It’s Up To You!

11215939_1143188309030551_1430917241_nSubmitted by Tammy Marks, PTA Graduate, 2015

Before you begin reading this “blog”, grab a piece of rope or yarn that’s about two feet in length. Now, hold onto the ends, and without letting go, tie a knot in the rope. Make sure that you don’t let go; don’t cheat! Could you do it? There is a way that is possible!

Now lay your rope down or have someone hold it for you. Cross your arms with your right hand on top of your left arm and your left hand under your right arm. Now, grab hold of the ends, and without letting go uncross your arms slowly tying a knot in the middle of the rope! You see, I told you to grab hold of the ends of the rope, but I didn’t give you the details of “how”.

So… the moral of the story regarding my “rope trick” is that sometimes life can be misleading. Even when you think you understand it, it can be ambiguous. It can be unclear. Life doesn’t hold all the answers.  Just as in my instructions to tie a knot in the piece of rope; it appeared I gave all the instructions that you needed, but there was one thing that I left out and that was up to you to figure out. The majority of the time, the outcome depends on you. There are many things we are not in control of that may become obstacles, but if you trip and fall down, don’t stay there. Get back up. Always get back up, because you are stronger than you think. Usually the answers are simple, the complication of them is our own devising. In other words, we are the ones who make things so complicated at times!

I had attended college here for a couple years and was on the alternate list for the PTA program. It felt a lot harder to get to that point than I had imagined it was going to be. Partly because I hadn’t learned in order to study that I needed to be rested. When you are tired, 3 hours of study equals one hour if you are rested; a simple solution right?

And then….. I was diagnosed with cancer the last two weeks of a semester. I had four finals to take, going into it 04c70362fd40a849709f86f49315f2cbwith a 4.0 GPA. I had surgery on my left ribcage that only hurt when I breathed. I took 2 of my finals, but listening to my emotions, I just could not pull together what was needed to take the other two. I thought my chances were over to be in the PTA program.

After a couple of months of trying to find my footing outside of college, I started listening to that which I had allowed to become “infinitesimal” deep inside. Infinitesimal means very small, almost undetectable. I had allowed part of who I was to be buried by my emotions regarding my health and my emotions over personal circumstances.

Because I didn’t ride out the storm before I made the decision to give up, I made the decision in the middle of my emotions and made the wrong choice. Did you know that “just because you feel like quitting doesn’t mean that you have to”? Isn’t that a relief that we don’t have to act on our emotions?

I realized that I wasn’t happy giving up on everything I had worked so hard for. I went in and talked to my advisor, Susan Cotterman. She said, “Tammy, you still have almost a 3.7 average and you are still in the running. You just need to clean up those 2 classes.”

With a wave of her hand, my advisor Susan made something that had over shadowed me for two months take its proper place in my life. My two failed classes were not the end of my career. They were just something that merely needed cleaned up.  I applied again for the program, signed up for the two classes and was accepted into the PTA program. Along the way I had another cancer surgery, but I didn’t allow this one to slow me down. I graduated two weeks ago and have passed the state board exam on my first try. I will soon be a practicing licensed physical therapist assistant!

You will need to find and listen to what is infinitesimal inside of you; a desire, a passion, a goal, a dream or a talent that has been buried for whatever reason and needs desperately to surface, so that you can give yourself and the world your best.

Define your own life regardless of life and sometimes other people. Are there others that in the beginning you had their support? But then, just like you, their view of your college trek took on a different perspective as you progressed through hours and days of classes and study.  Other things had to wait as you met the demands of college. You will need to be creative. You will need to be persistent and tenacious as you create your own pathway.

Attending MTC for the past 4 years and being involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success these past 3 years has challenged me in ways that I have never been challenged. It has caused me to lay awake and deliberate on how I can fit one more piece of the puzzle together to complete the transformation of whom I have become through my experience here at MTC.

you-get-stronger-strength-picture-quoteIn the past some of my thoughts were focused on the English language and I wondered how we learn to speak and understand language that has so many inconsistencies and rules. Take the word d-o-u-g-h, if it spells dough then why doesn’t t-h-r-o-u-g-h spell throw? But it spells (thru) – And if t-h-r-o-u-g-h spells (thru) then why doesn’t d-o-u-g-h spell (due)? Or better yet, if t-o-u-g-h spells (tuff) then why aren’t the other two duff and thruff? Have you had enough?!

I think all of us are born with a desire to make sense of things. But when we first find our voice and start speaking, we are unaware of rules, we simply model those around us and continue to model and learn until we speak our language fluently and strongly.

And this is what I leave with you….finish strong. You are in the company of good people here at MTC. They are people to model after and ones that can help you find the voice of your career character.  They will help you become fluent and strong and they will rejoice and celebrate your accomplishments.

Remember to thank all those who have supported you during your education at MTC. Congratulations on your choice to be here, and congratulations on every day that you wake up and “feel the fear” of what you have gotten yourself into, but make the choice to “do it anyway”!

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