I didn’t intend for this to get scary. In fact I began all of this over a decade and a half ago because I wanted it to stop being scary.
I felt pathetic. I was a teenager who grew up without any movies rated over PG, and was raised by down-to-earth folks, libraries, and PBS. Nobody “got” me. Not even the nerds or the awkward military brats. Everyone was cooler than me and knew something about something. I dressed purposely unfashionable. I was a major band geek. I drew pictures and wrote stories during lunch.
Planning for The Future felt like a big façade. I had no aspirations. I wasn’t depressed, just uninspired and afraid. I worried about how I would ever learn to do big things…like drive a car.
I blamed my upbringing and myself for a while, but then I got angry.
So what. So what if that’s how it is. I can start from here.
I felt it in me that there was something more, something I was afraid to even acknowledge.
I got out of a dramatically odd relationship and took a hard look at myself and why I so disliked who I’d become. My fears had made me controlling and over-emotional. I was alienating not only the world, but myself.
I very slowly and shakily worked on getting my shit together. I admitted my responsibility for myself and who I was from here on out. I practiced getting out of my comfort zone. I practiced socializing. I got my driver’s license.
These days I alternate between feeling like a completely different person, and being 15 again with my braces and rat-tail and wanting to hide in a bookstore. There are days where I struggle to express myself and doubt the very essence of my being. I see all my weaknesses and shame and the barriers that I will need to cross.
But then it’s the same thing:
So what? I can start from here.
I am on the brink of transitioning towards the only profession I felt truly passionate about, and it’s scary. I shift from elated excitement to nail-picking doubt. But I realize that if I expect my clients to be open and candid and vulnerable with me, I will have to practice the same. I want people to know that I haven’t conquered all my fears; that I am imperfect and messy and am fighting my own battles to overcoming what I know I need to face. I still have anxiety getting out of my comfort zone; I get anxious making phone calls. But that is what makes me so passionate about others doing the same — we are jumping into the fray together.
It doesn’t matter where you are starting from. Even if it feels like you’ve started long ago and are deep in the trenches, you are still responsible. Because you know you’re capable of something bigger. And where you are now, and whatever happened on the way here: so what?