About Me

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I have two kids - a girl and a boy - and live in north-central Minnesota, land of snow and ice. Well, for 9 months of the year, that is. I work full-time for a local government, and on my "free time" I enjoy cooking, baking, hanging out with my kiddos, and RELAXING.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

decision revoked

Remember my post here about how I decided to take the CPA exam?

And the post here about how I ordered the review course?

I sent it back.

I can't do it. I just can't.

I almost had a mental breakdown thinking about it. And you know, I don't really even care if I ever have a CPA. I mean, yes, it would be nice, but for my future goals it's not necessary.

Studying for and taking the CPA literally would have eaten up a year of my life. A year I was not willing to sacrifice. Maybe it's because of my past but I don't believe studying is the most productive use of my time.

I didn't do well in school. I mean, I excelled in school but I didn't do well mentally.

Sometimes I think I hate to learn. Probably it's more that I hate to study and do homework and take tests. Do you have any idea how many times I seriously considered quitting school?

Probably about five. My roommates and I frequently called these bouts of despair a "quarter-life crisis." Some of those semesters of school were honestly the hardest things I've ever had to do.

I couldn't stand it. I couldn't stand the pressure (mostly self-inflicted) to be successful. I couldn't stand the time away from home and from the people I love.

Looking back now, it was worth it. I mean, it was still probably one of the most difficult things I've ever done, but in the end I'm glad I did it.

Maybe I would say the same thing about the CPA exam, but maybe not. It's just not something I'm prepared to sacrifice for at this point in my life. It's a big decision and I don't want to go into it with regrets.

It's hard to explain how difficult it is for me to do things like go to college and take the CPA exam. You might not understand where I'm coming from, but maybe you will.

The only thing I felt when I decided not to take the CPA after all was relief. Mostly relief that I wouldn't have to spend 15 hours a week studying. But also relief that I didn't have to perform. I didn't have to impress anyone. I didn't have to be the best.

I may have some serious psychological issues.

The thing about getting straight As and graduating summa cum laude is that everyone begins to expect you to be intelligent. To be smart. To be a genius. (No, I'm not a genius.)

And they congratulate you! Oh boy, do they ever congratulate you. They call you smart and intelligent. Do you have any idea how many times people have said to me "You're so smart"?

And you know what? Before long, that's who I became. I was the smart girl. I am the smart girl. It's part of my identity, reinforced by my educational success and the things people say to me.

But what happens if I do something like get a B? Or worse, fail the CPA exam?

It's unthinkable.

See, I'm not okay with just squeaking by. That's not how life has worked out for me. I'm all or nothing. I give things my best or I don't do them at all. That's the way I am.

So for me taking the CPA would mean giving it my best. Which would me countless hours of studying to ensure I pass every section on the first try. Failure is not an option.

I do believe I am my father's daughter. If you knew him, you'd understand.

I believe I've told you why I chose accounting as my major. It was because my dad said I should.

He was right; I do love accounting. I am good at it. But that's not all I am. I am not just someone who is "good" at things; someone who is smart and gets good grades.

Have you ever heard of a Johari window? Several years ago everyone on myspace was doing them. Overwhelmingly people selected "smart" for me. Over and over and over again. That's what people see when they look at me. Is that what you see?

Every time someone says I'm smart I cringe inside and try to pass it off.

For the record, I did get a B once. In ninth grade Vietnam class. That would be one of those classes I had to take because I didn't have band. To this day the only thing I remember about Vietnam is the Tet Offensive. Which is kind of ironic, because I love history.

Anyway, as I told you: serious psychological issues.

It happens.

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