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