Grad Girl Diaries #7: Flat Tires & Failed Plans

A couple weeks ago, Libby (my roommate, who I love very much if you weren’t yet aware) and I decided to reward ourselves after a long weekend of slaving over schoolwork and go shopping. We were so proud of what we’d accomplished and had the most wonderful Sunday planned. About 30 minutes out from our destination, the car suddenly blew a tire and you can guess what happened next. We ended up on the side of the highway like sitting ducks, waiting for someone to rescue us.

We quickly came to the realization that we would not be going shopping after being informed that help would not come for another hour, and Libby’s spare tire only had the ability to barely get us back home. While waiting, we expressed how mad we were, and how unfair it was that we had gotten all of our work done and had been such good grad students only to be robbed of our fun plans. Our anger turned to tears from laughter as we joked about our unfortunate predicament.

I’ll be honest (like always), the month of October has been hell. Everything that could have gone wrong most definitely did. And I’ve spent a lot of time asking what I did to deserve certain things. Things I thought would happen didn’t, and things I didn’t think would happen did. I am mentally and emotionally exhausted by the events of this month, and as a person who passionately refuses to give up, I’ve had points when I thought pushing through was useless, or that I just couldn’t do it.

By the time Libby and I got home after the flat tire fiasco, I had completely forgotten about the plans we started the day with. All I knew was that I had spent time with Libby, and that my stomach hurt from laughing so hard. I wonder how different it would be if I always took failures and thought about the process more than the desired outcome.

In therapy, most of the time it’s the process of problem-solving and working through issues that teaches people the most and ends up being more effective than the actual end result. This season hasn’t been the hardest I’ve had and it won’t be the last. The processes of past trials have prepared me for the ones I’m going through now, and the trials I’m going through now are shaping me into a better, stronger, more compassionate person. The idea that our pain might have a purpose can be frustrating, because most of the time we don’t deserve it. But seasons change, and pain fades.

As one of my favorite quotes says: “I don’t pay attention to the world ending. It has ended for me many times, and began again in the morning.” If you’re going through hell, just keep going. The only way out is through. 

With honest love,

Claire

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