I’m a CIA!

sort of.

I passed the final part of my four part Certified Internal Auditor exam! I have some odds and ends to tie up (and a shiny new certificate to wait for) but the lion-share of my certification is over! It was hard. February has been hard. And rewarding. But mostly hard.

I feel like my life has been moving in fast forward 4x (maybe 16x) since the beginning the month. I touched on it here already, so I won’t whine anymore, but it’s been a lot. It’s been a “teachable moment” in my life too though.

I learned something that’s probably sort of “duh” but struck a resonant chord with me. In life, there are times when you give it your all and you win, and there are times when you give it your all and you lose. We all worked so, so hard at the sorority to have a great recruitment and save our chapter, and it didn’t work. There was no one to blame and nothing to say, and looking back on it, I would have done everything the same all over again, but we lost. It stung something fierce, and I still get choked up talking about it.

Then there was this. Fresh off the heels of the disappointing recruitment, I hit the books hard to put the finishing touches on this exam prep. Truthfully, I’ve been studying since early December. I took a class and read the books and did all the practice exams from December through February. This past weekend, I did it again. I didn’t take another class, but I reread all the material and retook all the tests twice. It was insane. I have not studied that hard since my junior year of college. That’s 5 years ago.

Saturday I cleaned our apartment from top to bottom because I cannot stand working in a mess then studied for hours. I rinsed and repeated Sunday, not moving except for a one hour lunch (mental health) break for over 11 hours. Monday was the holiday, so after a quick 3 miler with Chris, I did it all over again. My eyes are still sore from all the reading. I’ve had a headache for 4 days. I gave it my all, but I was still so scared to fail again.

But I didn’t. I passed, and I’m done! Here’s the crazy part: other than initial reactions, those two scenarios don’t feel that different. I was devastated when recruitment didn’t pan out and elated when I got my passing score, but within a few hours of each, I felt basically the same. I felt proud of myself for trying so hard.

Last night, I slept in a shirt from my first half marathon as a sort of token of good luck. I had a moment where I thought, “Oh no! This was my slowest half! I should sleep in my Chicago half marathon shirt!” Then I thought better of it remembering the effort I put into preparing for that first half. It wasn’t my best time, but it was the hardest I’d ever worked.

For me at least, it’s about the effort, not the outcome. I’m putting this in writing as a challenge to myself to be more bold. There are things that I don’t do because I’m scared I’ll fail (not many because truly everything frightens me, so I’m used to doing stuff even though I’m scared, but still there are some). I think this month I realized there’s nothing to be afraid of. Win or lose, pass or fail, I’m glad I did it and proud I tried.


As I mentioned, I had almost no life this weekend as my face was permanently stuck in a book, but I did enjoy a nice date with Chris and a fun dinner out with Debbie and Mike. I only have pictures from the date. I’m sorry. sort of.


Friday night, Chris and I went back to Roman Nose, and it was still delicious.



I got this yummy mess which was a much prettier looking gluten free penne pesto before I dumped a pound of broccoli rabe on top.



Then we ran into this guy on the way home! That’s an opossum  Crazy, right? I saw him out of the corner of my eye and thought he was a cat! He politely posed for a picture, after which Chris and I ran fast as hell away for fear that the flash would send him into attack mode.


So, that’s my life update. And a picture of a possum. I leave for Jamaica on Sunday, and I promise I’ll come back with something (anything!) more exciting.