(I’ll freely admit I don’t like Frozen, but the title is just so dang apt.)
Anyone who knows me knows this: I’m a pretty sick girl. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just ask. I’m very open about it.)
But back when I was a callow youth — 18 years old, to be exact — I didn’t know how sick I was. Sure, I felt awful a lot of the time, but I just figured that was normal. So I dragged myself out of bed (most days), got straight A’s, participated in a ton of clubs/extracurriculars, and slogged my way to victory.
That came to an abrupt halt my freshman year of college.
Dragging myself out of bed got harder. Eating hurt more. Heck, EVERYTHING hurt more. I’d miss 2 or 3 days of school one month. Then a week. Then two weeks. Then three. Then months at a time.
My grades went KER-SPLAT. I didn’t know you could medically withdraw from classes. So I woke up one day to find that I had missed finals, skipped most of the semester, lost 15-20 pounds, and was the proud owner of a 2.59 GPA.
Yeah. 2.59. Makes me cringe just typing it.
Now fast forward five years.
When I do something wrong or have a medical flare-up, people still tell me to “not have a repeat of freshman year.” I’m sure they mean well. If not, I’d probably smack them.
But a tiny part of me has always thought they were right. No matter how many great jobs I got or books I wrote or achievements I got, If I went from “straight-A Rae” to straight-up failure once, I must still be a failure. Right?
I’m about to graduate from school in August. So I decided to do a little self-diagnostic on my academic progress today. (Yes, it certainly isn’t the only measure of success — not by a long shot — but it’s the one that shook me the most when it first happened.) I pulled up my progress report and calculated my GPA minus my freshman year.
I had to double-check my calculations.
I was a failure, an idiot, wasn’t I? I spent five years beating myself up for not slogging through my disorders to victory. My academic prowess was a thing of the past.
3.89 again. (For those of you playing at home, “A” average = 4.0 and “A-” average = 3.7.)
My brain exploded.
I’ll let you decide what to take away from this, but for me, it was a shocking reminder that letting go of past missteps and failures IS A GOOD FREAKING IDEA. Learn from them. DEFINITELY try to find the silver lining.
BUT FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP.
Yeah. That means you. Let go of those things that drag you down and make you feel terrible about yourself. You are freaking awesome, and I will burn things with fire if you don’t get that through your head.
And here’s some Toby to help convince you.