i am learning, slowly but surely, what works for me and what doesn't. that's my favorite part of this whole process: finally figuring out what i alone need to get by. i'm realizing that it's going to be a rougher year than i may have anticipated. but it's nothing i can't handle. as my plans for the next 12-15 months start to crystallize, i'm learning the difference between managing expectations and settling for less.
for too long, i was all about settling for less. the middle way, the mediocre, the path of least resistance. the dull numbness of the center. i think it's pretty apparent that i have altered that frame of mind. i shook it up big-time by going to school again. now that i've earned that degree and stare down my next challenge, it's uncomfortable. i am damn tired of long days cramming for this stupid test. but the pain of this test, even though it's exquisite and annoying, is so much better than the dullness of showing up for another day at a job that just wasn't getting it done. the financial pinch of the next year will be tight, but it'll also be worth every last bit of the struggle when i am free.
i was told the other night, when i was in the middle of a lament about how much all of this has sucked, that "you are on the verge of getting absolutely everything you have ever wanted." it didn't really sink in at the time, but it's starting to creep in on me. yeah, there will be more pain. but after that, there will be more than i ever could have imagined. so i'll manage expectations. i'll live small.
but i will NEVER settle. never, ever again.