My favorite writing teacher of all time used to say “The beginning is important and the end is important, but the end is more important than the beginning.”
But guys… I am really terrible at endings.
Let’s talk about for a minute about the beautiful 10 mile race I ran last weekend. It started out winding alongside the Merrimack River, 60 degrees, no bugs, feeling strong. I loved those first 3 miles… and then came these terrifying, muddy, slippery hills where no joke, the leaders of the race passed me at mile 3.5 (because it was an out and back type of race.)
That’s okay, I can handle being slow – I’m used to it.
At mile 5, the manned water break at some DPW kinda outbuilding, an hour had passed and I was feeling… okay, but sort of not that great. A tiny voice in my head was saying “Just get a ride back now with the empty water jugs.” But I quashed it and started jogging beside this great lady with a killer sense of humor, and we covered a couple of those terrible hills from mile 5 to 6. At this point, I was struggling hard, so I fell back.
At mile 8, if there had been any way to magically transport myself to the finish line, I would have taken it. I probably would have paid money to get there (and I’m pretty stingy with my cash). I was calling down curses on the day I signed up for this race and every freezing day in March that had prevented me from training outdoors. (I’m kind of a wuss about freezing weather and running outdoors). Unfortunately, I had to
walk run stumble my way to the end. And then cram dry cookies in my mouth. While popping my blood blisters.
Gross, Beth. Just gross.
Why that disgusting story?
Well, I’m coming really close to the end of grad school, really close, but not close enough. There are 5 more weeks of classes left and a few papers, and then that’s… not quite it. There’s this tiny lil’ 300 hour internship I need to find and complete.
In general, in my quiet moments, I sit down and think, why did I sign up to do this again? The more I studied this field, the more I liked it (different than the first go-round of higher ed). However, I picked one of those degrees that doesn’t guarantee you a job and a title at the end. If you study education, people know you’re going to be a Teacher. But if you study Industrial Organizational Psychology, you don’t get to call yourself a Psychologist at the end of the MS. Unfortunately.
I feel like I’m at mile 8. The end isn’t quite here yet, and even if I had the internship all sorted out, there’s the matter of all the things I’m interested in knowing more about, and finding ways to incorporate them into life.
And getting a job. There’s that too.
If there was a way to magically transport my way to the end, where I can see the finish line (ie: the next steps in a career) I’d take it. I’d even pay some money for it. But as far as I can tell, I’ve got to stay on the course before me, and run the last couple miles, and trust that will get me there.
Getting through the last couple miles is hard.