Friday, May 22, 2015

A guest post, and some good advice.

My claim to be an expert on aging is dubious, at best.  Sure, I can get older with the best of them.  I can kick the livin' heck out of getting older, doing it everyday.  Even in my sleep, that is how accomplished I am.  But, aging properly is an art.  You need to pursue goals with the enthusiasm of youth.

I am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.  Mitch Hedberg said "I am tired of chasing my dreams I'm just going to find out where they are headed and hook up with them later."  Not really the best approach, but easier than figuring out what you feel destined to do, and working toward that goal.  That can be difficult, trying, and terrifying.

After figuring out how to find other blogs (technology is always at odds with my goals) I went off to find people who seemed interesting, and had compelling stories to tell.  People who had goals, and were pursuing them. It seemed like a good way to figure out how to get where fate intended.  I am still looking, but one of the people I "met" was a woman named Cynthia.

She was pursuing an advanced degree in Economics from a prestigious university.  Her blog was an almost daily account of the life of an adult not giving in to age, or lethargy.  It was not a dry recitation of lesson plans but included fun and pleasant pursuits as well.  The inertia of maturity did not affect this person.  I read her blog and found it inspiring.  It was a sad day when she stopped posting.  She ran into a little academic difficulty and focused on correcting that.  Which was smart but, it was a loss for the world of bloggers.  Her story was a story of triumph, and accomplishment.

She has agreed to write a guest post, and I hope it will be just the beginning, either more guest posts, or a relaunch of her blog.  So, that was a long winded introduction, but she deserves a grand entrance, here, without anymore delay is the guest post from Cynthia.

Are Americans naturally defeatists?  Generally speaking I think most of us are. We harden ourselves for the plain truth that will hit us eventually. It is a poor attitude to have. I will give you a personal example. Last year I failed an essay due to a misunderstanding. I honestly couldn't figure out how I was going to receive my masters. So I braced myself for failure. I was being realistic and a pessimist. Turns out the University understood the dilemma and let me ‘resit’ the exam. Once I passed the course, the University extended me an additional six months to complete my dissertation.

One would think after triumphing over that hurdle my attitude would change. Knowing that I wasn't alone in my endeavours, that the weight of the world was only mine to bear. Months later, after reading approximately 100,000 words of academic works, I ran into a stumbling block. I cried myself to sleep a couple of nights because I couldn't figure out how to direct my dissertation argument. I felt frustrated and alone. My parents heard me. My mother feed me my favorite foods and my father asked me questions about my project.  Neither of my parents understood the financial industry which meant that I had to go through it step by step. Then my parents asked pointed questions for me to explain stock bubbles. In answering them, a light went off in my head. I started rambling, questioning myself, coming up with an analytical idea. Within four weeks, I completed the dissertation.

It is not enough to have goals. You have to have faith in your direction even when you stumble. Faith in yourself will lift you up when you fall, re-evaluate the side steps, and give others a chance to lend a helping hand. It is all a matter of perspective. Yes there are many things in this world we cannot change but that doesn't mean we cannot change everything. If you smile and try it anyway the worst that will happen is that you will learn something new. So brace yourself for new learning experiences that can only enrich your life and make you a better person.