I just finished my first official week of graduate school. I could say it was a bit of a struggle, but that would be the understatement of the century. This week has been overwhelming, and there were a few points throughout it where I had the thought, “Can I actually do this?” And the saddest part is that I didn’t even have a full week yet. Two of my Tuesday classes don’t start until next week, I don’t start real work with my assistantship until the following week, and it’s not like we started learning (much) during the first week of school anyway.
Yet I found myself praying constantly throughout these days for God to just get me through the week. I had to remind myself pretty much every hour that what I’m doing has been done before and so I can do it too. I had to call/text my best friends multiple times daily to complain or freak out or have a meltdown, and I really don’t think I’d have made it through the week without their listening ears and encouraging words.
So I struggled this week. And the thing I’ve been struggling the most with is “Do I even want to be in graduate school?” Crazily, the one thing I keep going back to is how much I just want to work a shift at American Eagle: see my coworker friends, sell some people some clothes, and do something familiar—work at my job that where I know what the heck I’m doing. But on the other side of that, I remember my feelings halfway through the summer when I was so over AE that I thought I couldn’t work one more shift—when I couldn’t wait to be done.
The grass is always greener on the other side.
Now that I’m in graduate school, I just want to be at my retail job. When I was at my retail job, though, all I wanted to do was get away from it. I have friends who are out in the “real world” now who would pay to be back in school, but then those who are in school are dying to get out. Why do we always want what we can’t have? Why do we see the other side and think it looks so much better than what we’ve currently got?
So earlier I was thinking about this, and then I remembered this revision of one of our favorite cliches: The grass is greener where you water it. I can sit here and wish that I to not be in grad school, instead living my life away at AE…but the reason I like AE so much is because I’ve devoted time to making that place a place where I can thrive. I’ve made awesome friends at work, I’ve put in the effort to learn how to do the job, and I’ve become familiar with so many different aspects of it. I’ve “watered” it, in a sense. And I can do the same with grad school. I realize that I could just complain my way through getting my masters, stressing out and feeling overwhelmed the whole way, or I can “water” it and flourish. If we tend to the hand that we’ve been dealt, developing relationships, learning new things, experiencing life to its fullest, then we won’t suffer from “the grass is greener on the other side” syndrome because we’ll have the green grass right underneath our feet. If we water our own grass, we won’t be envious of our neighbor’s fields.
My friend tweeted this John Piper quote the other day that I fell in love with: “So we embrace the hand we’ve been dealt because we know the Dealer, and He never deals badly.” God knows us, and He knows our future, and as much as I forget it sometimes, He knows what He’s doing. He doesn’t deal a bad hand. Once I remembered this about midway through yesterday morning, my attitude changed drastically. I’m still struggling, and still unsure that there are enough hours in a day for me to do everything I’m supposed to do at State (literally uncertain, but I haven’t done the math quite yet), but I do know through all of this that God is with me and He will meet all my needs. God knows what He’s doing even if I don’t have a clue. So I intend to water my grass where I’m at in Atlanta, with school and my GRA and all this other craziness, and I can’t wait to see what grows. (Sorry that was so lame)