Follow me on Twitter
All requests for following must be approved by PrettyWreck
before tweets can be seen ♥

Ask me Anything
A formspring account where I'll try to
reply to all questions posed ♥

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Need advice - Afraid of Success and other awesome BS

This is really long, and filled with endless drivel, and I will be so grateful to anyone who reads it and gives me advice. I know I write/talk/whatever too much. ♥

So I've been looking into becoming a CPT (certified personal trainer) even more, and I've decided to do it. I'm actually going to do this. I'm in love with the gym, and I could spend all day there if i wanted to. I've been trying to find a way out of my current job, where I can have a potential career, make money that's directly proportionate to how much I work, and also just...not have a real boss.
I'll spare you all the details, but I start my training hopefully in the next day or two, and my first exam is next weekend. After that, I need to get my CPT insurance, followed by at least one other certification (there's HUNDREDS of them, literally. I just need to get some that are nationally certified and my own personal trainer and my brother are helping me out in choosing them) and then apply for a job at my gym. Then yeah...after I finish my "observation" period with one of the established trainers, I'll be able to start taking private clients. step mom, after I told her this, said something that makes sense.

But it terrifies me.

She told me I should take next semester off.

As it stands, I'm currently working a job that I need. I cannot quit it until I start making money as a trainer. Because of that, I'd have so little time to dedicate to training while I'm in school. Next semester, I have Neurobiology, Calculus, Chemistry, and Introduction to Advanced Criminal Processing. Semester after that is Calculus II, Evolution, Organic Chemistry, and Physics. Classes are just going to get harder, and the job I'm at now is the reason I couldn't do a lot of school work before. It's also the reason I can't take the classes I need where I need to - because I work overnights, and I can't take classes after noon. I have to take everything before 12pm or else I don't get to sleep in a day. And I'm always wiped out in class.

So my step mom said I should wait until January. Take this semester off, and focus on just getting certified, and getting established as a trainer. Because when I do get established, then I'll be able to, basically, work 28 hours a week for nearly a grand more a month than I'm making now, which means I'd be able to actually transfer to a real university with a better reputation, take the classes when I need to take them, and not have to work overnights anymore.

Now, my thing is? I'm terrified of taking a semester off. I'm 22 years old, and I don't have a bachelors degree. I've started and restarted school so many times. I haven't ever completed anything.

I'm terrified that if I do this, and stop school to become a CPT, I won't go back, and I won't become a CPT. Or I will become a CPT and I will fail at it. That I'll have wasted a semester for nothing.
That I won't go back to school and I wont' ever quit my job as security. That I'll never finish anything.
That I'll just...never follow through.

Because it's a pattern with me. I'm terrified of success. Absolutely terrified of it. Because it's change. It means I would be held to real standards of an adult. People would expect more out of me, and I would expect more out of myself. The higher up you are on the ladder, the farther you have to fall.

And I know that if I want to do this, then I will. I have this...ability to do anything I want. I'm smart. I'm quick. I'm convincing. I can lie through my teeth and make you believe it, because when I talk, for a few minutes, I believe it too.
And ironically, I realized because of my emphasis on Anorexia Nervosa and it's accompanying disordered symptoms for my term paper last year, as well as my understanding of it and other eating disorders, I could fill in a very aching gap in our system out here now.
That is....working with girls in recovery.
We have a few at the gym, and I've pulled aside their trainer to give advice more than once, since she's completely useless with some of the things she's said. Now she randomly comes to me for advice, sorta funny.
And that's the thing.... When people meet me, and talk to me, I can come off as being the most clear headed, healthy individual, with a very logical and intuitive way of thinking.

Truth is, because of my own struggle with weight and my own disorder, I generally have an idea of what to say to people to help them not relapse. And when it comes to healthy weight loss, I know how to work out, and what to do/what not to do. How much to eat, what to eat, when to eat...I've been fat my whole life. Fat people know more about nutrition and exercise than anyone else, in most cases. It's just that they don't have the control to do it. Reading it, and learning it, is different than living it.
What I do to myself isn't about not knowing the proper method. It's about taking control. That's it.

Anyway, I completely veered off topic.
Sort of.
I talk too much.

Well...point is, I've got all this fear. I'm afraid of trying and failing. Of not following through again. I've trained to be an A+ tech and aced my courses, but never took the cert. I trained to be an EMT - aced the courses (top of my class) but never took the cert (spent the money for the cert on my MCAT book). I've gone to school for a bio major now - good as failed my classes (B's are failures in the eyes of the schools I want to attend) and now I might take off a semester.
I've gone from being an English major and failing out thanks to a meth addiction (age 16-18...yes, I was in college when I was 16...full time college, highschool, and a job...meth was to try and stay awake for the classes) and waking up to realize that English degrees got you jobs as teachers, not a spot in a little cafe in Paris speaking with Ex Patriot and Modernistic types about the loathsome aspects of society and drinking with those of the calibre of Longfellow or Elliot....
I was a tech major and wound up dropping my Networking classes when I realized I hated computers (dropping by not showing up).
I was an EMT major and left the program after acing my classes and being PROMISED a job with the MOST sought after firestation in all of our city (who normally doesn't take regular EMT-B's, only paramedics and sometimes EMT-I's, but apparently being able to intubate a patient properly when you've only read it in textbooks and it's actually a skill that's way above your level makes you special) and I dropped that for biology major with hopes of med school....

...and now I'll be taking time off to become a personal trainer.

Granted, unlike before, I'm not switching majors or goals. I'd be doing this to switch careers so I could focus better on school.
I would be taking time to find out what needs to be done to be able to focus more on school and get the straight A's I need, and also to save up money in case something catastrophic happens and my dad can't pay for my classes. As it is right now, if something happened, I wouldn't even be able to afford a home, much less classes. If I were a CPT, I could afford a place to stay, and still go to school part time.
I would be learning a valuable skill that could get me a job anywhere, and getting a more intimate understanding of the body.
I'd be able to focus on my own weight and have more of a reason to get it down (my monetary success would depend on my appearance) and I'd be able to spend hours at the gym without an odd look.
I'd also be able to afford the VIP room at the gym (which comes with private showers, massage chairs, and general things that equal SEX, and costs over $300 per year that you have to pay upfront and I would kill a midget to get the keycard to let me into there...)
And I could potentially work with people who are recovering from eating disorders, which would be a higher pay grade, look better on an application to say, Harvard (my dream school, and why B's are failures - Harvard Med does not take less than perfection), and would help me when I myself decided to pursue my own recovery.

I would be losing my insurance (which I only use for my psychiatrist, which I can afford without insurance, but what if something happened and I needed to see a doctor for like, swine flu or something?).

And I'm scared to take off the semester. I'm scared I won't return.
I'm scared I won't succeed.
I'm scared I'll just fail, because that seems to be what I'm best at.
And I need to hear from someone else, someone not related to me, if they think I should do it.

Should I take off the semester? Should I focus on the CPT? I could probably replace my current job by January, which is when the next semester starts, but I'd be so behind on school.
And my stepmom says I should, but my dad says it's my choice.
And I don't know if I could do my job, CPT training, and school all at the same time.

So....I mean...should I do it?
Should I take off the semester?
My life would become health. Health, and school, when I re-enrolled.
I think I know the answer, I just think I need to hear it from someone other than me.


  1. The connection between social networking, and pseudo-photography, obsessed with proving that their subjects' are having a 'good time' means two things. First, that those subjects' interior lives are devalued. Second, that very little stands between a woman's clothed body and the eyes of the world rendering her naked.

  2. hi pretty... here's my advice: do the thing that will end with you HAVING something concrete to work with. i have the same fear you have - and now i'm 33 and still treading water. i also went back to school several times (enrolled in 6 post-secondary programs, completed 2, neither of which has landed me in a career i care about or with anything specific to work towards). if i could go back and do it over, i would hone in on something specific. i wouldn't say my english degree is completely useless, but it hasn't gotten me anywhere specific. i still feel like the same unfocused, misguided, undirectioned kid i was more than 10 years ago. don't end up like this. if you have something specific in mind right now that you are compelled to do (the CPT) then friggin do it. i know you're terrified of not finishing your degree... but you have an opportunity now to get a certification in a relatively short period of time. success requires a little bit of risk. if you succeed at the CPT certfication, it might give you the confidence you need to go back and finish your degree. i totally think your step-mom is right.
    either way, you need to do something, and they're both scary. i say go with your gut. if your gut is telling you to get this certification, don't ignore it. you'll regret it later.
    good luck! i'll be thinking about you and hoping you feel good about whatever you decide. harness the energy you have now to get what you want... it gets harder the older you get.
    sending positive vibes and hugs your way!

  3. I definitely think you need to get you CPT certification. It sounds like what you really want to do right now and as long as you go for it full force you'll be fine. It will be better for you to be a personal trainer while going to school so that's definitely a plus. So take off the semester and... Just go for it! By the way, thanks for your great comments. They really made me feel amazing.


  4. I think you should take the semester off, get your CPT certification and go back to school in January. I think all the stress of trying to everything now would be a lot of stress. You have the support of your parents to do it too which is a big plus.

    It's better change and do things now rather than later. You said yourself you'd regret not getting the CPT and likely you'd regret that you weren't able to commit to the time to build it properly because you piled too much onto your plate.

    It's vital that you are doing what you want to do otherwise regret rears it's ugly self into your life. I totally get the whole age thing but better now than later cuz you only grow older. Figuring out what you want to do now is what 20s are for so that the 30s will be happier and more fulfilling.

    Good Luck Sweetie.

  5. Oh this post was filled with so many options! I think that if you sit down without any distractions and really think about it, you'll find that you already know what you want to do. I usually already have an answer picked out in my head that I'm leaning more towards, and if I try to go against that I start getting plagued with guilt and self-doubt ;)

    In any case, you shouldn't feel bad about taking a semester off school to get your CPT certification, it will look excellent on your resume, and you'll feel good about what you're doing as well as bringing in a better income. If you really want to go back to school, you will. If in your heart, you don't... then you won't, and it probably isn't for the best. But I'm sure that you will and everything will sort itself out.

    Thank you also for the lovely, meaningful comment on my blog and sharing that story. I really do need to search deep for a moment like yours so I can track my emotions and feelings better.

    You are truly amazing and have done so much in your short life!! Remember that, hun.

    All my support.

  6. Wow, I feel like I really related to this post, because I'm 21 and only a second year because I've started and stopped school 3 times. Honestly, I think you should take it off. In fact, it sounds like not taking it off would be setting yourself up for failure because you know you can't do your school work and work the current job you have now. I know it seems like you'll be setting yourself back, but in the long run, I'm sure it's the best decision. And it sounds like you know that already.
    Good luck, I'm sure you'll be a success what ever you choose. You're too smart to be a failure ; ) <3

  7. I’m going to try to keep this short and to the point (like you, I tend to ramble a lot, and I don’t want my comment and response to wind up convoluted and elicit a “huh??” haha). The key word here is TRY.

    I think you should go for it. Take the plunge. On the one hand, like you said, you might not go back to school. In a sense, this happened to me. I took a year off after high school when I moved overseas, then found out I HAD to take off another two years due to some stupid overseas student laws here in the UK. But, by the time it came to applying to go after the third year… I didn’t see the point.

    Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

    Instead, I have a steady job, that is easy and almost entirely stress-free (save for the odd bump in the road), working with decent people on a decent wage. At this point in my life, it felt like quitting my job to go to University was a step in the wrong direction, a step backward. But then, I don’t have a dream career or a big passion that I want to realize, that would require a university degree to attain.

    If you did take a semester off, qualified for your CPT, and got the job… that’s a good thing. I think you have to step back and ask yourself: if you DIDN’T go back to school… well, would it be such a bad thing?

    At least in that case, you would have something tangible, a decent job with better wages and hours and something you really enjoy. You said yourself right now that you can’t do what you want with school because of the job you’re in. Given the options, going for the CPT sounds to me like the best option. Either you take the semester off to concentrate on qualifying and getting the job, and then wind up going back to school but with an easier schedule and likely less stress; or you take the semester off, wind up with a great job, don’t go back to school – but at least you’ve still got a better job.

    If you want the CPT job to open up doorways to a career, then do you really NEED college to do it? Don’t get me wrong, I believe that college education is very important *IF* you’re passionate about something or it will get you a career. But if you’ve found something you’re passionate about AND can make a career out of it, and college isn’t a necessary factor for either part of the equation, then does it matter?

    I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate here. I mean, I don’t know you well at all, and I don’t know your circumstances or what you plan to do after you finish school, but again if becoming a Personal Trainer is a career you’d like and love, then go for it.

    Wishing you all the best, keep us posted!

    Vee xx

  8. I am very much like you.
    You pretty much described ME when you were describing yourself.

    I could give you a big long speech about success and failure and fear and desires and this and that and what you should do and blah blah blah. But I'm not going to, because no matter what we say, it is ultimately your decision.

    And you are 22. Three-four months of your life to pursue your possible calling in life is NOTHING in the long scheme of things.

    And you will never know if you like it until you try.

    Whether you think you can, or you think you cant.. You're right.

    Ya know? :) Best of luck babygirl.

  9. Hmm... I'm actually going to disagree with every one else. I'm concerned that you're rationalizing, that you have no real idea what you want, and that you're effectively deaf to that internal voice that tells you what makes you happy because you're pretty good at just about everything you've tried which makes it impossible to differentiate between enjoying the thing itself and enjoying the satisfaction of being good at it.

    And yes, I think all these things because they describe me and I see the last 20 years of my life in your post.

    Here's my advice -- change NOTHING until you talk to an academic advisor at your college about your options. You may need to apply for a leave of absence in orer to be allowed to re-register after taking time off without applying again. You may be able to qualify for financial aid of which you're currently unaware. You may be able to do work-study, or get a paid internship, or cut back on your class load. But you won't know until you talk to someone who's job is advising you on precisely these issues -- and who doesn't share your perfectionist tendencies to throw yourself headlong into the next new thing because the last one didn't work out so well.

    I hope no one takes that last comment too badly. It's not really criticism, just honesty, and primarily self-descriptive. I only suspect that a good number of the women here are like me in this sense.

    Talk to an advisor!