Update: Fighting the fear

I said at the beginning of the year that I wanted this blog to be a personal account of my 6 months plan. It’s a third of the way through now, and I figure I should start sharing.

Camp is going great. I am working with a great team. We’ve just finished interviewing our volunteers. The second draft of our outcome statemen is in the works. Okay, great! (But…)

Grad school plans are evolving. I should hear back within a week or two. Considering other options as well such as working for a conservation non-profit. (But…)

Having some great conversations about life. Making more self-discoveries. All in ask going well. (But…)

But it’s not easy.

I’ve been hearingthings like “You make applying to grad school look easy” and “You are doing a great job!”. I appreciate these comments and naturally enjoy receiving them. The hard part is believing them, or as the title says fighting the fear.

Sometimes when I think about my responsibility creating and leading a week of camp, this pit in my stomach forms. Fear of failing, of not living up to expectations, squeezes my chest.

It’s funny, but I was looking for street parking the other day and I pulled into 3 different ones before I finally parked a block over in an unrestricted zone. I couldn’t make up my mind on what was a good spot (first one had a broken meter, second one had a tow-away sign, third one was hard to get to with traffic). Parking is do trivial, but some party of the fear I’m fighting in the rest of my life unleashed itself on me in that moment.

Even now there’s the fear that no one will want to read this. That I didn’t make sense. That it’s boring. Not helpful. Too personal. A fear that one of my friends will read it and then want to talk about it when I don’t.

The point is that even if I’m making it look easy to pursue my 6 month plan (and I’ve been surprised by how well most things have been going) that didn’t mean I haven’t been working hard. It takes work just to fight the fear. To silence the voice saying it could better, so find a better parking spot (only to end up parking down the block 10 minutes later). It takes work to remind myself that, yes, I’m going to make mistakes, maybe even painful ones. But, that’s not a reason I want to use to back out or not try.

So what now? Well, for one it’s okay to be afraid and it’s okay to vent. (At least I hope so for my own sake.) Moreover, despite my focus on the positive, I’m not blindly cheery. A lot of the blogs I read make things sound so wonderful and meaningful, but I like to view myself as more of a realist than that.

I have the ability and the intention to reach my goals (or find better ones along the way), but I’m still afraid. And that’s okay.


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