I am going back to school! I'm going for my masters in the field of health. I chose this particular MS because one of the areas of study will be medical writing, which is in high demand. I have a background in technical writing but it is for a completely different field. I'm really happy about it, but not necessarily for the reasons I originally thought I would happy.
This has come about because I have perceived myself as being "stuck." Stuck in an unhappy personal situation. Stuck in a dead-end carreer. Stuck with a feeling of inadequacy. I have felt pretty stuck since about 2007 or 2008. That's around the time shortly after the housing market basically took a dump. That's around the time that I realized things were not going to turn around financially with the next bubble, because we appeared to be out of bubbles.
When I had felt stuck in the past, I may have wallowed for a short period in time in misery but would quickly find a solution. The solution was always "Job Change!" The next job would be more money, better people, no psychos, no assholes, less stress, less boredom, etc. A change in job would bring a new and promising life. And often, it WAS an improvement. For a while, that is...until the new office asshole would emerge and make himself/herself known. Not to go off on a tangent, but one of my character defects has always been that someone else is the asshole...I think I covered that in another post! But I digress...
Anyway, as I was saying, I am really feeling cheerful and hopeful about this new endeavor. I'm excited about getting my masters in the healthcare industry. I have always been interested in this area and it is so broad and meaningful.
Here's the thing. I thought the main reason for my enthusiasm would be the opportunity to finally be unstuck, to finally be taking action and doing something to improve my current situation. But something else has emerged in all of this: I have been carrying around a lot of guilt, shame and remorse, dating back to my college days. I screwed up in college. I didn't study, I missed classes, I didn't try. I squeaked by. And I drank.
Sure, "everyone" drinks in college. But that's all I cared about. Going out practically every night, worrying about guys, nursing hangovers, zoning out in class. I loved college, but to me, college was my opportunity to do whatever I pleased. I studied just enough to get by. My grades were average. I thought it would be fine.
It wasn't fine. I felt extremely guilty that I had wasted my opportunity to do well and my poor parents had wasted good money on me. And it wasn't fine because it made me feel like I wasn't smart. I didn't have any confidence in selling myself professionally. So I spent the next 10 years selling myself short, working really hard to prove myself and passing up opportunities because I felt "less than." When I was promoted or praised, I feared I would be found out for the fraud I was. I know, it sounds like I was too hard on myself (again!) but that's what was going on. The sad part is that I didn't really know "what was going on" because I wasn't in touch with my own feelings. Does this sound familiar? I could be describing someone in active alcoholism hiding her drinking. It's the same shame spiral. The same dog and pony show.
So when I applied to school this week, I realized I was feeling a major sense of relief. I had to tell the counselor my crappy GPA, this thing I had hidden for years, and I was finally owning it all. The cover up was over. I was beginning my new journey of cleaning up that sector of my life. Finally making things right. And it feels great.