I registered for a microeconomics class as an elective once in college. I wasn’t particularly interested in the subject and it didn’t have anything to do with my major, but I figured what the hell? Why not?
Yeah… about that…
Up to that point, I had always been an A (and sometimes B) student – not just in college, but throughout my entire academic lifetime.
But from the very first class when that professor started graphing up the entire chalkboard with nonsensical curves and numbers and Xs and Ys and equations and lions and tigers and bears…
I was doomed.
I felt so stupid for not knowing ANYTHING that was going on that my stupidity really began to show. I remember one time the professor was using me as an example and said, “Let’s say Anna is a computer science major…” To which I blankly (and ignorantly) responded, “But I’m a communication major.” The entire classroom snickered.
Yet I tried to act like I understood all the hills and valleys of microeconomics that were being tossed at my Leave It to Beaver brain.
I was mortified when, after the first exam (there was an exam every single frickin’ week), I received an email from my professor saying she had concerns with my grade. I was just about ready to fling myself out my dorm window when I also received an email from the college dean asking to meet with me to discuss my grade in that particular class.
To be fair, I was working 30-hour shifts in the cafeteria every week on top of 15 weekly work study hours AND going to school full time. Having to study the extremely frying microeconomics material that I simply wasn’t grasping for four additional hours a day was just about killing me.
I was tempted to insist that I was finally starting to understand the material and that I would get better. I was ready to lay down some really fake bacon.
But instead, when my wobbly legs walked me into the dean’s office, I explained to her (through a dry mouth shriveled from panic and an intense hyperventilating episode beforehand) my ACTUAL situation.
I felt SO GUILTY about the truth: I was no good at microeconomics and had taken on way too much shit for my bacon.
I braced myself for the “oh, so you’re stupid and a failure” look. But I didn’t get it. Instead, the dean simply nodded and said, “Well, that’s no issue, since it’s not a class that’s required for your major. I recommend dropping the class.”
Just like that. No surprise, no judgment, no looking down on my ignorant ass.
The relief came pouring in and I instantly felt 200 pounds lighter (which is saying something, since I was a boobless 90-pound 19-year-old).
This post is inspired by this week’s #MantraMonday:
We tend to feel ashamed of our shortcomings. As a result, we try to hide them. We try to keep the truth about our failures, mistakes, struggles, and imperfections bundled up in a tight ball of pain and stress and anxiety and lions and tigers and bears and let it soak in our gut until it grows heavier with each passing day.
We begin to live a lie, and the secret and guilt slowly eat away at our bacon’s spirit.
The Truth Will Set Your Bacon Free
I won’t lie (duh, otherwise I’d be a hypocrite and have no place writing this post, KAREN): I was motivated to write this particular post based on some personal shit I recently owned up to in my personal life. I had been holding onto a secret that I was ashamed of, because I felt it reflected badly on my judgment.
I had made mistakes that snowballed into a bigger issue, and I was embarrassed.
Now, I may have gotten better at embracing my bacon (i.e. my unadulterated and true self) in recent years, but this particular secret has made it very difficult to really love myself, warts and all. It was a part of my bacon that I was covering up, and that’s no good. It inflated in my belly like a balloon full of acid. It hurt like hell, and there were a lotta tears.
Eventually, the lie I was living was too much, and I knew the only way out was to fess up to my problem. To tell people the truth.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But I did it.
And guess what? I can finally breathe. The problem looks smaller. And I experienced true kindness, understanding, and forgiveness from those involved.
Suddenly, I can see that light at the end of the tunnel.
Nobody’s perfect. THAT’S the truth. The only way to work and grow through your imperfections is to own your shit like a boss instead of covering it up. Don’t let it soak in your pants, because then it just stinks and that isn’t good for anybody. Flush that shit down the toilet of truth, and POOF: your constipation is gone.
But the BIGGEST takeaway from this post: don’t EVER take microeconomics. Unless that’s what floats your bacon, in which case, kudos to you.