I Can And I Will V

Did I ever mention why I started this post that is taking me forever to finish? On Friday I will be taking my Fundamentals of Geology exam, the first step to becoming a licensed professional geologist. I’m the worst procrastinator of life, no idea how I have made it this far, even now as I told myself I was turning on my computer to study, here I am getting thoughts out of my head to make room for all that studying I spent countless hours stressing about, but not actually doing.

What is it about knowing that it’s not tomorrow, that makes me put off something so important that they recommend studying 6 months in advance…I’ve been out of school for five years, I should have been more dedicated to this thing I’m passionate about.

The day I started my I Can and I Will post, was a day at work were one of my coworkers who is a staff geologist came into my office for a casual chat. All the geologists in the office had been talking about taking the ASBOG, which this guy convinced us all to sign up for, the problem is that we all signed up except for him (I guess that makes him a procrastinator too).  On this day he said something about needing to submit his application and I told him the deadline had just passed and that I thought he had already submitted. I said this because there was a day he walked into my office to drop off a copy of the application and I told him I had already submitted and been accepted to take the exam. After he made me pull it up on my computer and he realizes he missed the deadline, he says something about how they’re probably going to cancel it anyway because of the pandemic. I say something along the lines of I don’t think so because the exam is twice a year and they already canceled the one in March and canceling the exam is messing with peoples livelihood by hindering the ability to get a professional license.

He asks me if I’ve been studying  and I’m honest and tell him I’ve been thinking about studying a lot, but haven’t done much of what I felt like was productive studying (It’s really hard when geology is a huge subject and there is no official study guide for this exam, what do I focus on?!?! The answer is everything, but that is ridiculous and overwhelming). He then says that it’s all the same because I’m not going to pass anyway. I raise my eyebrow and I’m sure my eye is twitching accompanying my wtf face? I tell him that just because I haven’t been studying doesn’t mean I’m not going to do the work to make it happen. I didn’t sign up and pay over $200 to fail this test. He talks about how most people fail the first time they take it, which isn’t entirely accurate because the passing rate is about 50%, which means just as many people pass it.

I have this decorative wood sign on my desk that says “I CAN AND I WILL”, so being a bit dramatic, I walk over to the sign and point to it while telling him that I can and I will pass the test on my first try. He walks away with a whatever shrug and I was left fuming thinking about all the things I could have said; like just because you can’t pass it on your first try, doesn’t mean I can’t pass it…or at least I get too take it because I didn’t slack on submitting my application…I sat there thinking about everything I had done to get to the point I was, working for the type of company I always pictured myself at. I made it through over 6 years of school overcoming obstacles, taking the bus rain or shine, waking up early and staying up late getting things done. There is no way I was going to let him be right.

I told Alex about it when I got home and he’s like do it, I know you can. Since then, every time I told him I was going to study but was slacking instead, he would pretend that his phone was ringing and he would say hey, it’s so and so calling, he said you are not going to pass your test. It always made me simultaneously laugh and roll my eyes, but it reminded me that yes, I need to study. Here I am less than a week away and I’m like man, it’s going to be really embarrassing if I don’t pass.

Even if I don’ pass, I’m still going to make it happen. Just like I made getting my degree happen even though things kept coming up that delayed it a bit. Never give up, always get back up. Sometimes I think that I’m 30 years old and I haven’t done this or that.  I could have taken the test straight out of college when everything was fresh in my mind. I should have finished school 2 or 3 years earlier than I did. I should be a project manager by now, not just starting my career.

Then I think (with a little help from Alex) that just at the beginning of this year, I couldn’t see myself ever leaving banking and actually getting a job in my field. I think that not that many people have their master of science in geology (I’m the only one in my office), especially not many women and even less Latinas. I’m an achiever, I spend so much time thinking about the next step, how can I be better, what do I have to do to master this craft. I often forget to appreciate everything I have already done, but thanks to my coworker, that day I remembered that I can and I have done many things to be proud of and that I can and I will do many more.

Wish me luck!

This is me during field camp in Montana in 2013. You can see the road in the background, that is where they would drop us off in the morning to map and where they would pick us up. Long days walking up and down ridges and gullies trying to paint a picture of the area. I’ve never been in the best shape and hiking up was strenuous every day, but look at the view!

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