I used to feel obliged to let people know how bad I did in school. I never did my homework; I wrote stories and drew pictures through my classes, as much and as often as I could get away with it (and sometimes when I couldn’t).
I read paperbacks and comic books—it’s harder for the teacher to notice if you make sure to have a pile of textbooks on the front corner of your desk. (At least, that was my theory.) My grades were middling, because I had to keep them at a certain level to avoid too much trouble, and to avoid getting kicked out of the theater program.
Even in college, when I had chosen my own focus, there was a theme: All of my performance and studio grades were excellent, but I stumbled through theory and history classes, though I made a bigger effort now that I was an “adult”. I didn’t read fiction in those classes, but I did do business planning and ideastorming about things that had nothing to do with music. Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in those classes—just not the way I was supposed to be.
When I truely “applied myself,” I was brilliant.
But I didn’t do that very often.
I am no longer defined by my technical performance in school—not even college. I’m defined by what I’ve done, and what I go on to do with what I have. I’m defined by what I’m willing to learn, and how steadily I’m inclined to grow and change and help others. I’m not a failure because the schooling I had wasn’t quite right for me. My life is getting better and more amazing constantly. No one cares that my grades were lame. And even “school” isn’t what I thought.
School isn’t some series of institutions with structured exercises and grade point systems.
School is me. The most important school has always been me. I just didn’t discover that until after I was grown up.
It doesn’t matter what you did before.
It only matters what you’ll do now.