Work, Prepare and… Face-plant

I’ve been away for a bit because I’ve been preparing for retaking my actuary exam (again). I’ve iterated. I’ve got the tools. Planner? Check. Pretty log? Yep. Colorful pens, stickers, note-pads full of practice problems? You want em I got em. Flashcards? Oh yeah. I’ve systematically reviewed over two months. In just the last two weeks alone I spent almost 50 hours preparing. This morning was show-time, my shot, my moment, my chance, my opportunity.

Spoiler alert: it didn’t go well.

Now what?

Image result for fail

Look, I’m not going to beat around the bush. Today was hard. The life-hacker in me wants to talk about iteration, persistence, and not giving up. But all the pretty spreadsheets and charts don’t take the sting out of a face-plant. Did I mention pretty charts?

Last week progress chart. Pretty.

Here’s part of the rub: I’ve spent a lot of times on these exams, and there’s many more exams where they came from. I work on them because I want my day-job to be interesting because I’ll be in it for awhile. But at this point I’ll have spent roughly two-hundred hours on ONE exam that I still haven’t passed. That’s two drafts, roughly.

I’ve talked to friends who are further along in the process. They’ve told me is that I probably can’t write and study for exams. I’ve tried to prove them wrong and… well so far, the results haven’t panned out.

I don’t like my cubicle as it is- the job is trite and not challenging. If I don’t pass these exams, I stay in that cubicle miserable. And yet, I cannot help but think there is some logical fallacy here: I dislike my cubicle. I want to write more, ergo, spend time leveling up the day-job. Said leveling up precludes my writing. At what point does the scale tip?

Stock photography is weird yall. Pictured: scale tip.

I don’t want this blog-post to be me just ranting and rambling. Here’s some general take aways. If you face plant, it’s okay to feel like crap. If you worked your ass off, it probably will sting.

Reflect, do a post-mortem, figure out what went wrong. Eventually. It’s okay if you don’t do it right away and you need some time. I know for me I’m going to spend some time having a serious think about these exams, but all of that is later.

For the moment, I’m going back to some writing. I’ve got a few freelance ideas I’m chasing, a book coming out of beta in four days (EEP!), and another book to prewrite for. And somewhere in there I have to learn how to write a short story.

And hey, think of it like this, I’m probably going to face plant some of these projects too. It’s part of the process.


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