10 Months of 30 Days…Leveling Up

This challenge started with such promise lol. The idea was to work on developing my Instructional Design skills because I want a plan for what’s next in my life. I don’t think it’s ever been a secret to anyone that knows me that teaching was never going to be the last stop for me. I never intended to retire as a teacher even in the very beginning 15 years ago. Could that change? I suppose, but I doubt it. My love/hate relationship with it is becoming more polarized, and the energy consumption is becoming greater. It’s not sustainable for me. Instructional Design makes sense to me because it utilizes a lot of the same skills I already have. The learning focus then is on certain software programs and the process of design itself. I find it interesting, and it would provide an opportunity to work the way I want to.

I had been working my way through a YouTube playlist by a well-known ID and had already spent time on an ID challenge, so I decided to join a course specifically to aid me in building a project and portfolio. I wanted and needed the guidance and direction instead of just picking at pieces without really knowing where I was going with it. To start the month, I jumped right in, signed up and cruised through the first two parts of the project (out of 4). I got to part three and hit a wall. Not because of the project requirements, but rather because of my energy levels.

Feeling too wise to be this old

I’m not actually old; I know this, but this brought up some things, and I’m feeling a certain kind of way about age lately. I feel that it’s unfair that we finally wise up when our bodies start to wind down. I do everything I can to keep myself healthy and strong, but it’s not the same. It makes me feel like I wasted so much time because I was such an idiot in my 20s, like everyone is, and only now do I really see how I could have used that time and energy. I still look at myself as if I’m 23 most days, and it’s only when I hit a wall am I reminded that I am not, in fact, 23 and can’t do all the things no matter how badly I want to.

I had originally set a timeline for myself to finish this project within the month. Needless to say, that isn’t happening. My job as a teacher just doesn’t leave any gas in the tank at the end of the day to make it happen, and no matter how hard I’ve tried, this challenge has been a real struggle. That has been incredibly difficult to accept. I am capable of so much, and I do so much- it never occurs to me until it happens that I have limits. I’ve found myself feeling discouraged and doubtful at times through this month, wondering if I can make this transition happen. On the heels of the super-funk that I was in from this horrible winter we’ve had, it’s taken even more energy than normal to keep myself from really falling into some of those beliefs. This has really tested my growth work and typically unbending confidence that the Universe has my back without fail.

At the end of the day, I know what I am dealing with is an upper-limit fear. I’m leveling up and that brings with it challenge and a test of will and purpose. When things are hard, it’s natural to want to give up or default to an “I’m just not good enough” mentality to let yourself off the hook and quit trying rather than risk failure. But what kind of life would that be? Stagnant and boring. I’ve never been the type to hang out in the status quo. It’s just not who I am, and if I gave up on this, that would be a far bigger failure than any possible outcome of pushing forward. If that means one tiny baby step at a time, so be it. At least it’s movement.

So, I’m here at the end of the month with a half-finished project, and it’s actually a relief to have the pressure of the timeline taken off. I know I will finish this project. I have no idea when as I just don’t have the energy right now to focus on it, but I know I will. I am nothing if not disciplined and determined. There’s no rush as I’m also not sure when this transition out of teaching will happen. I just know I’ll be ready when the time comes. In the meantime, I have other challenges to tackle.

On to the next.

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