I have a recurring dream…one I hear many people share with me.
Or some variation of it. It’s the “education” dream, the one in which it’s finals weeks and you haven’t been to class all semester. (I think my first time through college, I may have actually lived that dream during my final term.)
My dream is a little different. In it, I have once again returned to college. I’m working toward a second bachelor’s degree (although in what is never clear). Yet try as I might, I continually fail most, if not all, of my classes. I cannot grasp the subject matter, cannot conquer the topic. Sometimes, I wait too long to drop the classes, and I know I’m going to get failing grades.
There is a sense of repeated defeat, a feeling I should just give in to the fact I’m not meant to have a college degree.
Except…I have one, a bachelor’s in journalism. At some point in my dream, I stop worrying about my current failures. I’ve already succeeded. Why am I even putting myself through this mayhem?
I’ve never bothered to determine what is going on in my life that triggers this dream, although the message is pretty clear. Don’t be afraid of the future. You’ve already proven yourself in the past, and you have the tools to do it again.
I like that I resolve this issue so easily while I’m sleeping. I think it’s experience talking.
I was talking to my cousin today. He’s more than 20 years younger than I am, which puts him in his mid-30s, old enough to have gained some perspective on life’s trials and tribulations himself.
He recently removed himself from a situation that was leading to trouble, and I’m proud of him. He has not only lived through some challenging times, he’s put those difficulties to good use in his life. He doesn’t want to relive what is best left in the past.
I’m sure when I was his age, I’d learned a few lessons myself, but when I look back on that era of my life, I typically see repeated failures. How will I view what I’m living through now in the years to come?
Hardly the question to fret over, I know. What I should be asking myself is, what are you learning from the past, and how are you applying it to your life today?
There are lessons I should be learning, steps I should be taking to conquer my demons. It’s not always easy to break convenient habits.
But I’m not going to repeat another class if I don’t have to do so. There are better ways I can improve my life.
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