Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Unrequited Love

I was stumbling upon some websites and it took me to this photographer's blog who had a project in which they would take pictures and post one every day of the year. And this one, in particular (they're all pretty amazing) really stuck out to me.

As all (or most of you) know, I've had a tough time with Calculus. It all started at the beginning of the semester, when I first really started acknowledging it's existence. Immediately, I was attracted to it. I would even go as far as saying I was in love with Calculus from the get go. I loved everything I about it; it all made sense in my head and I felt that everything was going well. But, my love for calculus was unrequited. And with all unrequited love situations, it wasn't reciprocated. And so, with as much spite as Calculus could muster, it threw my love in my face and told me I wasn't good enough. Twice. The first time, I didn't take it seriously. It could just be playing hard to get and so I persisted.

After trying so hard to win it over, spending time with it, nurturing the relationship, even getting council on how to better myself for Calculus. But, no matter how hard I tried, it still wasn't good enough. And so, I had to break up with Calculus (or I guess give up on it since we never really agreed to "date" in the first place). It was a tough decision. My future depended on whether or not I would continue pursuing calculus. But, I didn't want to risk my heart. And so, I've gone cold turkey. I haven't picked up my calculus book in a week and I feel great. I can move on to bigger and better things and forget that this ever happened to me.

But in all seriousness, it was really tough. I'm not much of a quitter, and so realizing that I was failing math was something that really hit me hard. I'll admit, I cried over it a few times. Stressed about it. Lost sleep over it. Spent endless hours in the Math Lab to improve my grades.

A couple of Sundays ago, we were talking in Relief Society about making choices in life. I will admit, I wasn't paying attention to most of it until it shifted to a discussion about making the wrong decisions. I've talked to a couple of sisters (literal ones, not some ladies in my ward that I call "sister") about failure and making the wrong choices in life. I won't delve into their "wrong choices" but something really struck me when we were talking. Juli told me something about my own "failure": it's not a failure if you learned something from it. And that is so true. There have been many times when I make the wrong choice, even if it's between two very good things, and had to learn from that. Sometimes I wonder if coming out to BYU was the wrong choice in the grand scheme of things, but the right one for where I am today. Maybe I had to choose the wrong to get to the right. That doesn't mean, though, that you choose the wrong on purpose, like you choose to smoke to learn that smoking is bad.

But something you learn in the Army in particular is that there are many different ways to do something. As a leader, you have to make the choices you feel are right to get the goal accomplished. And so, I chose Calculus thinking that that was what I needed to do to get this general education requirement complete without taking an easier math beforehand. And that was, obviously, not the best choice. It wasn't a wrong choice either, for that matter. But it was a choice I needed to make so that I could learn from my mistakes.

So how does this lead back to the picture at the beginning? Well, it takes courage to make those choices. The fear of the unknown is a common fear, but you need to have the courage to choose, instead of not choosing and the path is made for you. And you need to stick with your choice for as long as you feel you can stick with it. In my case, I waited until the absolute last minute before I stopped taking Calculus. I'll face the consequences of having a W on my record, but that, I felt, was a better result than a lowered GPA.

The second part, though, is just as important. Sometimes you need to carry through with your choice, even in the face of failure. Because failure really isn't failure if you come away from that and you know something more about yourself or the situation you faced. Stick to your guns, even if you're completely incorrect.

P.S. I might end up blogging a ton for a while, because I have nothing else to do now that I'm done with Calculus. Maybe I'll go find a second job...

P.P.S. here is the website to ALL the pictures/inspirational quotes:


Sarah Lambson said...

This whole dropping calc. really seems to be having a positive impact on you. And that makes me very glad for you! Keep on keeping on, sista. You will get through and realize that all the decisions you made, right or wrong, led you to where you are meant to be.

Now I just need to learn from your example.

Jeanne, the mom and grandmom said...

Hey, you need to put the Lamb-e-ump-tum blog link on Blogs I follow....