I recently began working on a master’s degree with the end goal of becoming a teacher, something I’ve wanted to be for most of my life. Yet I’ve found myself feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work to be done while taking only two online courses. I allow myself to fall behind on some of my assignments simply because I can find no motivation to get them done. You would think that the desire to become a teacher would be my motivation. Failing that, you would think that spending $4,500 on tuition and fees would be a huge motivation to not fail.
But it’s not. I wake up in the morning and I think of the things I have to do. I make a to do list. I sit down in front of my computer and begin to start on eliminating items from that list. And then I think, “You know, I’ve got plenty of time later this evening to get this done.” And I put it off. The evening comes and I sit down in front of my computer and begin to start on eliminating items from that list. And then I think, “You know, it’s getting late, I’ve got time in the morning to get this done.” Before I can even think about it, the end of the week approaches and I haven’t even touched the assignments that I know are due in just a few
I know I procrastinate. It’s just what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. These are the ways of my people. Why do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow? But my fear is that I’m coming across as lazy. Even though, in my heart of hearts, I don’t really believe laziness is my issue. I mean, I do a lot of other things and I’m very productive in a lot of aspects of my life. But this schoolwork stuff is throwing me off my game.
I don’t know what the actual issue is. So this is just me thinking out loud.
Maybe I’m not as intelligent as I have always believed myself to be. I read the material for either of my classes and finish a lot of the sections with a very enthusiastic, “Huh?”
Maybe intelligence isn’t so much a factor as the online aspect of the classes. I’ve never done online classes before. For the 2 seconds that I was in seminary, I did fairly well. I mean, I got an A in Hebrew (which may not sound impressive to some people, but it impressed the crap outta me). But there, I was physically going to class. I was listening to a professor giving a lecture and I took notes. I had an actual schedule that I was forced to follow. As a natural born procrastinator, online classes do not force me to do certain things at certain times. Unless that time is Sunday night at 10:30pm.
Maybe I don’t like the challenge of the program. All my life, I’ve been able to succeed at things because they’ve come easy for me. Throughout high school and even college, I didn’t have to try that hard and I could pass on B’s and C’s. Looking back, I sort of wish I’d have put forth a little more effort, but it is what it is. Now I’m doing this and it’s clearly not coming easy. Is that why I don’t want to do it?
Maybe I’ve put the idea of being a teacher up on a pedestal all my life and now that I’m making strides to actually do it, it’s something that I don’t actually want to do. This one scares me. As a kid, I remember telling people that I wanted to teach when I grew up. Part of my reasoning was always so I could take summers off to write. But what if I don’t actually want to be a teacher. What if I just want to write?
And that’s what I really think it’s coming down to. I love writing. I don’t make time to do it as much as I used to. But when I’m able to sit down and actually type up words about something that interests me or that’s on my mind, I actually feel a little bit of joy. I’ve said for years that if I could be paid to write, I would do it in a heartbeat. But I don’t have those connections. I don’t know who to talk to about that sort of job. And the only time I did attempt to take a job (that actually turned out to be nothing like it was promised when offered), I was miserable. I don’t blame that feeling on the writing in that case, I blame the less-than-upfront presentation of my responsibilities and the lack of direction from the employer. I think a position where I was expected and actually given an opportunity to write would be a dream come true.
But where do I find that? Blogging isn’t going to pay the bills, at least not the way I do it. What I do here is more for me than anyone else. I have an average of 40 views per day with even fewer visitors (though, to be honest, I’m not even sure what all that amounts to). I have no sponsors. No one is getting famous here at The Confusing Middle. And I’m not saying I want to be famous. I just want to pay the bills by doing something I love.