Window of opportunity

Happy New Year. I can’t believe it’s 2011. The feeling is a little bittersweet. Partly because I suspect most people think I’m old and I should have it all figured out by now. I should probably have a house and a car and a career. I should probably be married. I should probably be seriously considering kids because I won’t have any good eggs left in a couple of years.  I certainly shouldn’t be thinking about pharmacy school. Since I have a couple of degrees, I shouldn’t be at community college looking at a a program that will take up at least the next five years of my life. Think of the opportunity cost.

It might sound like I’m about to launch into how this sort of thinking is pretty unfair, possibly ageist and sexist and demeaning. It is unfair, and it’s definitely ageist and sexist and demeaning. But it’s also thoughts I’ve had, what this career guide I’m reading calls “Yeah buts.”  Basically, they are thoughts that keep you in doubt of yourself. And I have plenty of thoughts why this whole plan seems far-fetched and whimsical or just plain unlikely.

I’ve been hobbling myself with fears I’ve always had, just rinsing and repeating, because my mind wanders and thinks Gollum-y thoughts either to test my strength and define my will or to just mess with me because I haven’t trained myself to think correctly or focus. I was scared to find that on the Kaplan Diagnostic PCAT’s science section, I couldn’t get my druthers enough to meet the time goal. I need to be more confident and not check my work thirty times.  I’m going to talk more tomorrow about what happened on my Chemistry final and how I feel about the semester in general, but I know I have to really focus and not waste time cheerleading myself on. I need to already be there. I need to figure out how to take this test and other tests and just crush them without the benefit of having time to review my answer choices.

I received A’s in both Microbiology and Chemistry I. I suppose that my grades and all the work I put in out to give me confidence in my ability, but I’ve been trying to sabotage myself because my mind is untrained so I let myself think stuff that does nothing but make me afraid. The little goblin on my shoulder is telling me that I didn’t really deserve an A in either class. Never mind that I did better than most students (The goblin insists that I probably got lucky, that the professors probably felt sorry for me, that the exams weren’t as hard as the PCAT will be, etc.). (I may attempt to draw this goblin this afternoon, and then tell the picture off.)

So I need to focus and filter out all the goblin thoughts.  I need to concentrate on the matter at hand and do my very best (not my laziest, but my best).  I also need to create a PCAT study schedule (this means I will have to go to the dreaded SDN pre-pharmacy PCAT board and cull through misogynistic and rude comments for some guide into how to set up a study plan for myself).  Then I’ll have to stick to it so I’m not going through it all willy-nilly without a set course in mind.

I also need to start exercising, an hour a day of walking, at least, and a second activity, like Power Yoga (which I told myself I’d do all the time last year during the snowstorm and then promptly quit because I let work feel too draining). I think I’ll start small with a walk on the treadmill. I’d go around the neighborhood, but I really don’t like where I live. It’s all cars and highways and suburban density. Hardly anything that makes you feel great love towards your neighborhood.

Onwards we forge.

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