Posted by: beansai | June 15, 2008

Facing Fear

    I suppose one of the best ways for me to move on with my life and be more productive is to step up and face those abstract fears I have. You know, the kind that are all in your head. Like my fear of being abducted if I go for a walk too late in the evening by myself. My parents seriously drove it into my head, that being a girl, I can’t safely go anywhere or doing anything on my own. As a kid I was given very limited roaming access while my brother (three years older than me) essentially had free range of the neighbor, the city, however far he could get off to. For me though, they claimed the fear that someone would try and kidnap me. An understandable fear considering how close we lived to the freeway, but unfair to chain one kid down and let the other be a wild child. And nothing in my society has helped to dispell this gargantuan fear. I’m mean a little fear is fine, but so much fear that every muscle clenches to near immobilization every time I hear someone walking behind me in a fairly quiet parking lot at night, or even in the day? I think that’s ridiculous. I get so angry with myself sometimes for the exaggerated reaction I have during such circumstances. Is it better to have too much fear, paranoia, rather than not enough? I can’t tell. Fear can be such an inhibitor.

    Another circumstance where fear is holding me down is in regards to preparing my applications for grad schools. I was having fun dreaming big, but now that I’m on the other side of the up and coming deadlines, you know, that point where it’s more than just planning and is at the stage of doing, I have become lazy and apparently dispassionate about my previous plans. I still want to go to grad school in the UK, really really really bad in fact. But now I have to admit that I’m scared shitless that they will say no, that I won’t be good enough, interesting enough, unique enough, agressive enough for them. Who likes rejection, right? Although I know it’s rather pathetic to give up before they even have a chance to say yes or no. I mean, the worst is they say no…then I go somewhere else or wait until the next application period and try again. But when it became real that in a matter of months I would be sending out applications to decide my fate, I was scared catatonic.

    I am now trying to work myself back into a state of action. Accordingly though, my brain seems to have turned itself off. I haven’t had a writing brain-wave in ages it seems and I don’t like anything that I’ve done in the last semester or two in class (as far as poetry goes) and I have to have a 25 page sample of my writing. This sets my heart to panic rate, it’s fluttering even as I think about it. I also need to write my statement of intent and somehow express a degree of confidence in my plans. Well I have plenty of hopes and dreams and such, but perhaps not nearly enough confidence in my skill to make them happen. Will they read between the lines and scent my weakness? I’m afraid that I will somehow, unconsciously, shoot myself in the foot so to speak. I know that I should just be me and do my best to express myself in an honest manner. I’m just so afraid that it isn’t enough. But I refuse to let fear, the great tyrant of my life so far, take over this opportunity for me. I want this dammit! So this is my self-relieving confession and motivational speech. I’m gonna shake off this clenching and squirming of my stomach and set out into my uncharted waters.

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Responses

  1. I think being more paranoid than less is better. To me, I’d rather be watching my back than getting my throat slit so to speak, because I forgot or didn’t care to pay attention. The one thing about paranoia though, is that it doesn’t always have to be fear. There’s a difference between being paranoid and prepared than paranoid and afraid. Do you get what I mean? Don’t be afraid to go places and do things—simply ensure you are always prepared for the worst (which is a really good way to be). If your prepared, eventually those anxious feelings will disappear, because you’ll know, that no matter what, you are ready for whatever comes your way. Then the paranoia won’t send you into a panic, instead it will make you think ahead. And what’s wrong with that?

  2. I share the same fears of walking alone at night, and of being judged and rejected. You just have to partition off rational fears that protect you physically, from those that only exist to protect your ego or sense of consistency. You have been working hard, you have talent, and you deserve the chance to succeed 😀


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