Listen guys, I am tired. Tired of traveling three days out of the week to Lehman, tired of stressing that I must stay on top of my classes and tired of my everyday demands in general. I am exhausted, I sleep perhaps no more than four hours out of the day and I’ve made myself so available to the people who might need me that they have the privilege of waking me out of my sleep.
I read Robyn Ryles‘ blog post on his fatigue of being a teacher, but how much it was worth it because he was doing something that he loved. It inspired me. Because the passion for what I do had to come from somewhere. There must be motivation somewhere, even though I don’t actively think about it, that keeps me going, regardless of how tired that I might be.
Ryles is a Sociology professor at a liberal arts college. He admits that day to day, he personally takes on the biases that students come to class with. His job is to, “dismantle all the shit they bring with them up to that point and ask them to think again.” This professor challenges his students’ traditional ways of thinking, and by accepting his responsibility of how they may see social structures thereafter, Ryles creates a learning space that breaks apart years worth of one dimensional thinking.
Then I thought to myself, what have I taken responsibility of that keeps me going? Because if you think about it, I could give the bare minimum to complete my tasks, or none at all. But then I’ll be missing out on something wouldn’t I? So what is it? For me, stretching myself to the point of exhaustion and beyond means that I get to help someone do something that makes their day easier.
It also means that I’m contributing towards a long term goal in a way that I won’t have to play catch-up. I go to class and complete my assignments so that I won’t fail and have to retake courses. I go to work sometimes when I’m not scheduled so that I won’t be drowning in paperwork the following week. It took me four years to learn how to procrastinate, I admit that lately I’ve been doing more things at the last minute, but that’s because I’m re-evaluating how to effectively use the now less time that I have.
Of-course there are some gaps in my day where I find myself texting a little too much, or days where I literally plan how well I’ll accept possible failure if I chose to sleep throughout the day, but it comes with the territory. But luckily for me I have professors like Professor Ryles who have my best interests at heart. It’s expected to not want to take care of your priorities sometimes, no-one really talks about it but knowing that makes it so much easier to actually get the work done.