Work is currently Not Fun.
Friends, it is one thing to not try and not get anywhere but it is another to really really try and also not get anywhere. The confusion and the frustration that seems to be marking my days at the moment is something I am finding difficult to manage.
The source of my trouble is really that I find it hard not to take doing badly as a personal comment on Who I Am. Of course, when I write that sentence it seems ridiculous that I would, and right now I don’t feel like that at all, but when I am having a moment of where-is-the-time-before-this-exam-oh-it-is-nowhere-how-did-I-let-this-happen-what-do-I-do, it suddenly gets harder.
It is hard because it exposes the part of me that really wants to have worldly success, to have people congratulate me on my results, and to have people look at me and think – ‘ah, she is Worthwhile‘! Whilst I hate that this is true and hate to admit it, my fear about failing this exam is probably closely tied to what I want others to think about me and what I want to feel about myself – that I am Capable.
Given that I am finding things so hard at the moment, I’m taking a day by day approach. My goal for the next 10 days is to better learn that I am Worthwhile whether everybody or nobody thinks that true, and to be faithful in trying to work whether or not it yields any actual results.
I need to keep reminding myself that although I am currently acutely aware that I am Not Capable, I am still Worthwhile. I need to keep reminding myself that even if I open up my Tripos paper next week and actually cannot answer a single question and cry for 3 hours (let’s be honest, I could only keep that up for max two of the hours), I am Still Enough.
My prayer this week has been and will keep on being ‘Lord, help me be secure that I am where I am supposed to be’ and ‘Lord, I am finding this difficult but I want to still be faithful, meet me in this place (the hopeless jumble of modal functionalism)‘.
I was working with Katherine, Matt and David in Central Library last week, and they were fab, because I kept asking them ‘Can you tell me that I can do it?’ and then they would say ‘You can do it‘, and I would keep on working.
So here’s a request: if you are reading this and do know me in real life, I would be helped by some extra encouragement in the next week, of you telling me that I am doing a great job at being exactly where I am supposed to be, and of you telling me that I can do it.
And here’s a final thing: if you are reading this, you already are a source of encouragement in my life, and I am so grateful for that – thank you 🙂