Yesterday a friend stopped buy, and our chat (which rambled around and about) somehow arrived at a comment he made stating that graduating college was a sign that one has learned discipline, and deserved respect based on that.
For me, that did not ring true at all.
College (all three degrees of it), was easy. Well, relatively speaking. Sure there were long sleepless nights of the drama of finishing a term paper, etc., but it was such an enormous buffet of courses (Ha! Like that metaphor?) during which I had only to be fed the opportunity to learn things that expanded my mind and made life more interesting.
Not including the (I'm sort of ashamed to admit) fact that I didn't have to surrender to the "real world" of boredom and hopelessness. Which, after graduating from my first degree is what I experienced in my first (and only!) "real job".
I never felt that I deserved applause or congratulations for college. It was relatively easy for me. Fun, interesting, exciting. Full of hope and plans to make a difference.
What I feel worthy of applause & recognition is when I do things, most often really little things that would be of no consequence to most people but are very difficult for me. Simple things that feel to me like I am slaying dragons... that the dragons are about to slay me.
I dealt with some old tax issues last week.
THAT was enormous!
I had cold sweats, anxiety, sleepless nights.
And I did it.
I did it.
I slayed that dragon.
THAT'S the kind of thing I feel I deserve applause for.
The hard stuff for one person is often, perhaps mostly, very small for many others.
It's the little things.
We fight our little battles inside ourselves but in reality they are the big ones.
Hooray for us!