Never Quit

Here I am, 2 ½ weeks from a long-awaited graduation, cramming a foreign language into two, online, summer semesters. Panic set in earlier this week when I scored a 35% on a practice exam. Poor, stupid me. I’ll fail. I’ll have to retake Spanish II. I’ll have to come up with the tuition and money for a tutor. ­­­I won’t graduate until January.


I remember the day, seven years ago, when everything changed. After betrayal encouraged me to wish a human being dead. To hope for it. To plot. And the unexpected twists and turns that led to forgiveness and an appreciation for life.

I remember the day I slouched on the sofa, baby-math book open on the coffee table. I can’t. I was never good at math. No. Pick up the pencil and try. And try. And try until it makes sense. Months later my instructor calls to tell me I received a perfect score on the final. That momentum got me through five more math classes.

I remember the night in “Commercial Design” when the impossible project stopped me cold. I can’t do this. God, I need help. I look at the blueprint again, the specifications. Of course it can be done. Start drawing. Two months later, the result was beautiful.

Spanish is just the current challenge. And beyond that, the reason for all of this effort–writing an unlikely story openly and with grace.

Easy. I just have to remember I’m not doing it alone.

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9 thoughts on “Never Quit

  1. Anette says:

    Yes, yes, yes, you WILL succeed my bright, talented friend!!!!!! And, we will celebrate your August 2012 graduation very soon:)

    Love A

  2. Andrew says:

    I had a similar experience with Spanish when working on my BA. In my mid 40’s studying a second language was proving difficult. I ended up having to take Spanish I and II twice (each class) before I managed a “B” in one and a “C” in the other and having to delay my degree by six months. One thing I did find was that during the last semester when I only had Spanish to study was that I could focus a lot more of my learning energy there. That got me through.

    Hang in there. You’ll get it done.

    • deb reilly says:

      Hi, Andrew. Thankfully the other class I’m taking doesn’t take much effort. I’m going to stop kicking myself for leaving Spanish for last, and dig in. Thanks for the encouragement. Looking forward to reading more about your trip to France. I shared the cathedral pictures with my daughter–beautiful!

  3. Diane says:

    Something else would have been last, if not Spanish… some of us are just good at putting off (and then almost always getting through it, just not gracefully).

    Why does Spanish have subjunctive? Since English does not (right?), that whole concept is hard (and harder when we’re older). That’s when I stopped lessons, year 7. Senora Ainso (who was actually a Chemist from Argentina…) And now, I remember so little.

    In three weeks I’ll read more stuff of yours in emails… oh yea! About the thing that has molded you into who I ‘know.’ About the things you sought out, listened to, tuned out, came back round… la enchilada en todo

    • deb reilly says:

      Stopping to notice how gently life nestles into perfect place, in spite of all the b.s. that surrounds us too, and I wonder why I ever worry about anything. Things happen or they don’t. It’s all okay. Stressing has no place in any of it–except maybe that bit that moves one to get off one’s arse. (I wonder if I can put that on a resume?)

      So, so glad I know you, Chica!

  4. Diane says:

    Things happen, and it’s whether we notice or react…
    Stressing used to keep my weight in check – not so much nowadays.

    And back at ya with the knowing/sharing.


  5. KM Huber says:

    Quite late in getting to this post but wanted to wish you buena suerte with the Spanish class. To be honest, the only reason I passed German, ultimately, was because the instructor felt sorry for me; I cannot remember the number of times I started and stopped my language courses. As you say, it will be, and there will be an end.

    You know you have many in your corner cheering you, always.


    • deb reilly says:

      Thanks, Karen. Eight days and counting. I think i’m gonna be okay. Can’t wait to find out what the NEXT challenge will be.

      Wish we were neighbors,

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