I’ve said it numerous times that as we get older, we really get comfortable with fear.
So much so, that we decide not to try things, not to get hurt, not to fail, not to endure some kind of loss that may or may not come with whatever it is we are deciding NOT to do.
It’s sad. It’s a terrible place to be and I’ve been there.
Fear can paralyze us.
It can prevent us from loving who we want to love, fighting for what we want.
It can keep us under the illusion that we are safe.
But while we are merely surviving in safety and sucking up air, eating from time to time and using the bathroom. It’s kind of like we are just waiting around to die.
Sometimes life forces us to action, whether we like it or not.
So there are some schools of thought that we should be active and proactive in our actions so we can at least have a real say in our decisions instead of life forcing us to do so at the last-minute.
There is a give and take of energy in this universe. And what we do put out there, it does come back.
I won’t lie.
I was scared of letting go of my relationship for real, but even though I was calling myself dating, I wasn’t fully open to the prospect of going all in for some other man who entered my life. I won’t say the men I’ve dated recently were the one anyway, but it wasn’t until after my last interaction with my ex, I coined the phrase, “He is unable, therefore I can’t.”
He was unable to truly love me in the way I needed most. And if he can’t do it, he can’t do it.
The realization was something that actually gave me comfort in letting go.
I opened myself up to the possibility of rebuilding our relationship, but because he was so consumed with life happening to him, and a recent job loss, he did not have room to give me what I needed, and I had decided I no longer had the time or energy to wait.
My vacation allowed me time to step away from my life that was suffocating.
I was just working everyday, but not living.
I was constantly online looking for men, secretly hoping one of them had the answers to my happiness.
I took a chance, and overspent some money, but I went to a different country. I tried new foods, I snorkeled for the first time, and jumping off of a boat into the ocean was probably one of the top things I was most scared of, despite having on a life vest and travel mates who were excellent nurses assuring me nothing would happen to me.
There was fear, the vest and the team of nurses weren’t going to be enough. If I jump off this boat, I may go all the way down. Would this be my last day because I was being reckless? I’m not the strongest swimmer.
But even with all of the coaxing, I knew deep down, I had just enough to keep me afloat. I was more comfortable with water than I had ever been in my life and that I’d regret it if I didn’t at least try.
When you do something like that and over come a fear like that, and you finally learn how to breathe through the snorkel and finally look down, the world opens up to you in a crazy way. I opened my eyes and I just looked down, I breathed easier and I found myself excited like a child seeing the circus for the first time or the ocean.
I saw fishes of all shapes and sizes and colors, I saw the coral and I was amazed that I could have such a moment.
After spending most of my mornings in deep prayer and journaling, I came home refreshed.
I ate new food and met new people. I was blessed.
So what was going to change when I got home?
Was I going to go back to the gym again after work? Was I going to go back to my tee shirts?
Was I going to really go ahead and go to school?
I found myself looking up online programs, and thanks to the pushy nature of the admissions offices and their knack for intense follow-up, I was meeting deadlines.
I was purchasing books to help me study for the GRE.
I was studying for the GRE.
And today, I paid for and scheduled my test. Nov. 17. EEEKKK Hitting the panic button.
Am I still scared, yes. But I have a renewed sense of purpose I haven’t had in a very long time.
I was telling a friend that it felt natural to make peace with the end of my career in journalism and that I was allowed to have a new calling and a new dream and it doesn’t diminish what the old career and old dream meant to me.
In fact, it is a foundation. It’s still a career that was originally rooted in service and informing the public and making a difference and improving people’s quality of life through education and knowledge. So the transition to public health isn’t a wild leap. It’s an extension of where I am in my life.
I’m not looking forward to the test, but I am looking forward to starting the study and the research and the new challenge.
An urgency for my life sprang up in me.
I was no longer a child. But I am of the age where most people get married and have children and buy houses and I’m not in that group either.
I could take two years to do this for me.
I can jump off of the boat and see my new life spread before me and I can be proud that I went ahead and tried.