Charging Through

I didn’t plan on writing a second blog post today. If you had looked at my calendar earlier today you’d see I only had the Doggy Beach Day planned today. However, here I am writing this second post and that’s because I’ve been feeling kind of crummy lately. I’m not so sure if it’s because of all the “adulting” I’ve been doing recently or because it’s that time of month (if you know what I mean, TMI?) Whatever it is, the bottom line is I’ve been feeling pretty gloomy these past few days and I couldn’t think of exactly why.

After reading a blogpost today that a former school mate posted about how he doesn’t let asthma define his life and his running, it all sort of hit me…I do know what is bothering me. Deep beneath the surface, in the darkest part of my mind I have buried something called the Praxis. For those of you who may not be familiar, the Praxis is an exam that anyone who wishes to become a teacher needs to take, even though not every state in America requires this, mine does. I dread this exam more than I dread anything. The reason I dread it so much isn’t because I’m not good at mathematics (which is the content of my exam), I am good, in fact, in college I’ve gotten nearly all A’s in all of my mathematics courses. The issue you see is, I’ve never been a good test taker. This is kind of how it goes…

The night before I lay in bed attempting to shut my eyes and drift into a deep slumber but instead I’m up…tossing…turning…tossing…turning. I can’t get the test out of my mind. I begin to think, I think of missing it the mark by 3 points again, I think about failing it miserably and completely missing the mark and I think about what if my mind goes blank once I get the exam. All these thoughts lead to one of two things, I’m either up crying or I some how fall asleep. If I’m crying well then it’s pretty obvious what I’m doing however if I’ve managed to fall asleep, instead I’m just dreaming of numbers, equations and calculations; not exactly the sort of dream that leaves you feeling well rested. I get up the next morning and go about my day until it’s test time. Deep in my mind I am nervous, but I don’t become truly shaken nervous until I begin my drive to the test center. As I drive I try to keep my shivers at bay by remembering to breathe deeply…“in through the nose and out through the mouth, deeply into the nose and out through the mouth” I tell myself. I finally arrive at the testing center and now I have to fill out a form saying I will not speak of the contents in the exam with anyone or attempt to replicate the exam in any way shape or form. Why on earth would I want to do that anyway? This exam is essentially my biggest nightmare. I quiver whilst writing the statement and then it’s time for me to get searched. Yes, that’s right, I need to be scanned with a metal detector, can’t have any pencils or papers with me…now I can’t even have my own calculator with me. Once I get through security and my mugshot (yes, we have to take a photo via webcam of ourselves before our exam; imagine the horror of that) I get in and it’s test time. I sit at the chair and click next, next, next…I’ve done this 7 times before, I know that I can go back to the question, I know I have an online calculator and yes, I know I have no breaks scheduled during this 3 hour painstaking exam. Once I begin the test, it’s as if I go completely blank. My breath becomes so shallow I feel as if I am gasping for air, my mind, nothing but a white room and then come the sweats. I try to ease my mind by telling myself to take deep breaths and focus on the questions. After some time I am much more comfortable and calm however, it’s never enough…I have yet to be good enough for this exam.

The last time I took the exam was back in November, November 5th to be exact. I was so fed up with crying over this exam, so fed up with worrying about it and so frustrated with myself for going down in points instead of up that I felt almost hopeless…as if I would never pass. And as I sit here typing this, I have tears coming down my eyes because part of me still feels that way, part of me still has given up hope. I told myself I wouldn’t worry about this exam that has put me back in school by two semesters until after the holidays. I told myself starting January 1, it’s back to the books. Here I am, it’s January 11th and I’ve tried to get back into studying for this exam but I have no motivation or hope, it’s almost scary. 

With all of that being said, I read this old school mates posts. Here is a kid with asthma and thousands of allergies which must make it nearly impossible for him to run as much as he does however, running is his passion, running is his life and therefore despite the hardships, despite the attacks, he continues to do what he loves. I love to teach and I’ve always wanted to teach and therefore I cannot give up.

I went to Hobby Lobby today to purchase a planner, a pretty one if I do say so myself. With this planner I’m going to write out all the material I need to study and when I need to study it by. I will also of course write other things such as meal plans, workouts and fun activities however my goal, my focus, from here on out is this dreadful exam. I will pass…

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

 

P.S. So sorry for the super ramble(y) post but I had a lot to get off my chest.

P.S. (2) I kind of feel so much better now that I said all that.

P.S. (3) Sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, I took them quickly with my phone.

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64 thoughts on “Charging Through

  1. I agree with you 100%. I sometimes feel the same when I’m on my monthy thing. It is completely normal. One of my cousins told me to be around people more and during this time of the month, keep yourself busy so you don’t start deep thinking. It truly works! I’ve been doing that for the past couple of months and I let the rest happen on its own. I do my best and I don’t worry about it. Hope this helps 🙂

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  2. Wow… I kind of don’t know what to say. Thanks for sharing ❤ I really understand you. I always got sick before each biology exam because I stressed myself out so much. I don’t know if this really helps, but I always think of the feeling when it’s done. That it wasn’t so scary as I imagined.
    I love reading your blog. And I think you can do everything! So good luck, you can do it !

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  3. I love your spirit and your blog posts really resonate with me as these are some of the things I’m working through as a coach. I’m running a complimentary group next week called Live on Purpose. It’s all about journaling, intention, goal setting, and mindfulness. Based on some of your writing I’d love to have you in the group. Feel free to shoot me an email back if you’d be interested in hearing more about it or joining us.
    XO. Kelsey

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  4. My son also had test anxiety-K-12 was excruciating for him! In Washington state we and the WASL, every year and he failed it, every year. In order to graduate high school he had to pass 7 different exams, barely made it through math. He did find some help through Positive Changes, a hypnotherapist worked with him to relieve the stress. Its just a thought but, before you give up on any dream you should exhaust all help possible! Keep in mind I am a molecular biologist and don’t usually go for this kind of angle. But watching him struggle, suffer and feel less than….because of a state mandated test was just too much! It didn’t solve everything, he didn’t do great on the ACT for college, but then again he is studying classical clarinet performance at a performing arts college now, and getting A’s on all his tests, because that is how his brain works! You will be a fantastic teacher because you get how a test can never measure a student’s true worth-we parentsNEED teachers like you! You got this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhhh how emotional that just made me! Thank you so much for the kind words and for sharing your story with me. I will definitely not give up, I’ll exhaust all my help as you said and I’ll definitely always keep in mind that an exam does not measure anyone’s understand of anything. Thank you so very much again and thank you for dropping by!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow thanks for sharing this, it’s soo relatable. I always have several panic attacks before writing a test or giving a presentation and this post makes me feel less alone so thank you. Good luck, you can do it! I’ll keep you in my prayers as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Trust me, you’re definitely not alone, I completely understand what you feel and go through. Thank you for you words of encouragement and your prayers. I wish you the best of luck in everything you do 💕!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate to this on so many levels!! I have been postponing my professional exam so i can open my own office, and every time when it gets close to the date of exame i just postpone it “because i need more time”, “because i don’t know enough” “because so and so”… and i just get so stresed on exams, my anxiety kicks in, and i am preety much done.
    I am crosing my fingers for you, so you can pass it!!
    And i think i will start to prepare slowly also! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww really?! Isn’t it so awful? I hope that you do start to slowly prepare as well and I hope that he anxiety lifts off your shoulders and you’re able to go in and take that exam and pass it with ease! Best of luck, I’ll keep you in my thoughts! 💕

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  7. I can 100 percent relate to your blog post! I went through this with my PTA boards and finally passed. It’s a horrible feeling, you feel like a complete failure & like u let every one down you want to give up & at some point you do give up but the most important thing is to pick back up & keep going. You know this stuff, if you didn’t youde never graduate just because you’re not passing doesn’t mean you don’t know this! Keep telling yourself this over & over I had to keep reminding myself. It’s very tough to go through this no one understands only those who went through this. You can & will get through this no matter how long it takes just don’t give up! Been there done that girl! Let me tell you what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and I’m so glad I didn’t give up and followed through until the end even though it took a long time! There’s a light at the end of the tunnel! Soon you’ll be on the other side and it will all be worth it!! When I hit rock bottom I found that having a lot of motivational quotes written all over my notebook, saved on my phone & such to be great pick me ups. Also try not to think of the past and try to stay positive this is almost impossible but try it makes a world of difference. I went online and googled the test I’m taking yo seat what came up saw forums of other students who are going through the same problems as me and for some reason it made me feel better or I’d go on Instagram & type in PTA boards and see who else was studying for this test and to see people are going through this with me also made me feel better. I found that intense cardio sessions helped relieve stress after long days of studying & decreased anxiety. Delicious coffee came along with me to library all the time. I also used cutecstationary to motivate myself to study. Peppermint oil helps with memorization and relaxation. I burned candles also to help relax me( went through about a million stress relief) candles from bath and body works & their stress relief lotion. Also I know studying consumes your life but it’s crucial to take little breaks or you’ll get burned out take time to do something you enjoy. Prayer moves mountains it’s truly Gods miracle that I got through this. To say I was going through hell would be an understatement but for everything there’s a beginning & an end. If you need a pick me up definitely don’t hesitate to let me know! I know how this feels. The smallest things like getting a text from my friend encouraging me to keep going or just her listening to me rant made me feel a million times better. I feel like I’m going through this experience all over again I feel so bad for you I know what you are going through and I feel your pain because this was just me not too long ago. It will get better girl I promise & don’t give up because soon this will all be over! Just keep swimming! Also the night before exam take sleeping pill there’s no way you will be able to fall asleep with out one.if you have an option of scheduling it for morning definitely go for morning.one time I made the mistake of scheduling it in the afternoon & what a horrific nightmare my nerves got the best of me and anxiety was over the roof.if u take it in the early morning you won’t have as much time to get nervous. Also don’t change answers and if they let u take a break during this test take it your brain needs it. I’ll keep you in my prayers!❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This made me tear up a bit! Thank you so so so very much for your kind words! It does feel really great to know I’m not the only one who struggles so much with a silly test! I love and I mean absolutely love all the helpful notes you’ve given me about the peppermint, candle and motivational quotes, I’ll definitely keep all of these in mind. Thank you so very much for sharing your journey with me! Your words of wisdom have helped lift my spirits loads! Thank you again! 💕

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      1. Girl you’re definitely not the only one so many of my classmates with myself included had a very hard time passing boards about 90 percent of my classmates taken this test 5plus times many gave up. The most important thing is not to give up! You’ll get through this no matter how long it takes you’ll get there! It’s not about how long it takes it’s about not giving up. I know you’re going through hell I have been there. There were so many nights I cried myself to sleep & wanted to give up on life but trust me there will be an ending to this too! This too shall pass & you will get through this!
        Keep going you got this! I know every one goes through this because I have friends who had to take their boards for nursing and they all took it many times & passed you’re deff not alone & don’t let this test define you! Conquer this beast!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m always here if you need moral support! Did wonders for me when I ranted to my friend who was my classmate I always felt a million times better. You can & will do this! Keeping you in my prayers girl!❤️❤️

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  8. I only skimmed the comments so I apologize if I’m being repetitive. I hear you saying four things:
    1. You’ve got stuff going on so you may need to be intentional about self-care.
    2. You say you’re not good enough to take the exam but that’s actually not true. From what you shared, you’re more than good enough.
    3. It sounds like you are seeing everything at once and that’s overwhelming. I get the same thing. A friend recently shared this thought: Just do the next right thing.
    4. It sounds like you try calming down on the way to the test. Maybe try, after you sit down but before you start, practicing your calm breathing for a couple minutes. It will not impact the time to complete the test but it will help you be successful. (That’s from “Emotional First Aid” by Guy Winch – highly recommended.)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have gone back to uni as a mature age student. Exams used to freak me out in a big way. I used to spend sleepless nights and get myself into a tangle of nerves. I’ve found that being organised helps and being kind to yourself.
    I have great confidence in you Bea and am sending best wishes your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You know you are awesome inspite of the fear ,you are fighting against it and I can read the hope in you ………….everyone are afraid of the exams and so are you and it’s completely normal and I am sure you will crack the fear as well as the exam with flying colours.

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  11. Thank you for visiting my blog and sharing your experiences. I can really relate to your blog about exam taking. When I was in graduate school, one of my professor’s told me that I would have to raise my G.R.E (Graduate Record Exam) score from 400 points to 610 to be accepted into his lab. I understand math concepts quite well, but remembering basic arithmetic facts is another story. Getting the right answer is trickier still. He looked me square in the eye and asked, “This won’t be a problem will it”? I sucked in a bunch of air and said, “Not at all”.

    I had no idea how I was going to pull that off. Might as well try I thought. If I fail, I will be looking for a job that I can do with the skills that I currently have. If I don’t try, I’ll be looking for that same job about 3 months sooner. Having a plan “B” that would be ok, helped cut the anxiety.

    I got tested for suspected dyslexia and found out I had a few other neurological challenges as well. Most important, I got coached on how to use what my buggy brain can do to get around what it can’t – and most likely never will be able– to do.

    Then I glued my butt to a chair for three months of 10+ hour days practicing. Friends watched over my shoulder and helped me find dyslexic errors until I learned how to find them myself. I bought discontinued tests and tested myself frequently. I analyzed my mistakes and identified the skill that cost me the most points. By focusing on what gave me the most improvement per hour of study, I optimized my study time.

    After I finally took the exam and got my results, I almost fainted. My math score was 700. More than enough to get accepted. Had anyone told me that I was capable of getting such a score before that day, I would have laughed at them.

    Based on your blog, I think you have the spirit to prevail in the end. I recommend getting tested to see if maybe your eyes and brain are playing tricks on you. Find people with a good sense of humor to help with your study. Hard to have a melt down when you are laughing your guts out.

    Please post the good news when you pass your exam.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh my goodness that was so lovely to read! Thank you so very much for sharing your story with me, I really appreciate it! Congratulations on passing! I’m very very proud of you. I will definitely keep everyone posted once I take it. I’m hoping for the best and definitely will continue to go on with my dream! Thank you again for your words! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

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