Chasing my fears.

I was asked where I went, why I had stopped writing.

Fear.

I’m not afraid to write, I just have been spending my time chasing… fear.

In the fall of 2014, I went back to school at the age of 41. People do that all the time. It should be exciting, but it’s not. It’s terrifying. I was scared to apply, I was scared to register, I was even afraid to buy my parking pass.

My first day of classes… you guessed it, terrifying. Professors all talked about how everything we needed for class would be online… on a website I hadn’t heard of… I was too afraid to ask how to find it.

I eventually figured it out, it wasn’t too hard, nor was signing up, or getting a parking pass. Never the less, I had knots in my stomach, I wanted to vomit and I was certain I was going to fail and most likely die from failing. Can you do that? Die from failing???

But I didn’t. I made it through the first semester with good grades and even made a few friends. That didn’t make the second semester any less terrifying. Finances are in the toilet, I failed my first test in one of my classes, and I thought for sure this second round of classes was going to end it all for good.

That’s the side of me I battle everyday.

I even find reinforcing voices such as an adviser that says, I better drop that class or my GPA will prevent me from staying in my major, and eventually graduating. But she doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that the gut wrenching pain that has taken permanent residence because of my fears is also a driving force.

She didn’t know that was the pain that rallied me to go and tell the professor of this failing class that I wasn’t going to go anywhere and I was going to pass her class with at least a C. I told her I was going to do what ever it took to do well. This professor, of the failing class, however, did see in me what my adviser couldn’t, still hasn’t, and I know is in myself… Tenacity.

How does one person live in complete duality between fear and tenacity?

I’m actually asking.

I don’t really know, I feel like I’m faking it 100% of the way. People keep saying to me how much they admire what I’m doing, how it takes a person of great character to do what I’m doing and I have a voice in my head that just screams when people say that.

It screams, “Do you have any idea how much I want to start crying at any given moment because I am just…. that…. afraid?!!?”

So, there it is. My deepest, darkest secret. I’m afraid to fail. I’m afraid to succeed. I’m not, however, afraid of my own secrets. If you’re looking for a testament from me, it’s not that I went back to school full time in my 40’s. It’s not that I’m in a career change that I pray will matter to the world around me. It’s also not that I am trying my hardest to maintain a full work load because the bills still come, and don’t care that I’m in school. Let me NOT forget that it’s not that I’ve sacrificed family time to do any and all of this…. I am not a martyr!!!

My testament is that everyday, I wake up, I swallow my fear and I do all of the above, anyway. I am living for the fight. 

So, to those of you who have managed to wonder where I have been, why I stopped writing, I’m out doing things that matter in this moment, and I am chasing my fears. Thank you for reading.

Cindy

Typical white girls

This morning I managed to have a few moments to myself and I can’t help but think about my oldest going off to college next year. I’ve been dreading and embracing it all at the same time as we ramble down the road of life at 80 mph.

Every culture has it’s own traditions and yesterday I realized that while some brands of our traditions are still expected (an expensive party), others (shall remain nameless) were, well… Typical white girl.

What’s worse is, I know what she means.

And… I agree… I don’t want her to feel like a cliche. I was thinking this morning though, where does cliche and culture collide? I certainly want her to be proud of her heritage, to know her people are strong, stoic, and yes… Faith filled.

When the talk of college began last year, my fear was she would move far away and I’d not see her again. Now my fear is she may stay so close she may not experience just how precious her culture is to the rest of the world.

Now I’m not saying we are god’s gift to the world in a hokey self serving, supremist sort of way…. We are all gods gift to each other. Really. I believe that. But I think we all forget how special we are in diverse environments.

I’m a typical white urban mom writing to you from the Midwestern plains of North Dakota. Whatever your heritage, cliche, or culture, if it means something to you… embrace it. Use blue stone ware, wear wool sweaters, hooded sweatshirts with shorts and flip flops, get that tattoo, or don’t get it.

Just stop making it a big deal.

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Me: “God, release me from my bondage”

God: “you never were… Look up child of God”

I released my eyes from my feet. “Oh… There you are! Oh God let me never forget.”

What’s really at the top of your Christmas tree

  I went to a neighborhood Christmas party last night. I was the first arrive. Mari had her house decked out to every detail. When one family arrived with their two small children, say 3 and 4, immediately both kids looked at the tree and pointed at the star on top.
 It was a pretty star, I thought… but no…
 I looked again at the faces of the kids, and their look wasn’t of wonderment, they were pointing TO the star, with looks of indignation. Their father told us about how his parents had a star they had used for  some time that was thrown out with the intent of replacement, but it didn’t get replaced. So when they went to grandma and grandpa’s this year, the tree just wasn’t a real Christmas tree without the star.
 Christ is a little like that star.  It’s easy to get caught up in the ornaments, the decorating, believing there’s always time to replace or repair the brokenness of our lives. To these kids, This Christmas was the most important, where was the star present in THIS Christmas? I am certain in reflection that like most the adults in my life I have been caught up in just getting the tree up, decorated and presents underneath. It is a running theme in my daily life. Just getting things done without the finale.
 At work today, Donna, a coworker with as short a temper as her height yelled, “Jesus!” as she reached for something too tall for her to get to. I responded in jest, “Donna, Jesus isn’t going to help you get that down.” I walked around the table, grabbed what she wanted and told her, “but you never know until you ask, right?”