Finding growth in challenge…

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

As usual, this last week has been steady, if not overly busy, at least compared to some weeks.

Work has slowed down some, which has had me focusing my efforts on my next, and final, twentieth century history assignment for the current course I am working on.

The assignment is to compare and contrast two separate analyses of the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991. I honestly can’t recall an assignment having kicked my ass so bad. I’ve been working on it for over a week, and have barely made a start on it as I have just been having a hell of a time finding the words. I’ve gone back to the readings, and I feel I have a firm grasp on the material, it is now just figuring out how to express it in an appropriate way.

Despite not making as much progress on the assignment as I would have liked, after a couple of solid hours of work last night I did manage to get about a third of my first draft written. My goal is to have it written and edited by the middle of next week, so that I can then focus on the final four modules of the course before writing my final exam. I haven’t booked my final exam yet, however if things keep progressing the way they are I am anticipating writing it before the end of the month.

I have already made some good progress in my English Prose course as well, and am already on the first assignment for that course. Fortunately, the first assignment for that course is a much shorter 750 words, compared to 1500 to 2000 words for the history assignment.

Still, in spite of the aggravation this particular assignment is causing me, I’m feeling optimistic. I’m really enjoying the process, and all I can do is my best. I know I have been keeping fairly consistent marks on my assignments, and I have no reason to believe that the same won’t happen with this one. The thing is, I know the biggest obstacle I have faced with this current assignment is myself. The words are not flowing the way I would like, and I keep doubting myself, which has caused me to restart the piece at least half a dozen times so far. The work I got done yesterday occurred because I set myself a goal of getting writing done, without agonizing over the wording. That is what editing is for. I just need to find the self-confidence within to keep the momentum going.

The fact is, this topic interests me. I grew up in the 1980s and 1990s. I grew reading Cold War thrillers, such as Tom Clancy’s “The Hunt for Red October,” Dale Brown’s “Flight of the Old Dog,” and Michael DiMercurio’s “Voyage of the Devilfish.” I just need to dig in and get the job done, with confidence in my abilities. And ultimately, if the piece is not best work, it is not my best work. As long as it is a pass.

M has often said that one of my biggest issues is I spend way too much time inside my own head, kicking my own ass. I know that where it comes to this particular assignment that this is definitely the case. Knowing that, I have tools I can use to push through these doubting thoughts, and get myself back on track.

There was a time not so long ago where a struggle like this would have completely derailed me. It is just further proof of how much further I have come along the journey of recovery. This assignment is meant to challenge, if it were easy everybody would be doing it. I like challenges, they are were I find growth. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that fact.


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