Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy, Scared, and Excited

I’m excited and scared and happy because I have about 750 pages to read and one essay to write in the next four weeks. 
I’m happy because I’m reading about American history, which is one of my favorite subjects in the whole world.  My love of history started when my mom bought me two coloring books about the U.S. Presidents when I was 8 years old.  This began my fascination with Presidents and inevitably history.  When I was a kid, I wasn’t the most diligent student, but one area where I was diligent was in history.  Both in class and on my own, I read all I could about Presidents.  I especially enjoyed biographies.  Years later, as an adult, I found some of the books I enjoyed as a child.  One of the books I’ve kept all my life was 40 American Biographies, a book given to me by 4th grade teacher, I  think almost as an afterthought as she was cleaning out the classroom on the last day of school after all the kids had gone home.  I loved that book and I loved learning about famous Americans as diverse as Leif Ericson and Will Rogers.  History just made me happy.  And I’m happy now.
I’m also scared because I have a lot of work to do and historically (no pun intended) I haven’t always been the most diligent student or I took courses I didn’t enjoy.  I’m aware of the amount of work I have to do and will have to keep doing for the next year and a half in order to get my Master’s degree in history.  I’m aware that self-discipline will be crucial.  But I’m also aware that I’ve been punishing myself for a long time over my grades in college.  It’s true that I didn’t excel as an undergraduate, but I did quite well in my graduate work.  I studied and was diligent.  The problem was I simply had no interest in the subject I was studying.  With that in mind, it’s even more amazing how well I did.  I think I can stop punishing myself for the poor grades I got 25 years ago and congratulate myself on the good grades I got later.   (A few years before I took my Masters classes, I took a History of California course.  I loved it and did well in it.)
I’m scared, but I don’t need to be.  I only need to be diligent, consistent, and determined.  I’ve dealt with much harder work than what  I’m about to do. 
I’m excited because I’m going to be learning new things and I like that.  I like the process of my mind expanding with new ideas.  I like the idea of writing for a purpose (grades) and with direction.  I’m looking forward to having new perspectives on American history.  I’m looking forward to my Muse giving me new ideas for the next 18 months.  I’m looking forward to having a degree in history.  I’m even looking forward to all the work I will have to do.

I decided to Get Started and Keep Going in a direction I’ve wanted to go almost all my life.  I’m happy, scared, and excited. But mostly I’m happy.