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Breaking the Study Wall

I hit a wall of walls yesterday, trying to study for the GRE.
The panic and anxiety were setting in that at this point it was a week away.
As the days inch closer, I ain’t gonna know, what I ain’t gonna know and the reality of that is settling in.
So I’m trying my best to get really good at what I do know and ride that till the wheels fall off.
It’s so much information.
It’s so overwhelming.
So after staring at the study books, and staring. I decided, I’ll go to the gym.
And that helped. Then I went to the grocery store and got some veggies and a cookies and cream candy bar and ate the joker in my car on the way home.
Did I negate my hard work at the gym?
Possibly. But that wasn’t the point. I needed motivation I needed to physically do something to get my juices flowing.
And they began to flow.
I took out some poster board that I use for my vision boards and I began to write.
I wrote the school I was going to attend. I wrote my March 2014 start date for my program.
And in very large letters I wrote my graduation date and new fancy title. Masters of Public Health.
I wrote things like, “Change the game.”
“Shape Policy” “Create Access”
“If you do your best, let God do the rest.”
Then things changed in my spirit. I wrote things like calm.
Redefine success.
Then I started writing the names of women who inspired me. And they started out as celebrities, singers, artists, dancers, great thinkers and writers, and women in politics, educators.
Then it started to get personal. I listed mentors, and old women from church, women who passed on, and then I wrote the names of my contemporaries, my friends, my sister friends.
I found myself praying for them, praying for their strength to keep on doing what they are doing. I was proud of them.
I found myself thanking God for the women who were no longer with us on Earth and their influence on my life. Just the writing of the names, the speaking of the names was giving me an unexpected strength. I even thought of my ancestors. Women who didn’t have very many choices. My great, great, great-grandmother, who according to some records had no name but negro woman, who bore my great great-grandfather. What a world.
To know what I’ve come from.
I realized I had no choice.
I couldn’t sit and get upset because I’m not great at math. I just had to pick myself up and keep working.
I spoke to the only person I knew who would get it. And not think I was crazy for writing down the names of all these women and feeling some spiritual connection and feeling overwhelmed and humbled and blessed, just by taking time to acknowledge.
The friend told me it was a wonderful experience I had.
She reminded me that I wasn’t like everyone else and that I was far too talented and creative and gifted to just sit down and claim mediocrity as part and parcel of becoming an adult in this world.
She told me, this is my time.
This is my time to study and research and be at the table in terms of helping people with mental illness. The world needs someone like me, who looks like me, who has experienced what I’ve experienced, who knows what I know to go forth and take my place at the table.
These were powerful, yet true words.
My wise friend told me to shut out the noise. To not live in the bubble and to fully and truly follow the path I feel deep down inside of me and not abandon that.
I managed to study for a little more before going to bed. I didn’t log several hours, like the previous day.
But the spiritual boost I had from her, from my prayer and from going to the gym, proved to be just as essential.

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