My friend from cowboy-ski-pole country commented a while ago that she doesn’t understand how I manage to work 2 jobs, excel in grad school, read 100 books a year, and contribute regularly to 3 blogs. My first thought was: I only managed to get to a mere 100 when I started reading in May, and even then it was 108. Then I realized that that is a bit crazy, and I may, in fact, be an overachiever, and not even know it.

I always assumed that I can’t be an overachiever because I’m so laid back about everything. But as I reflect back to high school where I was required to earn 100 points on reading tests (this was the semester I took English III as an independent study because I ran out of other classes), and I managed to earn something like 300 points; I ponder the fact that I will have 2 Master’s degrees before age 30, and am still considering doing the dual program and picking up a third; and can’t help but notice that my library requests include practically the entire “Modern Scholar” series of audiobooks so I can brush up on everything from the history of Ancient Greece to important precedents in American legal history while I drive between jobs and home– I think I have to reevaluate my perceived overachieving status.

Don’t overachievers suffer gastrointestinal distress, or just distress in general? Aren’t they typically very pinched-looking and miserable, possibly causing their hair to fall out prematurely as a result of hyper-scheduling and perfectionism?  I’m not high strung enough to fall into that group, although I am often the victim of the gape-mouthed stare when I recount how I spend my time. I’m very torn on this issue, as is evident. Then I think about baby-having best friend (who says she had twins because she is such an overachiever), who I always considered the overachiever of the bunch telling me that I need to just slow down.

This revelation doesn’t change anything anyway, though it is a bit interesting– to me. Honestly, if I was that much of an overachiever, I would have come up with a synonym for overachiever by now so I wouldn’t have to keep repeating it over and over.  In the immortal words on Ashlee Simpson “I am me/ and I won’t change for anyone.” Now I guess I know myself a little better, and soon I’ll know more about Ancient Greece, important American legal precedents, dinosaurs, writing more persuasively…

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