I am finding myself unable to begin writing my Statement of Intent for grad school. It’s on my mind all the time that I want to (and really should) start getting what’s in my head about my intentions onto the page. I have had a plan all week to sit down on a quiet afternoon – RIGHT NOW – when I have nothing calling my attention elsewhere and start typing out what feels right. Just to see what comes of it. To see if any new ideas or revelations or truths might reveal themselves about what I want my professional path to be. I want to really think about what I want to do with a Master’s degree and how I want to go about chiseling out a place for myself in the world of my chosen discipline. I want to start. But somehow, I can’t.
Ok…for now I can’t. Fine. I can roll with that. So, I started to wonder why I can’t. Is it because I don’t feel like doing it right now? Yes (enter the petulant child). Is it because I don’t know what to say? Sure. Is it because I am still allowing an old fear of failure to sabotage what I truly know will bring meaning, depth, community, evolution and quite possibly success to my life? Of course.
I have always been able to write honestly and candidly. But I’m sitting here feeling paralyzed. I just want to get going and get it done so that I can move forward and feel more grounded in this process. I’m rushing to the finish line a little bit too; I know I can’t force the words to come and it’s always better when I don’t think about it too much – and obviously, I’m overthinking like whoa right now – but this…new challenge…. is an application for graduate school. Holy Intimidation Batman.
Ever the Good Girl Addict, I’m putting pressure on myself to be good and do good and to write a fantastic statement of intent. But what if my version of ‘good’ falls short? What if what I write feels flat? Or weak? People tell me all the time that my writing is great…but what if I can’t fucking do it in any other way? It’s been 15 years since I was in school. To say I’m rusty is quite the understatement.
And again, Good Girl Addict patterns in full swing, self-doubt is trying to convince me that being a nanny for the past 12 years will not be enough to grant me acceptance into a graduate program. I haven’t been pushing myself or trying different things or growing professionally AT ALL over the last decade and the people who evaluate my application will know and they’ll be able to smell my inadequacy a mile away.
And there it is. The word that fits exactly what I’m feeling….inadequate. I don’t feel good enough today. I don’t feel evolved. I don’t feel professionally solid. I feel young and out of touch and vulnerable.
The good news though, (I looooooove that I can find my way to good news after I spew a little bit of irrational insecurity and self-pity) is that I won’t feel like this tomorrow, or even this evening because what I’m feeling right now is only that…. a feeling. A whole bunch of feelings and – hold onto your hats kids – they are not facts. Holy shit! Feelings are not facts. Thank you al-anon for giving me that insight back in 2009 when I was trying to leave my abusive alcoholic boyfriend. It’s such a simple statement that I forget time and time again only to be reminded of its truth when I feel overwhelmed by something that I can’t control.
Because I’m feeling scared and stalled and underwhelming does not define me. The core of what I’m feeling is nervousness and apprehension about a big fat transition that I’m volunteering for. And there’s another nugget that just revealed itself as I was stream-of-consciousness-ing…I’m signing up for this. The change heading my way is my choice. How liberating is that?? I’ve sludged through almost 2 decades of change and upheaval that had nothing to do with a decision I made. It was loss or illness or grief. That shit is not easy to navigate. And I felt trapped on top of it because I was so utterly powerless. But I’m not a prisoner anymore. I’m a fucking warrior.
*Deep Cleansing Breath*
I got this.