May Theme: What You Didn’t Know You Needed

05/04/2014 · 10 comments

in Monthly Theme, Noa Gavin, What You Didn't Know You Needed

LOFB - NoaWhen I was still in high school, I took an AP History class that was legitimately harder than 100% of my college classes. I don’t know how or why my terrible high school made this class, or thought it was a good idea for anyone to take, but so we’re clear:

1) All of my other classes that I ever took there were over capacity by at least 15 people

2) This AP History class had only 5 people in it. 

People were terrified of this class. I was terrified of this class. As we have established in the past though, I’m not great at saying no to things that frighten me.

Halfway through the semester, I had a 50-Page paper due on the Civil War that was, even looking back today, the most difficult paper I have ever written. You may recognize this as being equal to or greater than a lot of Master’s Thesis/Doctoral Dissertations.

As we have established in the past though, I’m not great at doing things less than 1/2 an hour before they are due.

Then night before I was supposed to turn in the paper (at 7 AM), I sat in my bed, sobbing uncontrollably, surrounded by nothing but research and desperation. I had not even pretended to start on this paper.

My mom came in, prepared for another bout of my teenage stupidity, and asked me what was wrong.

“I have this research paper due tomorrow and I don’t have any of it done. It’s worth half my grade!” I shouted through my tears, looking to her for my salvation.

“Well then, I guess you better get to work,” she said, before quickly turning heel and leaving the room. She went to bed. I was all alone.

Better Get To WorkI was so shocked at her response that I immediately stopped crying, gathered my research, and went to the family computer in the living room. I organized my research, wrote all 50 pages (30+ of which were conspiracy theories and bullshit), and got to the class at 6:59 AM, paper in hand, no sleep at all.

To be fair, everyone else in the class was in the same boat.

I got a 90% on the paper.

My mom’s ‘abandonment’ of me at that moment was the best thing she ever could have done for me. It stung like hell at the time (for her and for me, she later told me), but I have not missed deadlines since then based on my own power. Every time I’m overwhelmed or underprepared or frightened, I hear her saying to me,”Well, I guess you’d better get to work.”

This month, we’ll be focusing on things you didn’t know you needed–whether it be experiences, quotes, people, or something completely different. Sometimes the worst things spring the best of life changes, and all this May, we’ll explore those ideas.

Have a story you’d like to pitch me for this month? Do it here!

Mayor Gia May 5, 2014 at 6:31 am

My AP history class was super hard, too! Not the point of the story, I know.
Mayor Gia recently posted..Podcast 26: I Found an Apartment!

Noa May 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm

AP History is the bane of us all.

nova May 5, 2014 at 10:07 am

I was an exchange student in Mexico once and had befriended another Canadian girl at my school. She was better at speaking Spanish than I was and I constantly leaned on her to do all the difficult things like buy bus tickets for us or ask a stranger for directions. One day she’d had enough of me I guess and did the same thing, she “abandoned” me, told me to do it myself. I was actually shocked, but went ahead and did whatever it was myself. And I did it just fine.
You do need a kick in the pants sometimes.
nova recently posted..May 4

Noa May 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Sometimes you gotta do it the hard way.

Valerie May 5, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I think it’s an important part of growing up… To be left to make your own decisions and face the consequences. I also think that this is one of the hardest things for parents to do.


Valerie recently posted..There’s a reason it’s called Downward Dog…

Noa May 6, 2014 at 8:44 pm

Oh it must be the worst thing ever to watch your kids suffer for their own benefit. I’m grateful for my mother’s courage.

Jana May 5, 2014 at 9:53 pm

I’m really trying to keep this “from the worse may come the best” mentality just now. My husband of 26-years told me over the weekend that he didn’t love me and wants a divorce. I’m just trying to live in the moment instead of panicking about what might happen in the future. I don’t want to be scared or angry or heartbroken all the time (although sometimes those emotions hit me all the same). I’m trying to remember that, after all is said and done, this may be something I have to go through to get to something better on the other side.
Jana recently posted..Into the Wilderness

Noa May 6, 2014 at 8:45 pm

OH MY GOD Jana. Oh no–I’m so sorry to hear about this shocking thing that’s happened to you. Things are always better on the other end, and you will get through this too. Take care of yourself, ok? We’re here for you.

Jana May 9, 2014 at 11:16 pm

Thanks Noa –it’s been a bitch of a week. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my favorite blogs to take my mind off things…and I’m going to make myself write a post tomorrow…it will help to remind me there is more to life than this particular experience.
Jana recently posted..Into the Wilderness

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