What I learned from the GRE…

And it has nothing to do with anything it was supposed to teach me really. Here’s a little back story: since I’m moving and ‘transferring’ graduate schools I had to take the GRE. IUPUI didn’t require the GRE but UK does. I will take this to mean UK has superior educational opportunities and only want the best of the best, in a reality I would rather not admit it just means they want to know you are an average student ha ha. I like my version better. Anyways, I have been studying since about oh December for the GRE I put off scheduling it because I’m a scared of failure and since I hadn’t taken it there wouldn’t be proof I wasn’t smart. See that was the problem. I put so much weight on this test proving if I was smart or not. I couldn’t rationally see it was a test. That some of this stuff I hadn’t gone over since 10th grade…literally 10th grade! My mind built up this hype that if I didn’t do well my friends would shun me, I wouldn’t get into graduate school at UK (even though I could take the test again in 60 days), and my parents wouldn’t love me as much. Why? Why did I do this? I put so much pressure that last week I cried at work twice! TWICE! My test was Friday morning at 7 am. I had a midterm paper due Friday night at midnight and my dad was sick, possibly looking at surgery. By Wednesday night I’d had all I could take. I couldn’t deal anymore. I broke down crying on the back dock and awkwardly one of the chefs walked out and wasn’t sure what exactly to do.

Here’s the problem I couldn’t exactly explain to him the problem. While I knew what the problem was it’s embarrassing to say or even write. And honestly I know it’s not true but it’s how I felt. That for so long, well all my life I’ve been a smart girl, not the pretty girl. (you know because those are the only two things that matter, ha ha) So where would that leave me if I didn’t do well on the GRE. I wouldn’t be smart or pretty. I somehow managed to put my worth in a test. A test that really didn’t have any say on the value of my life. But I let it.

Good news is I did well enough on the GRE for UK. I may have not done as well as I wanted but I did well enough. I think most importantly I learned the actual value of my life has nothing to do with my test scores or graduate school. I was built up and supported by so many of my friends I finally realized that I was an idiot to even think this kind of stuff. My life is more than a test, a look, a weight, a graduate school, a job…my life is so much more. It’s about how I treat people and how I love people. It’s about the grace I show people. It’s about my faith and my heart. That’s who I am. I’m completely embarrassed that it took the GRE to show me that.

I learned one more thing….it’s ok to not be able to do everything. It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to realize that I am not wonder woman and maybe just maybe I had taken on too much. I again irrationally thought it meant I was weak. It isn’t weak but I definitely wasn’t giving my best to everyone else because I was so consumed and ragged and frazzled from everything I took on. It doesn’t mean I’m weak when I say no to somethings from now on. It means I’m strong enough to know I have limits and I can only do so much before my work takes a hit.

Needless to say last week was a huge learning experience. I luckily got everything done that I needed to and was able to come home to be with my dad. I’ve spent some time in Lexington, which was really really nice. I’ve missed my friend I spent most of the day with. He means a lot to me in my life. I do not know what the future holds for us and I’m learning to be ok with that…it’s really hard though. Right now we’re focusing on becoming the best friends we were and being even better. I think this is a good option for right now. I’ll just have to learn how to speak up when I need to and get answers when I have to have the answers.  He seemingly becomes the only option in my life when he is around and that’s hard to deal with … but I’m learning.


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