When I was in high school, competing in speech & debate, I used to carry around those chewable Pepto Bismal tablets at tournaments and pop them every four hours or so. They turned my tongue black, but they kept my stomach in check.
When I was in college, if I procrastinated on a paper or assignment, a couple days before it was due, I'd break out in hives, or the palms of my hand and my eyes would swell up. It didn't take me long to figure out the cause-- and the solution. Get things done efficiently and in advance. Interestingly, I no longer needed Pepto Bismal for the speech & debate tournaments.
Today my stomach is killing me. I know it's not something I've eaten. I know it's nerves. I know the pending Bar Exam is the cause. It's in three days. Three. Days. That's a long time to have a tummy ache. I finally left the library and came home to study-- I'm hoping being away from all the tension in the air will help my stomach feel better. But I know the truth. It'll only feel better after the exam is over on Thursday. A part of me is irritated by this new development. I have enough to worry about without needing Pepto Bismal on top of it all. And a part of me thinks this is a good thing. It means there is a level of anxiety in me-- a sort of adrenaline, so to speak. And I think if I didn't feel the anxiety, I'd be in big trouble. This is, after all the test. The one that is the key to the profession.
It won't be the end of the world if I don't pass it. But what a waste of a summer. And I know I'll feel embarrassed. I don't know which is more motivating. . .
I don't feel ready, if you're wondering. But another two weeks of studying wouldn't change that. I'm not going to be able to retain any additional information in my brain. Some moments I feel like I'm actually getting stupider-- I realize something new only to forget something I'd already learned. I just have to trust that I know a sufficient amount to get me through, and that's got to be good enough. How zen of me, don't you think?
So that's where I am. Still studying. Still worried. And ever more grateful it's almost over. At least for now.