To be perfectly honest, life isn't the greatest right now. To be even more honest, my coping strategies for when things get rough aren't the best either. I tend to turn into a bit of a recluse when things aren't exactly going right, devoting myself to one extreme or the other, either burying myself in work or neglecting all of my responsibilities in favor of Office marathons, retail therapy and Ben & Jerry's. Lately, I don't have the time for the latter (although the irony here is that I'm writing a blog entry instead of working on my take-home midterm), so I've created a to-do list of all there is left to accomplish before the end of the semester. I've found if there is one thing I can control in my life, surprisingly enough it's school. Despite all of the recent chaos, I'm surviving my classes and completing my assignments. This morning's Spanish class was a nice picker-upper. I'm taking a class on advanced Spanish grammar and composition and more often than not, it has been a frustrating experience--not at all the teaching style I'm used to, readings that seem irrelevant and answers that are almost never clear. However, upon walking into class this morning, my professor pulled me aside and said that she's been very impressed with my work, especially the lengthy grammar corrections and explanations that we've had to do, and that she would like me to e-mail her my work so that she can use it as a model for future classes. She sent me off saying that I have a real talent for grammar. A bit of a strange compliment but a welcome one, nonetheless.
The majority of the time I find myself in a perpetual state of self-doubt. I question my ability to be successful and to do the right thing in a way that creates one of two outcomes. The first is that I psyche myself out so much that I find myself unbelievably surprised when I accomplish something. I worry and worry and worry only to find that I am fully capable of doing just fine. The second, a much more detrimental response, is inaction. I hesitate to the point where I do nothing which only serves to make me look like a person unwilling to put in the necessary effort. I've come to realize that my lack of confidence does me little to no good, often it only leaves me frustrated and disappointed at my inability to make the right decision.
What I need to remain aware of is the fact that I have within me the tools to be successful. Typing this blog entry, I can't help but be reminded of a well-known quote spoken by St. Catherine of Siena. She said, "Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." Isn't that an incredible image? I have the capacity to leave a lasting impression on this world, to make something of myself and the community of which I am a part. It just takes confidence, a knowledge of self, and most importantly, lengthy discernment of God's will for my life. Something that has become apparent in the course of my writing through this blog is that the one thing I lack above all else is trust. I believe that God loves me and I have faith in his existence but I often doubt his ability to lead me forward. Well, if that isn't a red flag, I don't know what is! So many of my problems are rooted in trust, faith and confidence. But how does one gain confidence? That's one question that I have yet to find a clear-cut answer to, although my gut tells me the only thing I can do is pray.
My solution to the tough stuff is not always the healthiest I admit, and with the imminent approach of even more stress (oh yes, finals are on the horizon), I need to find better ways of dealing with my struggles. The answers are there for me, just in my grasp, but I need to seek them out and ask for them. Not only that, I need to really believe in myself and my capacity to be successful. I've made it this far, haven't I?