The Force

 I named my blog Motion and Rest because I feel like my life — from fitness to education to my social life — is overwhelmingly ruled by the law of inertia.

Once I establish a pattern, I’m stuck in it whether it’s good or bad. I usually read a book in one sitting (with interspersed snack breaks) because I don’t like to stop. When I was a soldier, I was so conditioned to run that if I felt like we didn’t get it in enough during PT, I’d put my running shoes on after work and do my own PT. We won’t even speak of my YouTube if-I-subscribe-to-you-I-gotta-watch-every-video-you-ever-posted-today fixation.

One of the patterns I was stuck in was doing work that I couldn’t stand because, well, it’s my job. I know I’m not alone in this. After I left the military I was a credit analyst for four years. And not the “You’re Approved!” kind of credit analyst. Uh Uh. I was the “I understand you’re calling in to request an increase in your credit line because you’re on vacation, but based on the information you’ve given me I’m actually going to have to close down your account effective immediately” kind of credit analyst. Not that it wasn’t thrilling work. But I always felt like I was selling myself short. So thanks to my veteran status, I decided to fight inertia. I am now an adult undergraduate student.

It’s weird. The freshman are young enough to be my kids. One of my previous classmates is now a professor. When I first started back in August, I hated walking around campus. I didn’t want to be seen. I felt like I stood out like Charles Darwin at a tent revival. (Check my science reference yo. Reppin’ the Chem majors.) But now I’m at ease. I’m a good student and I’m proud of that. Those kids are the ones who stand out. Lookin’ like a fool wit yo pants on the ground. They sometimes call me Ma’am or Miss. I don’t mind that. Twice someone’s asked me if I was the teacher. But mostly I’m just another class mate… with awesome hair. (Except to my lab partner who appreciates that I show up early to get things set up so she can spend more time flirting with Mr. D-minus.) 

I’ve discovered advantages to being a thirty-something undergrad:

  • If the instructor’s assigns a group project, my group members assume I’m super-busy with like 4 kids and a parent in a nursing home, and they don’t expect me to sit through their 9pm “planning sessions” which consist of 3 minutes of class talk and 57 minutes of indecipherable teen chatter and texting. 
  • I appreciate how much free time students have. They always complain like they’re so busy. No, basic training is busy. College is a 4-year fashion show with sporadic class-time interruptions.

 

  • I have a practical use for the material I’m learning. These kids have no real plan. They’re just in college because that’s what they’re supposed to do. I know what I want now, and I know how my classes fit into me achieving my goals.
  • I can afford a real vacation, not just a trip home for the holiday break. And Spring Break’s coming!

 

I’m thankful for this opportunity to really change the course of my future. An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion until some force causes its speed or direction to change. MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU.

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