You Know How You Are

by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

You know your strengths and weaknesses, and your hopes and fears.  Actually, no one knows them better than you.  Sometimes we are even prone to respond, “I can’t help it.  That’s just the way I am.”  Maybe you are stubborn, or perhaps you are flexible in your dealings with others.  Maybe you are loose with money (the proverbial “check grabber”), or perhaps you are, shall we say, frugal.

Whatever your traits or characteristics are, you can use them to change your life.  In a favorite quote of mine, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do that thing you think you cannot do.”  That’s mustering up the strength to face a weakness.  When it comes to finances, often it takes an investment in ourselves to see a financial reward down the line.  You are grabbing your own “check,” and if a major change is taking place in your life, you may need to pinch pennies for a while.  How often do we  “grab the check” for us?

Recently, a family member made the decision to pursue a dream of photography.   She is truly a Non-Traditional Student (NTS) in that she has been out of high school for over 10 years.  She has some fears (“I’m not very good at English Composition” she said), yet she threw herself into the planning of a visit to explore the campus of a college that could help her reach her goal.  She has held a low-paying job for several years, so finances will definitely be a factor.  Yet, she’s going to figure it out.  Scholarships, work-study, the G.I. Bill – whatever it takes will be considered a possible monetary ally for college.  She is excited and scared at the same time.

In order to begin her first term in five months, she has a lot to plan.  She is going way beyond the confines of her comfort zone, but she is keeping her dream in front of her as a motivator.  She has admitted to her frailties and has also recognized her capacity to grow.

Basically, that’s just the way she is.


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