I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled program from the Ireland and Scotland trip that I’m a year behind on anyway to just talk for a few about what is going on right now. It’s not the most motivated post but it’s real.

I don’t want to be very dramatic because I have been given many chances in life, however, I finally may have met my match. I’m two weeks away from finishing a 9 month intensive language program at the Defense Language Institute for Indonesian and I may have run out of grit.

Grit you say? WTF are you talking about? Well since I have been given the first challenge, then the second, every challenge harder then the rest, I have always been faced with the possibility of failure. “You think you can make it in the military?” They would say it with that inflection in the voice that was none other than a huge heaping of doubt. Or they didn’t have to say it, I could see it in peoples faces.

After I finished boot camp and reported to my first ship, a couple months later a sailor from the med core got stationed aboard the same ship from Newport Rhode Island. When she saw me she told me that during hell week they had all placed wagers on me being the first to drop out because I was struggling so much. Needless to say I did not drop out that day or any other day before graduation as we watched almost 26 others drop or roll to a different class, 9 of them women, the rest men. But it is not the first nor it will be the last I will hear a similar comment.

I get told that often enough. You certainly should not apply for the Foreign Officer Area program, I guarantee that the admiral will not sign your package. Thanks for your support. But again no worries, I will continue to take everyone’s advice, but I do not always have the intention of listening to it.

2 years ago I ended up back in grad school. I am not someone who was looking forward to or happy to go back to school. In fact, if I could have evaded a master’s degree altogether I would have considered it. I really don’t have any business being in any place where there are discussions on high level political shit on a daily basis, yet somehow there I was, one of the few women in the program discussing high level political shit every day.

But… I got to my last semester and barely had written my thesis and had a lot of work to do to finish on time. Anything else other than a thesis completion letter was not an option, so I put my head down and got to work. Everyday, for 10+ hours, I worked until I got that thesis completion letter and degree on time. I won’t take all of the credit because my thesis advisor’s were so amazing and definitely helped me finish everything on time and to them I am very grateful.

Unfortunately I wrote a thesis based on the research I conducted in articles and books written in English. Since reading similar articles in Indonesian, I have seen some differences, which is another talk for another day.

Anyway, somehow I have always been able to pull it all together and get shit done. But now, here I sit, 2 weeks from testing for proficiency in a foreign language, and I feel like I have nothing more to give. There’s a plethora of excuses I could use in my defense, however I’ve never been one for excuses even when they are valid, and so I’ve narrowed it down to one thing, I may have run out of grit.

Back to that again are we? Well I didn’t have a name for it before, and then I watched this Ted Talk.

In all honesty, I have not done so well in this language program. I’ve been on academic probation since 2 months ago, and I just can’t find it in me to push harder and make a move to put my head down and get to work. I’ve spent a lot of time mulling over what this means, because for the first time there is a real possibilityposibilityI’m not going to be able to provide a positive result, and I don’t know where to go from here.

Some other factors have been in the back of my mind for the past 9 months, and they are personal but relevant to this problem. I mean what happens if I don’t pass? I have been faced with this question on a daily basis for about 6 months now whereas previously I have not even let it be an option. This shit is no joke. I have been asked to see some specialists for help, but I have decided against it because that is not my style. Now, I’m burnt out and possibly not going to pass the exam even with a tutor I see 3 times a week.

I am not saying that my problem is comparable to so many others who have struggled before me, but internally I am now struggling like many people with the what if’s and possibility of failing. I am really searching my soul, reaching deep, to see if I can find just a wee bit of grit to work through this, but I’m not sure if it’s there.

So, to all the people who are out there struggling, at the moment I am in the same boat, and I hope we can all find that little bit of grit deep within to carry on. I’m really at a loss at the moment, and basically have to find it right about now if I can give the best I’ve got on this upcoming test.


This week, my mantra is:

Currently, I am the biggest doubter of myself so it’s time to struggle through some shit.

And next, back to our regularly scheduled programing. Thanks for tuning in even when the highlight reel is bullshit and I’m over here in a ditch.

This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.