The tricky thing about motivation

I make no secret of my poor mental health. Earlier this year I was dealing with some tough health issues which seemingly appeared as a direct result of the amount of stress I was under. I am doing generally better now. Not because I solved all of my problems, but moreso because a lot of the problems ended up not being resolved the way I wanted, but since that’s now set in stone I don’t have to worry about trying anymore.

To give a recap on how my past year has gone; not great. Setting aside my health issues, my family’s health issues (My father has sleep apnea and still isn’t sleeping well, my brother had a cornea transplant and is still recovering from that) and everything wrong with the world right now, my main goal for a long time now has been to get my bachelor’s degree at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. I am starting my third year classes in September, for the third time in a row. That wasn’t the plan. This is going to be my fifth year here, and although I was well aware I would be slower than the average person, I really wanted to be starting year 4 around this time. And of course, Covid threw a wrench in everyone’s plans, and I can confidently say that I worked hard in the past year, but it wasn’t enough. I failed just enough important courses to be held back for another year. There’s no shame in that, and I want other people going through similar situations to know that there’s no shame in that, especially not after this awful year. But I’m being held back to basically do one class per semester and then sit on my ass for the rest of the year.

That sounds bad enough, and it is, because it kills my motivation to get anything done. How can you get into the flow of working when you don’t have much work to do? You get lazy. At least I do. If all I need to do is a little bit, I’ll put it off indefinitely until it’s too late. And to make matters worse, year 4 at my course is apparently really freaking hard. It’s 3 days of internship (teaching), 2 days of class, and in my less than ideal situation you can add another day of work to that to stay afloat. That puts me at 6 out of 7 days done, not even looking at any homework that needs doing. I make no secret out of my autism, and the fact that I am simply not capable of holding on to a fulltime job. I will get panic attacks and slink back into depression if I go over my limits. That’s just the way it is. I’m working on getting better at things, and I’ve come a very long way, but I know I’m not quite there yet.

What this means is that for a year I’ll be sitting on my ass playing games, then the next year I will be stressed out of my mind and probably still fail and have to add another year. This has killed any and all motivation. Not only motivation for classes starting soon, but also my motivation to write. I initially wanted to do a post yesterday about setting goals and how to properly determine a good goal for yourself, but I felt like talking about this was more adequate right now, I’ll probably still do the other post next week.

And motivation is, as the title says, a tricky thing. You can be really motivated to succeed, but not at all motivated to take the steps to get there. Does that make you lazy? Does that mean you’re not actually interested to succeed? I don’t believe so. It’s hard to stay motivated for a long time, and it’s even hard to show this motivation outwardly. Especially when you’re not always directly succeeding. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m not in a great place right now, but I know it’ll be better again. And I want those of you who struggle with motivation to know that you’ll back to a better place too. That’s just the way things work. There’s ups and downs, and it’s easier to see the downs when you’re doing well, than see the ups when you’re doing poorly. So keep that in mind next time you’re down.

I missed the book club on Friday, I’m hoping to have it ready for this Friday, but I’m not making any promises right now.

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