Naming a Fear / Learning a Lesson

8 Jun

My #funemployment ends on Sunday and my new, radically different, #backtoschool life begins on Monday. For the next 3+ years I will be a full-time student surrounded by classmates who are literally half my age, and with the likely prospect of having several professors who also will be at least a decade younger than I. #notwhatiplanned

When I left the practice of law nearly 2.5 years ago to begin exploring what my “new life” might look like, I really was not at all sure what I was doing or where I was going, but I *did* know that I would enjoy the journey and wherever it ultimately took me. I wrote about my initial fear/uneasiness in THIS blog post, which included the following passage designed to calm me (and you, Dear Reader):

There is nothing to worry about.

I have done my diligence.

I know who I am.

I know who I want to be.

I know how to get there and Iโ€™m not afraid of encountering detours on my path.

Now, here’s the thing. As I stare over the precipice that separates #funemployment from #backtoschool, I see that there IS something for me to worry about. In fact, there are two things that presently worry me greatly:

1. For the first 8 weeks, I will be in the classroom from 8:00-4:30 every day + have at least a 45min commute each way. I have not pulled together 5-days-in-a-row of solid brain-use activity since before my brain bashing 4 years ago and I have NEVER had to spend ~1.5-2.5 hours a day in traffic. I am daunted by having to marshal/sustain energy sufficient to endure this workload for such an extended, unrelenting period of time.

Can I do it? I honestly don’t know, but I will try my best and I will appreciate your patience with what is likely to be yet another extended blog hiatus (I KNOW I STILL OWE YOU ROAD TRIP STORIES, don’t remind me. I’ve got PLENTY of residual Catholic guilt messing with my intestines and mind…).

2. Our initial Summer Semester is broken into two parts. For the first 4 weeks, our morning session (8-12:30) will be devoted to Kinesiology lecture/labs [4.5 hours of lecture on one topic?! How is that even remotely OK? Even for 22-year-old able-brained students?!] and for the next 4 weeks it will be Neuorscience [stoked!]. Throughout the summer, Monday afternoons will be devoted to a course called Occupational Foundations, which is, essentially, History of the Occupational Therapy Profession. Necessary. Boring. Questionable future usefulness. Whatever. Moving on…

Tuesday through Friday afternoons for the entire summer will be devoted to a course called Foundations: Creativity, Craft and Activity Analysis. This is the course that makes my blood run slow and my anxieties run high. Crafts. For 12 hours a week. For 8 weeks. For a Letter Grade. I would, in all honesty, prefer to take an advanced math course rather than crafts.

  • Math: Math is hard for everyone. We’re all in this together. It will objectively suck, but we will get through it.
  • Crafts: Crafts are supposed to be fun! Everyone loves crafts! Everyone can be good at crafts! FUCK YOU, UNIVERSE! I (NOW) SUCK, UNIQUELY, AT CRAFTS and I cannot believe that my abject suckage will be displayed to everyone in my class, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks…

Whoa now! Easy there, CZ!

It’s “just” Crafts! Nothing to get so upset about…. What’s really eating you??

Well, Dear Reader, you may not know this (or maybe you do/did), but back before my brain bashing I actually enjoyed what I guess might appropriately be called an “above average” aptitude for all things Arts & Crafts related. I had a fertilely creative mind and the ability to easily translate my mindscapes into 3D and 2D artworks. I enjoyed arts and crafts and I was good at ’em (which almost always guarantees that you will enjoy something, right?)



I don’t know.

I haven’t tried.

I haven’t even been willing to try — mainly because my everyday printing and handwriting “skills” are still so jacked up and my fine-motor skills are still glitchy and whenever I attempt to even just doodle the things that come out of my pens/pencils do not look ANYTHING like the things that I see in my mind.

So, because even mere doodling has proven itself to be a regular exercise in frustration, disappointment, failure, and sorrow, I have consciously, stubbornly avoided anything that even remotely approaches “real” art, or even craft.

When I learned that Crafts essentially will be THE largest component of the first semester of my new life, I flipped my wig: THIS IS NOT OK!

I need to fix this.

How can I fix this?!

I know!

CraftsI can start with the coloring book for grown-ups that someone gave me after my brain bashing and which I totally hated when I first tried to use it 4 years ago because I still couldn’t differentiate colors or come anywhere close to staying inside the lines and THAT failure is what caused me to cease attempting anything that even remotely resembled arts (or crafts) and from whence my downward spiral of fear and loathing for such things commenced.

Fuck that.

That is not OK.

I need to get back on the horse and stop being such a scaredy-cat. I will find that coloring book and I will color in it every day and I will keep going until my coloring stops sucking…

And thus began ~3 days of tearing up my house and reorganizing piles of forgotten / ignored documents, books, papers, art supplies, office supplies, school supplies etc., none of which ever yielded the book I sought in the first place,


But, it *did* yield a truly remarkable bit of my forgotten history, which included some information and writing that totally blew my mind and made me realize that the universe really may be designed to put us exactly where we need to be, even (or maybe even especially) when we take really random routes to get there (and even when traffic is gonna be really awful), and when we arrive at the place that destiny created for us, not being good at crafts won’t matter one bit.



No fear.

Tune in tomorrow to find out what colored me happy…

4 Responses to “Naming a Fear / Learning a Lesson”

  1. Bobbye Welch June 9, 2015 at 9:29 am #

    OMG, I think I’m the one that bought that coloring book for you way back when you were recovering from your accident. I even remember getting the color pencils that went with it. I am not 100% sure but I would say I was 95% sure. I think I had given it to Gisella to send to you. Let me know if you remember or know of someone else that may have sent it to you. Now I’m curious to know if my memory serves me well!

    • justadventures June 9, 2015 at 10:52 am #

      I think you are probably right about that, Bobbye. I still have the pencils, but I have NO idea where I put the book after it broke my heart (though I am quite certain that I kept it … somewhere…).


  1. The more things change, the more they are the same | JustAdventures - June 9, 2015

    […] I was looking for my coloring book and instead I found a large sheaf of papers from late 2001/early 2002: My Peace Corps application. […]

  2. #adventure17 v.6 | JustAdventures - June 17, 2017

    […] Also possible: An Update on last month’s challenge (#adventure17 v.5: Wine & Paint Night with Mom). This was, perhaps, the challenge that I most dreaded owing to my previously confessed, and not-yet-conquered, fear of arts and crafts.  […]

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