I had been planning on writing a nice blog about how to stay fit while on vacation. My weekend was to be filled in the beautiful Lake Tahoe with my two best girl friends, Kristin and Aya. Kristin is next up in line to celebrate her birthday (which is today, the 26th! Happy birthday, Kiki!) and the three of us were looking forward to making our first trip up there in ten years. I imagined us drinking mimosas down in the hot tub, surrounded by a light coating of snow as we sat beneath the towering pine trees with waves of crisp mountain air filling our bodies. I have been pining for those pine trees all week knowing that as soon as I got up there, my brain would be able to calm down from all the stress of the school semester coming to an end. Maybe then, I would have been able to forget about all my choices I need to make regarding my future… but no…
Today life decided to throw me a curve ball and unfortunately, my typically swift catching abilities failed and caused me to get hit in the face HARD by this particular throw.
It started out early this afternoon when I went to the doctor on campus about my ears hurting, suspecting either hardcore allergies or the potential of a rare adult ear infection. Turns out it was the ear infection and I have not just a single ear infection, but a double. That’s right, one in each ear. YEAH! I was grateful that it wasn’t just allergies because this would have sucked to live out the next few months in the kind of pain I am in. My college is incredibly awesome and gave me the amoxicillin I needed to get better for free and sent me on my way to my math class.
Unfortunately math didn’t bring me any better news as I found out the test I studied hours for still resulted in me failing. Lame.
I spent the drive home crying about the failure because I have somehow bombed all three of the tests I’ve been given in that class. I’m not even in calculus or something hard like that either. I’m in basic algebra and often when I look up math problems on Youtube, it’s junior high level math. I can write a four page essay in an hour and get an A. I can walk into my science classes without even knowing I had a test and get an A. But for some reason when I see numbers with tinier numbers above them and a line separating them from MORE numbers combined with letters that are asking them where to find their friend “X”, my brain and heart start a mosh pit in my body that results in total shut down. Uck. Even just writing that horrible sentence gave me anxiety and I bet those of you who share my fear of math will understand.
I’m just bad at math.
I go to ecology and get home, prepping out something I wanted to do for Kristin’s birthday. The time comes for me to continue my mission and I go to start my always reliable Toyota Matrix. I turn the key, nothing. I take a deep breath, try again. Still nothing. Radio is working. Lights are working. It’s not my battery. It’s my starter. Awesome. How am I supposed to drive to Lake Tahoe now?
After spending a giant chunk of time on the phone with Aya about my situation, we decide that is probably best that I avoid the mountains with my ear infection and hope that Kristin would understand having to change up our Lake Tahoe plans. I was so worried about letting Kristin down on her birthday that I would’ve tried to go anyway but life just had a different idea. After talking to Kristin and immediately seeing right away that she understood, I felt much better.
I started to do a reflection on my day and although I had a lot of crappy things happen, I’m still grateful for many things. I am fortunate that I am able to go to such a great college, receive financial aide, plus that awesome bonus of having that my current medical needs covered. I’m grateful that I have a car, even if it doesn’t currently work. I’m grateful that it’s gone 230,000 miles almost without giving me any issues but needing a new clutch. I’m upset at myself for doing poorly in math but I am proud of myself for still being brave enough to try. I’ve avoided math since high school and it’s been the one big thing holding me back from a degree. I may not be performing at a passing level, but at least I’m still up there on that academic stage giving it my all.
The love and support that I have gotten from my friends and family as I have complained to them about my circumstances have truly helped me know and accept that “this too shall pass.” My new and wonderful friend Silviu was so sweet and even though I was being so negative to every single encouraging text he would send, he wouldn’t accept my pessimism and continued to boost up my confidence about math throughout the day. After talking with Aya and Kristin about us not being able to do our trip, I was so touched because they didn’t care that we wouldn’t be able to have our mimosa’s under pine trees, their main concern was my health and biggest wish was for us just to be together, even if it was just under an oak tree in a park.
Through all of this I have been reminded that the bad grade you get on a test, the amount of revisions you must do on a paper, and the number that boldly stares at you on a scale do not determine the amount of happiness we can hold for ourselves. I spent my Thursday depressed and throwing a personal pity party but by talking with my friends and through writing out this blog, I realize that even these “bad things” are still reasons to be grateful because they are all just opportunities for positive change.
To help boost happiness levels for both myself and my sister, who has been having a hard week as well, I ask of you:
What are you grateful for and in your times of stress, are you able to keep your gratitude?
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and please, try to remember to appreciate what you in life because surely it is more than someone else out there.
Lots of love,