I did have a bit of a rest yesterday afternoon. I feel much better for it.
Today I have finally bit the bullet and started reading again, for background information on the next part of my project. I started with an undergrad textbook on physical chemistry. What a joy to read something aimed at a lower level! It made me think, though, I have definitely increased my stamina for learning since being an undergrad. I am facing concepts head-on now and not shying away the minute it gets confusing. I am finding out for myself that they are not that bad. It makes me wish I had had the courage to do that during my undergrad studies, although I didn’t realise at the time that I lacked courage. I just got frustrated and put my head back in the sand. I don’t know how I came away with a first, but if nothing else it points to what I could perhaps achieve if I engaged with the work. (A PhD, an academic career…?)
I have learnt such a lot about myself lately. I have finally learnt, after 10 years, that things will never again be easy like they were when I was at school! “Will I ever find anything I can be confident about doing?” NO!! Not using the old school-time definition of confidence as excelling without even trying. I have to redefine confidence. I have to get off my butt no matter how pathetically frightening it is. And I am glad that I have been forced to do that.
In my defence, I think I felt quite heavy expectations when I was younger. The ones I was sure I could meet, fine. The ones I believed I couldn’t, I hated putting to the test. I tried my best to avoid it. It was – and is – more fear than laziness.
I am quite pleased with myself facing these fears over recent times because it is something other people haven’t had to deal with and I have been dealing with it quietly, refusing to be limited by it (although at times severely tempted to). I no longer think I have been dislodged from my earlier life; rather, that I’m finally learning to inhabit my life for real.