The same metaphor might apply to my recent experience of formal education. I was struggling along with a masters degree until a few months back. It was such a relief when I stopped and decided to pursue learning under my own steam in a much more informal and flexible way.
I have a friend who is still studying at that advanced level and loves what she is doing. She's considering going on to do a doctorate in her spare time. She's found her niche, gets distinctions for her assignments and presents her ideas at conferences. In contrast I hated my studies, couldn't fathom out what was expected of me and had writer's block every time it came to producing an essay. I'd sit for hours and only manage to commit a few words to print. Additional support from the university, as a neurology assessment for dyspraxia indicated, might have helped the penny to drop. Yet I didn't have the time or motivation to make this happen.
I'm a skilled clinician and am good at teaching and supporting others professionally. Outside work I'm a reasonable cook and homemaker. There's a half decent head for business that could be explored. I'm comfortable with writing in a more relaxed style. I make things that please myself and others. But I'm NOT an natural academic. I'll leave that to those who have a bent for organising data and critical analysis. Why struggle? It's dawned on me it would be much better embracing and develop the talents that come naturally to me.