Monday, March 26, 2012

what's possible

So today was kind of...interesting. See, I've been so swamped with things on my mind and things to do, that I forgot I was supposed to co-lead a discussion in one of my classes today. No problem, I thought when I realized this morning; I still had enough time to finish the reading and think up some appropriate questions. And then I realized one of the readings I was supposed to discuss wasn't uploaded online as it was supposed to be and...well, one thing led to another and suffice to say that I gave my professor the impression, in an email exchange, that I had done a good bit more reading than we were supposed to have done when in fact I had done a good bit less. And she called my bluff and, impressed at my 'initiative' asked me to do a mini-lecture on it for the class.

So I had about an hour and a half to familiarize myself with a rather long reading, select excerpts to hand out to the class, and analyze it enough to be able to discuss it meaningfully. Fortunately, I DID have the underlying skills to do this: the ability to speed read with comprehension, the ability to think critically and conceptually and make connections and get big idea discussion points in a very short period of time. To be able to draw out the most important ideas, connect them to previous ideas, intellectually synthesize, etc.

On the metro on my way to class, I drew a pair of cards for advice and one of them, the crux of the draw, was the Fool. Air element, optimism, freedom from worry and fret. The fool leaps with confidence into new things. The fool, with his shoes pointed upwards, is light and quick on his feet. The fool in green is full of energy. The fool, not bothered by the tiger, the crocodile...next to the butterfly, newly transformed... I knew exactly what this card was trying to tell me.You know what you want to to talk about, how to organize your ideas, so just...don't worry about how last minute your preparation was, don't worry about whether you know enough... just trust yourself. Trust that you can do well, and approach it with confidence, with a positive attitude. Just throw yourself into doing well. Go into the class believing that you can pull it off. And so I listened to the card, and I did it. I did just fine. No one, including the professor, questioned whether I knew what I was talking about, whether I had done the reading. The professor was pleased with the excerpts, my analysis, my discussion questions. I already had the underlying ability, and so I was able to pull it off, despite the tightness of the constraints. Because I walked in there with all the confidence of the Fool, it added to the impression everyone had that I knew what I was talking about. Possibility became reality.

This was actually a very good reminder for me, namely because pulling off difficult things is hardly over for me. In the next two weeks I have to write another memorandum for a difficult grader professor, write a twenty-five page research paper, work on two different group presentations, plus a whole bunch of arabic work and regular readings, and also keep going to work, and find some time to go to a dental clinic to try to get my tooth fixed at affordable cost, and until then do all of that while in constant pain/discomfort, and other non-school related things stressing me out and just...

I pulled another two cards this evening, in an improvised what to do/what not to do spread, and got the 7 of Swords for what not to do. Futility, giving up on yourself prematurely, letting false doubts cloud your mind. That middle sword serves as a center of gravity for the rest: you need a strong center, a confident center, something to anchor all the many projects and responsibilities you need to get done. This card has the moon in aquarius - the possibility of doubts, confusion, lunacy, illusion getting in the way of pure intellect, in the way of curiosity, originality, logical thought. If you let doubts knock that center of gravity out of balance, everything falls apart; if you can hang on, not let the moon skew things...anything is possible.

If today showed me anything, it's that academically at least, I can pull of a great very many things even in very constrained, very difficult circumstances. I have the ability, the skill. If I can put away self-doubt, if I can overcome distraction, the despairing fear of failure, futility - if I can channel the fool, the blind certainty of conviction - I CAN do this. I can get what I need to get done. Haven't I proven already to myself, again and again, what I can do?

So yes, avoid the faulty logic of 7 of Swords, channel the Fool's energy and confidence, and get to work. Aquarius, Air signs, Possibility. So much is possible if don't let your mind convince you otherwise...

4 comments:

Carla said...

God, this makes me so grateful I'm not in school anymore and never going back. :)

Alison Cross said...

Great messages! It's strange how our part of our mind is happy to sabotage ourselves - usually in people who are very capable and CAN do the job in hand without any bother.

Yet, in some twats, that part of the mind appears to be silent and thus we end up with a great many people in power who are far less fit for the job!

Get channelling that Fool!

Marina said...

We have a saying here in Brazil: "the potatoes find their places as the truck moves". That is to say - things tend to fall in the right place as they develop, and there's no use suffering beforehand (specially because anxiety can reduce the capacity of dealing with problems).

You have a lot to do, but if you concentrate on getting it all done, one task at a time, I am sure that you'll be successful. Trust yourself, you know you can do it. The Fool does not think too hard about all possible obstacles in his journey, although he knows they exist - he just keeps walking.

Bonkers said...

thanks guys :D

Marina, that saying is a great thing to keep in mind. thanks for sharing!

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