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November 29, 2012 / Zoe

One Sixth Done.

Seven years ago I started University for the first time. I lasted two years, but I had zero passion for Human Movement and Exercise Science. Interest, yes. Passion, not a bit. Three weeks ago I had the first exam for my second attempt at Uni. In the Human Movement Gym.

Isn’t it funny how the universe sends us these gentle signs? Just a little reminder of how far I’ve come; a little reminder that this time I am passionate about my studies. This time it won’t end like that.

The following week I walked out of my Gender Studies exam, and working in the garden was someone I worked with when I was doing a traineeship at Kings Park, the botanic gardens in Perth. So, thanks Universe, I get it, that’s another journey I’ve been on. It’s been four years since I dropped out of the traineeship because of my mental health. It was a gentle reminder that, wow, my anxiety has improved a crazy amount in the last few months. Four years ago I freaked out having to walk to my front gate, now I do exams? At university? And totally rock at gender studies? This time my mental health won’t beat me.

My third exam was in the hall where I sat in July to enrol for Uni. Matt was telling me about how they do exams in there, and was pointing out the amazing ceiling and carvings. I just sat there, my fists clenched tight around my papers, trying to breathe deeply and ignore the fact that there were people sitting all around me. People who might, *gasp*, look at me. Judge me. Question why I was there. That’s the basis of my anxiety disorder, I have an intense fear of being looked at. The word ‘exam’ floated through my mind and my heart skipped a beat. I couldn’t possible do exams! How could I sit with all those people, how could I learn enough, and oh my goodness, how will I be even be able to go to lectures? I was close to walking out when my name was called. Sitting in that hall the second time I thought about those moments, and wondered what exactly I was scared of. Failure. I was so scared that I would fail, so scared that I will fail a for a third time. I haven’t gotten my results back yet, but I got enough lovely little HDs on my work to be confident that I didn’t fail a thing this semester, and I don’t think my love of English and Gender Studies is going anywhere.

Walking to the basketball court for my fourth and final exam, I joked with Matt about what the forth sign from the Universe would be. Would I walk out and see my Mum? Someone from Primary School? What? Well, I saw nothing. On the drive home I decided that the Universe was saving that moment for later. Maybe in 15 years time I’ll be handing in my Gender Studies PhD thesis and I’ll see something that will take me back to the moment I finished the last exam of my first semester. The semester which proved I could beat my anxiety, and the semester I found my passion. Maybe I’ll see the book I wrote about, Gilgamesh. Maybe I’ll walk past a basketball court. Maybe it’ll just be Matt, waiting in the coffee shop, with a list of books to read now that I have the time.

It feels wonderful to have 3 months off from Uni, I’ll be able to blog and craft and read! My summer reading list in extensive. The books are piled on the piano waiting for me. A mix of library books and books from my shelves. A mix of fiction and non-fiction.

I do feel a sense of accomplishment, but I’m keeping in mind that there’s a long way to go until I finish a degree.

Four units down. Twenty to go.

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2 Comments

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  1. Lily / Nov 29 2012 10:35 pm

    I am so proud of you for taking this step. It will be amazing how fast those 20 units will go.

    I am excited to read your blog posts again. And I haven’t forgotten that I want some of your pretty pouches. We can talk about it when your ready.

    Lily-thinking thoughts

    • Zoe / Dec 1 2012 6:51 pm

      Thanks so much Lily! I think I still have your fabric in a little pile ready to sew. I’ll let you know when I get into my sewing room, probably next week. xx

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