A friend wrote to me last evening, as I was writing up this post: “Your life path seems so logical to anyone who knows you and has seen your progression but sounds like such a jolt to anyone who doesn’t!” I was like, “are you sitting right next to me, invisible, right now??”
As I take more steps to making such big changes in my life, it’s natural for those around me to worry. It’s natural for them to ask questions to make sure I’ve thought all the scenarios through. And it’s natural for those questions to get into my psyche sometimes and make me doubt myself.
Here’s the thing. I can’t let fear run my life. I can’t let the fear of the unknown run my life. And to be perfectly frank, I feel like that’s how i have lived most of my life up until now. When in high school, I followed the assumed path “well of course you’re going to college.” I had one parent (Dad) who had gone to college and then pursued a masters degree while working, and another parent (Mom) who had not gone beyond high school. Dad was the breadwinner (until the time that it became my mom when they divorced, along with child support and alimony from my dad.) My idea of someone being successful had been a person who wears a suit to work (or at the very least a shirt and tie) and who made a good salary. You went to work at 9, did your thing, came home at night. Get up the following morning and repeat, until the weekend comes.
So I went to college. First the plan was to get a business degree. Then I realized (after struggling through statistics as a freshman) “well, that sucks, I hate math…” and decided to switch majors to one I did like — English. Not exactly the moneymaker, no. So the logical path seemed to be “be a teacher or go to law school.” So on to law school, I did. I pushed back the feelings of “maybe this isn’t right for me,” because I had already sunk a lot of time, effort, and not to mention, CASH, by the time the end of my first year rolled around. Sure, maybe it wasn’t really feeling like something I loved, but what kind of job could I get with an English degree and just one year of law school under my belt?
So, on to the safe route AGAIN. I feel like that’s what my life has been, one safe option after another. So when people bring up the “What ifs?” (which I know they do out of concern and love), it can sometimes really stress me out. And at times, it has, interrupting my sleep or my eating. A good friend asked me yesterday “What if your pets get sick? What if you fall and break your leg? What if you can’t find a job?” But I think I have gotten to the point now where when people raise these questions, I don’t see them as a reflection on or criticism of me for making potentially wrong choices. I know they just want to make sure I have thought everything through. And I know that some of these questions are being projected out of their own fears for themselves.
I have thought a lot of things through. I have played all those negative scenario “what ifs?” through my mind. But I have also come to the conclusion that if I wait to have it all figured out before I make these big changes, I might as well never even try to chase my simple dreams. And they really are “simple” in so many ways. A tiny house with just the right amount of room for what I love and that doesn’t take forever to clean. A life with lots of pets and unconditional love around me. A job that leaves me feeling fulfilled. (Believe me, I know there will definitely be some days when I will question myself and my choices when working with animals. People are cruel and do mean and stupid things where animals are concerned.)
As I have said to some friends, I cannot sit and just not do anything to change my circumstances. If I were to do that, I might as well shut up and go home. The thought of doing that — of not moving forward, even in small steps, depresses the hell out of me. I have to take a leap of faith in myself. Not everything in life can be completely planned out. I know that when push comes to shove, I will make things happen.
So, am I afraid? Of course I am. I’m human. I appreciate the care and concern of those around me. But I just refuse to let them keep me frozen in place and ignore what my heart tells me it really wants me to do. No more. And every time I pick up my baby girl Osito (if you’re not familiar with her, there are tons of pics of her on this blog), I know in my heart I’m following the right path. Animals – helping animals that is, is where it’s at. It’s where I need to go, and need to be.
If you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe or drop me a line below. How do you get past fear?