Those who have spoken to me much recently might be aware that it was my intention to return to University this year. When I missed the cut off for mature age students, I determined that my best course of action was to instead wait until the mid-year intake.

Whatever the reason – perhaps a lack of understanding on my part or a certain naivety towards the system, it turns out that won’t be possible. The degree I would like to study does not have a midyear intake, meaning instead of a delay of six months, I’ll have been delayed from the start of my degree by a full twelve months.

My first reaction was anger (at myself), then despair (at the time I have cost myself).

When I reassessed, however, I’m surprised to find that I’m handling this rather well. There’s nothing I can do about the situation at hand, other than wait and prepare for my next opportunity. My to-do list for the time being has become far simpler. I’m doing my best to see it as chance to spend more time on creative projects.

I’ve come to understand that sometimes I have very little power to influence some of the events of my life. There’s a certain kind of liberation in this realisation, one that pushes me to pursuits where I can make a difference. I’m not as inclined towards wasting time moping, brooding or otherwise obsessing over what may have been.

That said, there’s a certain danger in this, too. I often keep myself preoccupied with other things, if only to avoid worrying about that which I have no control over. Striking a fine line between this kind of ‘reflection’ and ‘distraction’ has been a major goal of mine for some time, and an important part of my recent maturation.

This is, as I’ve discovered, this is likewise an important part of my eternal quest to better manage my anxiety and my overall mental health. Every instance where I fall short, where I fail, or where I don’t measure up to the standards of myself or another is a crossroads.

I’m constantly faced with the option to either fall down and let despair overtake me, or keep stubbornly stumbling forward in an attempt to keep myself productive. Every day it’s a struggle just to keep myself doing something good.

That said, there are times, as with this whole situation with university, where I realise just how far I’ve come, and just how much progress I’ve made.

It helps to motivate me each day to aim and strive for more. At the end of the day, learning how to lose has taught me how to win.

Image by succo from Pixabay