At the beginning of the year, I challenged myself to a new year’s resolution – to not be controlled by fear – and I am happy to say that, while I am still a self avowed chicken-shit, I have made huge leaps over some long-held fears.
Here are some of the fears I have overcome since January 1, 2012:
I went to New York City.
I know this seems like a silly thing – considering I’ve been to New York City twice before and absolutely love it there. But NYC has the highest concentration of bed bugs than anywhere IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
And bed bugs scare the shit out of me.
I’ve had a standing invitation to visit Shana, and I’ve always found a reason not to go – work, money, obligations – but it was mostly because I didn’t want to inadvertently brush up against bed bug-ridden tourists.
But, this year, after telling myself that Shana lives among these threats every dayand has yet to become infected, I should be fine walking around the City for a few days.
And I was.
And it was awesome!
I dealt with a dead bird.
After a sparrow hara-karied itself into my front window, and decided to die on my front porch, I was left with a decision. Do I leave it for Phil to take care of when he got home 5 hours later? Do I hope a neighbourhood cat finds it and claims it as its own? Or do I suck it up and deal with it my own self?
After much internal debate, I grabbed a stick and pushed it off the porch onto the grass where it was more likely to be found by a cat (and where it would be less likely for its evil bird spirit would seep through my front door and infest my house).
I am seeing a therapist.
For years I have known that I would benefit from talking with a medical professional, but fear always held me back. I didn’t want anyone to know jut how fucked up I was, I didn’t want to face my unhealthy upbringing, and I didn’t want to give voice to my deepest insecurities.
But once I took that first step and made an appointment, I felt so much better.
I realized that I am incredibly fucked up, primarily due to my unhealthy upbringing but that, by giving voice to my deepest insecurities, it was ok, and it is possible for me to not feel like that anymore.
I am moving.
I have wanted to move out of our house for a few years now, but it just always seemed like so much work.
I would worry about taking on a new mortgage, about not finding the right place, or trading the issues we know in this house for possibly worse issues in someplace new.
Phil and I used every excuse at our disposal to put off putting our house up for sale but this year, when we could find no more excuses, we did what we needed to do to sell our house. It has been incredibly stressful (and will continue to be for about another month) and we question whether we made the right decision, but I am happy with the final outcome.
And I cannot wait to move into our new home!
I quit my job and am going back to school!
I’ve made no secret about the fact that I was incredibly unhappy in my job, so long before the news of layoffs, I started making the moves necessary to get out.
I knew that just finding some other job wouldn’t really make me any more fulfilled, and that I just wanted to do something that would make me happy.
For that, I had to go back to school.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the courses needed for the program I was interested in. So I took 6 weeks off work and completed a full semester of classes in that timeframe. It was an extremely competitive application, but I was sure that my 94% overall average in the required courses would, at least, get me an interview.
A couple of months later, I interviewed with 150 other hopeful students and, despite the odds, I was cautiously optimistic about my chances.
I have a dark history when it comes to interviews, so I was shaking nervously as I entered my first question panel – but it ended up being a day of handshakes, smiles and casual conversations where I managed to sound somewhat intelligent and personable.
And I got in!
So as of August 27, at the age of 39, I am going to be a student.
And 2 and a half years after that, I will be a Medical Radiologic Tech.
I have always wanted to work in the medical field preferably in a cancer-related position, so with this certification, I can move into mammography, or can even continue my learning at the Cross Cancer Institute and follow my dreams of becoming a Radiation Therapist.
And now, instead of doubting myself and ensuring my failure by not even trying, I am making the steps necessary to do what I have always wanted but have been too afraid to try for.
I am also leaving the house without makeup, falling asleep with my back to the door, and actually speaking my mind and standing up for myself and what I believe in even if it goes against popular opinion.
The year’s only half over, and I already feel like my resolution has been an overwhelming success! But I know that I couldn’t have done any of it without the wonderful and unfailingly supportive people who I am lucky enough to have surrounding me.