I’ve always been one of the most insecure, shy, timid, and quiet people I know. About two weeks ago, I had a massive breakthrough from which (I thought) I learned so much about confidence, about myself, about others, and about what might actually be possible. By no means was it my first growth spirt, but it was definitely a gigantic step in my life. Maybe it was the culmination of about 6 or 7 years of slow, gradual personal development. (Or maybe it was a fluke?) For a short time, I had been riding quite a high from this sudden burst of inspiration. But tonight, I’m relapsing into overwhelm and the all-too-familiar feeling of being a tiny lost puppy in a world of lions.
About 5 years ago, I was accepted into Liberty University. I remember how excited I was about going on such a big crazy adventure, pursuing a very specific career path that I’ve been extremely passionate about for a long time. I’d never done anything like that before (or since, or ever.) I even submitted the $250 confirmation deposit and everything. But I couldn’t go, I guess because of financial as well as personal/mental health/confidence issues. I know it sounds rather insignificant. But it was a pretty devastating experience for me. It was kind of a death blow to my naïve aspirations, hopes and dreams. I still haven’t recovered from it.
I’m in a different head space now, and a lot of situations in my life are so different and more advantageous than they were 5 (or even 2) years ago. So much has happened that has put me in a better position to do some things. I’ve had some experiences that have stretched me without completely tearing me apart. As I mentioned before, I’ve done some growing and learning in recent years, and even weeks.
Just a few days ago, my mom asked me if I still wanted to go to LU to get my bachelor’s in this field I’ve been so interested in for such a long time. Of course I want to go. That’s what I’ve wished I could do for the past 5 years. My parents think I’m in a much better place than I was then, and they want me to go to LU, or at least to look back into it again. My sisters all think it would be a wonderful opportunity. They all want me to go to LU. My awesome brother-in-law, who doesn’t know the whole sordid story and all the details, thinks it would be a super great idea, and he wants me to go to LU. I want me to go to LU. I want to chase my dream, enter the training program there, earn my BA, and start working in the field that I’ve been so passionate about for so long, but I’ve never been able to get into for lack of training and experience. I was the one who wanted to go in the first place. But I had given up on that goal and dismissed it as unrealistic. I had convinced myself to get used to disappointment because the thing wasn’t achievable. It was never gonna happen anyway. It was a pipedream and a reverie. So I told myself no because it was true.
Tonight, prompted by the support of my beautiful, dysfunctional family whom I love very much, and the fragile spark of rekindled inspiration, I decided to reopen the folder I got from LU when they accepted my application 5 years ago (yes, I kept it. Why do I still have that folder?!) Looking at those papers again reminded me of how soul-crushing the whole situation was and how disappointed I’ve been for years because I wasn’t able to go. It reiterated why it didn’t pan out. It immediately transported me back into the mind of the insecure child I was 5 years ago. That child never really went away. It got triggered tonight. I honestly don’t want to look inside that folder again. It makes me feel weak, helpless, like a failure, like I can’t do it. I feel small and unsure. Everything feels big, scary, daunting and impossible.
One gigantic step forward.
An enormous step back.
One of the biggest highs is now threatening to become another profound low.
I know intellectually and logically that I’m probably not thinking straight (is any of this rational or true? Why am I invalidating my own feelings again? Didn’t I just learn why that’s not productive or healthy? What the heck is going on? I’m overthinking again, aren’t I? How do I deal with that? I’ve lost my bearings. This is a lot.) I’m having a hard time knowing what to make of it all.