Taking the GRE, Growing up, and Learning to Love Where You’re At

Long time, no see, huh? I have learned a lot about myself, namely that I can’t keep a routine to save my life. I can get a good grip on blogging or jogging, eating healthy, or maintaining a short term goal, but there seems to be a 20 day grace period, that when it’s up, there’s no telling what I’ve discovered to keep me occupied and distracted until the next big thing.

I was so happy to start Madly in Love, really because I felt I had all the answers. At least some of the answers that I could pass on to friends, family, and everyone around the world. Maybe a part of me shyed away from blogging, because as I began to write on some topics, I had no idea what to say other than “I don’t know why..” or just asking questions over and over. Or maybe it’s not that deep, and I really am just a lazy person who can’t keep up with a blog or anything else requiring constant and careful discipline.

Soooo, in regular Madeleine fashion, I moved from blogs and yoga, to working all the time, binging on Sex and the City, and reading up on self-help books. I was supposed to start diligently studying for the GRE (grad admissions exam) but we all know how I am at doing what I’m supposed to be doing XD. I also semi-recently moved into my apartment which gives me plenty of time to procrastinate. Lately it’s just been online browsing, choosing furniture, dreaming up a nice little bachelorette pad until I can’t fit anymore stuff inside. I think that’s been put on hold, because lately all I have been doing is trying to figure out what’s going on with my motivation and why I can’t live the life I want. Diet and exercise, of course, is my #1 motivation killer, so I kind of know why I’m lacking there. What gets me, however, is how I am very, almost hyper-aware of this, yet I have no will to change a damn thing. ???????????? I’ve never experienced more cognitive dissonance in my life. I stuff my face with fried food, go months without doing a single stretch, you get the idea. Pretty soon I’ll be rolling with the piggies.

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But my thing is, I want to figure out what is going on inside my silly brain, why I can’t be like everyone else, why I don’t have abs, why the GRE is so stupid, and why I’m so afraid of graduate school, much less growing up.

If I tell you something, will you promise to keep it a secret?

I am afraid (to the point of tears, sometimes) about what my future holds. What tomorrow holds, what the next five years hold. Deathly afraid. So afraid I would be happy just to renounce my life as a scientist and stay home and be a waitress forever. Never have any responsibilities, never have any challenges and obstacles.

But you know what else I never would have, if I walked away from it all?

I would never have experienced life. I would never have met some of the most amazing people and mentors. I would never grow as an individual in the face of change. I would never become anything more than a boring, afraid little girl. And I have come to realize, that’s not the life I want to live. I have so many dreams for myself, that I would be crushed to know I threw it all away.

Life is scary. Life is uncertain. 

The minute you realize this, become comfortable with this, embrace and accept this, the less scary and less uncertain things will be. Understand that while you have no control on the inner-workings of the universe, at the same time, you have control over your life and the choices that you make. Remember to stay accountable for every action you take, for life will be a sad and miserable place if you continue to project anger and fear onto others.

There are going to be plenty of things that you don’t want to do.

Every. single. day. There are some days I don’t want to get out of bed. Completely fine. However, you have to keep in mind your goals, your dreams, and your metabolism. You don’t have to do much, but do something! Wash your dishes. Vacuum up a bit. Read a few pages of your favorite book. Do anything you can to slowly build up your productivity, and soon enough, you’ll be checking loads off your to-do list. For me, I don’t want to study for the GRE. I do not feel comfortable at all answering these questions to find out I am still in 50th percentile. As a perfectionist, it discourages me to know I am not in the top percentile, but it makes no sense that I would rather mope about it than actually try harder to move up. So I already hate the GRE, not to mention the test is four hours long. I take it next week, but it is so imminent and I am so afraid. It’s okay though, I’ve been doing a lot better. Also as a perfectionist, I expect myself to score very high, but as a growing adult lady, I am learning that my best is enough. If I study decently hard and I make a decently average score, that is absolutely perfect. I’ve realized I should have enough confidence in myself from the very beginning to know that some of the things I am doing are going to be tough and most definitely not easy, but I am strong and smart and I can figure it out. With enough self-love and determination, we as humans can do anything! (That’s a lot more than we thought we were capable of.)

Graduate school is included in that, too. I am so afraid of failing, afraid of not being worth anything, afraid of my own fears, even. I’m sure you all know, the mind is a terrible thing, sometimes. That stupid little voice that controls everything you do. Well, it’s our choice the station we choose to play, equally as much as it is our choice to hear happy, positive, encouraging Madeleine or nasty, rude, condescending Madeleine in our heads. I’ve learned that the only room I have in my beautiful mind is room for growth, happiness, love, and positivity. I won’t tolerate anything else. Once we are able to start this new cycle of productivity and self-compassion, it becomes easier to live life and make the choices that affect our environment. You begin to find joy in the little things, good or bad, trivial or important, and this is necessary for us to keep going. To find the motivation that drives us. To achieve every goal we’ve ever set for ourselves and more. To find the true purpose of what we are doing here in this crazy place.

I could write a whole novel on insecurities and their power over us all, but that would be redundant. I think a lot of us are fully aware of it, we know what’s going on, we have to listen to it all day on repeat. But I think what we haven’t done is learn to embrace those. Understand the meaning and reasoning behind the voice you hear, and do everything you can to weed out negativity in your life and mindset, and learn to love yourself, flaws and all. If you stop listening to the voice, to the abuse, you don’t give it anymore power. It no longer has a say on the things you do and the feelings you feel. You slowly begin to learn to be accountable for your feelings and emotions and know that you have a choice on how you feel. If you want to be sad, good, that’s on you. If you want to be happy, great, that’s still on you. Either way, it’s up to you to create your life, so why waste time?

So lately, I’ve been reminding myself that failure is perfectly fine. Failure is good. Failure is necessary. If I got through life making all the right choices, I wouldn’t have any fun. I wouldn’t be experiencing the capacity of human emotion if I was happy and oblivious all the time. I wouldn’t be experiencing the hardships and sadness that come with mistakes and regret. I am learning to be so grateful for every single thing I have in the universe, and I am so happy I am on the path I am. I am full of love for myself and every other being. I am full of happiness for my strength and confidence to move forward with my life. I am radiating love from understanding the beauty of the world, and I am nowhere near ready to quit.

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