Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fear

In many cases, my life has been controlled by my fears. Facing fears has never been my strong suit. It is easier to just run the other way and to take a different route in life; rather than to face what is pigeon holding me from accomplishing anything....FEAR.
I spent kindergarten, elementary and junior high in a private school. When I was in the eighth grade, my parents decided that they would withdrawl me from a private school and enroll me into a public school. In Science class, at my new school, I knew that I was going to get a lab partner. I was very intimidated. I came from a school with 60 kids in my entire graduating class to a school 10 times the size. I wasn't very good with people. I was shy and timid. I just knew that whoever was going to be my lab partner, I was actually going to HAVE to talk to them. I had gone all day without talking to many people. The worst thing was that after Science class, I was going to eat lunch. Who was I going to sit with? Was I going to be the outcast? Was I going to be the one that sat alone and prayed for someone, anyone to sit with me? Or was I going to just pick a group and make myself known? I thought to myself, "I will just sit alone." All of this is running through my head as the Teacher was pairing lab partners. I quickly scowered the room and I saw him. It is important to know that at my private school, there was one group of boys. The clean cut boys with hair above their collars and they all wore ties. This boy, didn't have on a tie. He had on a heavy metal rock band black t-shirt. (I am aging myself) His hair was very long and he looked like he could fall asleep at any moment. This was the kind of person that I was afraid would be my lab partner and my fears come true. Sure enough, the teacher called my name, I went to my new seat and then she called HIS name. As soon as his name was called, I felt a rush of fear come over me. I wanted to run out of the room screaming..."No, No, not him! PLEASE!!" I just sat there, trying not to show the mess I was feeling inside. Could this be happening? I am going to wake up sooner or later, I just know it! No such luck. He was my lab partner for my very first "lab partner" experience in a public school.
When he sat down next to me, he looked at me and said "Are you new here?" very shyly and timidly I replied to him "yea". He introduced himself to me. I just grinned. Then a girl that sat in front of me said "are you new here? I am too!" "You want to sit with me at lunch?" I instantly felt some relief. I felt a little bit of my anxiety float away, however, there was this lab partner issue.
While that issue didn't disolve that day, it certainally did over time. He ended up being one of my very good friends in the 8th and 9th grade. The very last quarter in Science class, we got to pick our lab partners, he sat down next to me and said "You can't imagine us not being partners again...right? He was right.
When I am forced to face my fears, In the back of my head, I remember my "lab partner" experience. I remind myself that I was so afraid of the stereotype, not the actual person and not to judge a book by it's cover. I remind myself that what seems like it could be a bad situtation, most of the time, it works out for the best and I come out if it more happy than when I went in.
It has taken me a very long time, but I have slowly come out of my shell, gained confidence and have tried to rise above my fears. I am not fully there yet, it is an every day challenge to not let fear overtake me and cause me to loose focus of the goal.
I am 32 years old. Not to long ago, I asked myself, "If fear wasn't a factor, what would I have done with my life?" My first thought was that I would have obtained an education, one that would enable me to do something with my life that would be of value to others. So, I did it. I went back to school. It has been a challenge to say the least, but my fears of it have subsided and I am going to accomplish this, not for my family, my friends or even my career, but for myself.

1 comment:

twinmama said...

Great post! There are many things that I haven't done because of fear. Fear has consumed me on many occasions. I am so proud of you going back to school!