give a crap about kids who need a bit extra attention/encouragement. It took almost 10 yrs for him to go back to school, all on his own accord and with confidence & determination, graduated at the top of his class and was accepted to two Masters programs….Go team!

  12. Brenda on April 8th, 2010 9:48 am

    oh man do I know your dilemma with school. First off I have night blindness so I don’t do well driving at night–so no night classes for me unless I can find someone in my area that goes to the same school (20 miles away). Second, I work from 7am to noon and daycare closes at 6pm. I have to squeeze classes in between 1 and 5pm. Third, there wasn’t much on my degree plan offered online for the fall semester. Two classes I wanted to take have a pre-rec that I haven’t taken…. It’s all a huge pain in the ass at times. Just keep on keeping on!

  13. Shin Ae on April 8th, 2010 4:57 pm

    Go, go, go! You can do it! I am loving watching you go through this…not that I love seeing you all nervous (that would be mean), but I love watching you succeed and see you could. Yes! You are inspirational!

  14. Camille on April 17th, 2010 7:57 pm

    One foot in front of the other. You can do this. And it is worth it. Go.

  15. Jenna on April 22nd, 2010 9:32 pm

    Go Ducks! Eugene is amazing–which would make it the perfect place for someone like you!

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