I Can Only Do My Best

I am a perfectionist when it comes to school work.  I feel like I have to do the best work, be the best in my class, or I am not worthy of going back to school.  It hasn’t always been this way, but I think going back to school now has made me this way.  I feel like I have something to prove, but what I feel like I have to prove is not that important.

I started taking courses this Fall in pursuit of a Bachelors in Social Psychology.  Since high school, I have taken over 120 credit hours worth of courses while trying to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life.  I love and enjoy so many things, it’s hard to pinpoint one career that would be best for me.  I settled on Social Psychology for now, and then eventually a Masters in Social Work.  I want to help people, and I think that is a great way for me to do that.

That 120 credit hours that I transferred has put me in Senior status as my school, even though I have never taken any Social Psych courses, or even taken courses at this college.  This has me very excited, as I will probably finish at the end of next Fall.  That is something I look forward to.

It’s been a few years since I took a college course, one that is important to my degree.  I have taken a couple of computer courses, like how to create HTML, but it really meant nothing to me, even though I made A’s.  This is the first time I am taking real courses since kiddo was born, and since I started suffering from depression.  My state of mind is different, I do not have as much time to study, and it’s just a new experience now.  Because of all that, I have something to prove.

But to who?

I have always made excellent grades.  I was in National Honor Society, Texas Scholars, and the top 20% of the class (our class was HUGE) in high school.  In college early on, I made the Dean’s List a couple of times.  It came very naturally, and very easy for me back then.  I didn’t study much, and good grades just kind of happened.  It’s not that way now.

I am studying, and doing my best.  I have A’s right now, with a couple of weeks left of the 8-week term.  I am working hard.  However, I feel the need to be the best.  I have to make straight A’s so I can have a high GPA, and graduate with honors.  I have to prove myself…to myself.

I feel like if I do not make the best grades, and be the best in my class, then there is no point in me going back to school.  I am not old by any means, I am only 31.  However, I feel like at this age, there is no excuses, or turning back.  I have to excel, I have to be awesome to show kiddo that mommy is smart.  To prove my mind still functions, even with the cloud around it.  To prove that I am still smart, and worthy.

My mom started college the same time I did, in 1998.  My mom was 38 at the time.  She did awesome, and graduated with honors.  If she can do it, I have to do it too.  Right?

Wrong.  I am not perfect.  I am not my mom.  I am me, and that is enough.  I am not the same person I was in high school, or early on in college.  Life has changed me.  I am a mommy now with different priorities.  My four-year-old needs more of my time than a 18-year-old.  My depression and anxiety has changed my state of mind.  I have days where the depression takes over, and I can’t accomplish much.

I just want to stand taller, and realize that doing my best is enough.  I do work hard, and I do try my best.  I am not perfect, and I have bigger priorities sometimes.  I wont always make perfect grades.  I might not be the best, or graduate with honors.  And you know what?

That’s OK, because I did my best.  And that is enough.

Just.Be.Enough writing prompt for this week: The top area of your life where you would like to apply the Just.Be.Enough. mission of standing taller.


20 thoughts on “I Can Only Do My Best

  1. I feel like I am sitting with a mirror image … I too felt like I had to be the best. But for who!? No one else thinks that I should, it’s just me and the thought that I have about what it means to be successful.

    However, if you were sitting in front of me right now, I would say things like “don’t be too hard on yourself, you seem to have accomplished a lot in your life” but we all find it hard to see how amazing we are and recognize our own self worth.

    Thanks for writing!

    I wish you luck and thank you for writing such a great post, it certainly made

  2. Although I understand why you want to excel in school, I think you’re showing great perspective knowing that there is only so much time in the day, only so much you can do 🙂

    Thanks for linking up with Just Be Enough!

  3. Keep thinking…you just have to be enough. Now that’s not a “get out of studying” card…but more of a motivation tool to keep you going when you don’t make those high grades. It gives you permission to not beat yourself up if you don’t get the grades you expected because you tried.

  4. I love that first picture! I think it will have to be re-done and put in every room I enter. I hopped over from the PPD group on Bloggy Moms. Can’t wait to dive more into your blog!

  5. I think it is common for adult learners, continuing or returning to school to raise the bar higher and higher on themselves. And high standards are good, to get your money worth, but you are also wise to know there are also other priorities in your life, so sometimes you will have to be happy with good enough.

  6. First off, big big kudos for your going back to school. I admire people like you and I’ve been having my own ‘going-back-to-school’ wishes for awhile now but just haven’t had the time and financial capability to do it just yet. You are so spot on when you are doing enough for yourself as a mother and as a student. Keep on going! You are inspiring 🙂

  7. Good for you for going back to school and for taking time to figure out what YOU want to do! Being an anxiety ridden perfectionist myself, I can relate. Your post reminded me of a joke I use to tell my sister (RIP Nurse Lesley) when she was being really hard on herself about nursing school.

    What do you call a doctor that makes all Cs? …. DOCTOR!! 😉

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