Even though I’d always been an above average student, I had an enormous anxiety about taking tests because it had been instilled in me that if I didn’t maintain a certain level of excellence, I was a failure regardless of what my teachers put on my report card.
Essentially, anything less than an A might as well have been an F. Expectations were quite high for me.
Fittingly, my guests at graduation were my stepmother, who had planted the paralyzing fear of failure in my psyche, and my girlfriend, whose tests I would fail for the next decade until it led to my expulsion from our marriage.
I naively believed a quarter century ago in Washington Square Park, that when I threw my cap up into the air, I was free at last from tests and could finally set more realistic expectations for myself.
Chalk that one up as a definite failure.
Because of my anxieties, I failed them all miserably.
I didn’t quit, though. I found my inner Straight A Student buried deep in my psyche, trapped in the gnarled roots of the mighty redwood that had grown from the seeds of the fear of failure my stepmother had planted many decades ago.
With the help of a very expensive tutor (aka a therapist), I was able to not only face my fears, but also pass my tests with scores that earned me a spot on the Dean’s List.
Life was finally headed in the direction I wanted. My post-graduate work would begin at year’s end after the proper paperwork had been filed and approved by the government.
I studied diligently, Modern Philosophers. I now know more about immigration law, visas, and the qualifications a foreign born applicant needs to practice Physical Therapy in the United States, than any NYU Film graduate ever should.
And yet here I sit alone with the scarlet letter of failure painted on my chest because life surprised me with a pop quiz and, apparently, I tanked it.
I might not have the quote exactly right, Modern Philosophers, but that was the gist of what my friend had to say the other night when she came over to check on me.
Her comments were appropriate because all this rambling I’m doing about life testing me is really just a cover for a love story.
If you knew the tests life has thrown at me over the past year, you’d probably wonder why I wasn’t a total wreck right now.
The truth of the matter is, I’ve chosen to put my faith in love, remembered all the obstacles we’ve overcome to get to this point, and truly believe we will find a way to pass this current test so all will be right with the world again.
However, something wasn’t right when I woke up this morning. The burden of this most recent failure was weighing on me, my heart was heavy, and my faith was shaken.
Which led me to scream at the top of my lungs: When will life ever stop testing me???
Why has this played out like a Hollywood romance to this point with love not allowing an ocean, immigration laws, licensing requirements, insecurity, and frightening, life altering changes to keep us from being together?
When the hell do the tests stop? I feel like I’ve passed more than enough at this point to have earned my Master’s Degree in Happily Ever After.
My stepmother might have pushed me to a point where I fear failure so much that I’m too afraid to take any risks, but in this case, I went out on a very shaky limb over a very deep abyss because I was so hopelessly in love.
I just wasn’t prepared for all the tests life asked me to take while I was hanging on for dear life and trying not to lose sight of why I was out on that perilous perch in the first place.
When the @#$% does life stop testing me and allow me to graduate to happiness?
I’m not supposed to be sitting alone on my porch with all the time in the world to write rambling posts about my frustration. Bigger, much more romantic happenings were planned for this vacation.
I don’t know what your Deep Thoughts are on fate and higher powers, but I honestly believe that life is screwing with me. All I want is to be happy. I’ll jump through all the damn hoops I have to in order to get there, but enough is enough.
I’m done with all these damn tests. The time has come for me to be happy.
I’ve certainly earned it.
Don’t test me right now. Just follow me on Pinterest…