If I were a rapper, that would be my handle. I realized today that I am simply not capable of doing anything half-assed, and never have been.

When I was about thirteen, I decided I liked history, or rather social studies as it was known at the time. What did I do? Instead of keeping my interest purely recreational, I studied it until I literally couldn’t study it any more, then suddenly looked around to realize that I was twenty-six and had absolutely no marketable skills whatsoever.

And then there’s love. Almost everyone I’ve ever dated, from one-night flings (yes, honey, there have been a few) to long-term relationships, have gotten scared off by my all-out mentality. When I love, I love completely and absolutely, which some may find cloying (to put it nicely).

Too bad, because it’s the only way I know how to love. It’s gotten somewhat better as I get older and more self-possessed, but the tendencies linger.

Last summer, I decided that starting a new relationship while enduring my father’s fight with cancer just wasn’t enough. So I decided to apply for PhDs, which included retaking the GRE and relearning all the math I’d ever been exposed to – and then some – in a matter of eight weeks. It became a full-time endeavor, which I balanced along with my family obligations and two supposedly part-time jobs. Oh, and training for a half-marathon.

And now here I am, doing it again. In the spring, I decided that I wouldn’t try to do my PhD by commuting to Southern California, because I wanted to focus on my life here in Santa Cruz. Instead, I found what was supposed to be a part-time-plus job, working only as necessary and easily balancing my job with the rest of my life.

Yeah, right.

I am now two months into it, and I find myself thinking about work all the time. I bring it home with me, I let it affect my moods and my relationship, and I am definitely not working part-time.

Oh, and did I mention that I am also helping to take care of my dad a few afternoons a week while simultaneously running Wedding, Inc.? Yes, that’s right. I might have mentioned that, at least a few hundred times.

Funny thing is, I’m not complaining. My fiance might be, but I’m not. I love my job, I love my family, and I love the person I’m marrying. I wouldn’t give any less to any of them even if I could. Instead, I just have to accept that this is the way I live my life, and that I am simply incapable of giving anything less than my all. Even when I carefully contrive to put myself in a situation that demands less, I still give everything I’ve got to whatever is in my life at the time.

That is just how I roll.

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