I interrupt this regular programming to talk to you about fear. More particularly, my fear – my petty, self-aggrandizing, first world fears. I’m quite wary about very personal blog posts, but for my own selfish sake, I’m taking the plunge here. It can simultaneously be the easiest and the hardest thing, to sit down and write subjectively about a topic – even more so when it’s personal. You’re like a well of words, dizzy with sporadic surges of enlightenment you can all but wait to share with others. The text flows from your brain, through your heart, and releases at your fingertips, sometimes in such a frenzy you find you can barely type quick enough. Other times, however, they make a pit stop, hesitating somewhere between self-assurance and vulnerability. That’s where these words have decided to hesitate, much like my current outlook on life: vulnerability and the subsequent fear of its outcome.
As you may or may not know, I recently graduated college. Five whole years – the last few rather grueling because of my depression – and now I sit here a few months after the meticulous commencement in Radio City Music Hall, with my diploma stuffed in a drawer, nurturing another clichéd blog. White noise, I call it. I recently quit my part time jobs, partially because of my crap mental state, but also because I wanted better. I want a career, not a monotonous source of measly income with a subjectively lackluster future in it for me. So I delved into a casual job search and that’s when I was faced with the reality of exactly where I’m at: SCARED SHITLESS.
My biggest fear had always been, and still is really, being unsuccessful. I’ve got a myriad of interpretations of what that means, but generally equating to having unfulfilled aspirations and settling. I’ve read countless articles about millennials and our need to feel fulfilled and passionate about our careers and personal lives – and how generations before us didn’t have the luxury of concerning themselves with these things, but rather focusing on the acquisition of a steady income and getting as close as possible to “The American Dream.” Now my dream is to work in Film and Television, writing brilliant scripts, working with passionate, talented, driven individuals, and traveling to the lushest and grandest of set locations. Truly, from where I’m sitting now, a dream – practically unattainable, especially as a woman and as a Latina. It’s just too much to ask for – and that’s where I think lies the root of my fear. Sometimes I find myself dwelling over my audacity to dream so big. Why couldn’t I just stick to something less fucking improbable? Instead I had to have a yearning for a field surrounded by gilded iron gates and the statistics of women involvement notably infuriating at best.
As I sift through job postings and career/life advice articles and innumerable Thought Catalog posts, I feel a sense of overwhelming dread. My heart palpitates at the prospect of sitting at a desk for several laborious hours a day; the imminent ass-kissing to get from one place to another; the dull small talk and tedious networking with people you couldn’t care less about. And then I get over it, give myself a good talking-to, and move on to the next obstacle: worrying if this will ultimately even get me anywhere. I know this doesn’t make me special. I’m well aware that I’m not the only, nor first, nor last person to ever harbor this fear of moving on and growing up. And to accompany this, particularly in the modern day and personally as a social advocate, is a delicious appetizer of guilt – so many issues in our world, so much poverty and hunger and unemployment and just utter shit … and you’re worried about loving your job and hoping to get your ideas onto a screen? Selfish Bitch, your ego clearly needs tuning. And I don’t know, maybe it’s because I feel so many of my peers are at various stages of accomplishment in their careers and lives (although yes, Facebook/Instagram has become a screen of filtered happiness) that I feel this urgency to get to the next step in my own timeline of success. I realize my fear of change and stepping out of my comfort zone has stifled my progress, and being vulnerable is not something I’m good at, but it’s a step I have to take if I’m to get anywhere near that ridiculous, silly dream of mine. Let me apologize for this forthcoming crude and startling imagery, but I figure if it’s worth it and if I’m sincere in my pursuit, I’ll garner a million diamonds in my ass to get to where I intend to be, if you know what I mean.
Quite the poet, aren’t I?
I’m not sure where to go from here, but giving up is certainly not an option. I take comfort though, in general wisdom: the first step to recovery is to admit that you have a problem. I was finally honest with myself and admitted – to me and now the world, thanks internets – that I am indeed afraid of the future, but I shouldn’t let that stop me. And now, I end this rant with a noble quote:
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela