Afraid All of the Time


I do not consider myself a “good” person. Hence the reason I’ve been in therapy. A long time ago, when I was young, maybe four or five, a neighbor caught me misbehaving and said pointedly “I know who you really are.”

To know that my duplicity could be spotted blew my mind. So I learned to be a better actor. I also felt there were only two categories a person could fall into: Good or Bad.

I was Bad, but pretended to be Good. At least, that’s what I thought for so many years.

I started graduate school last Monday. I never intended to go back to school in earnest (I’ve looked into programs, gone to open houses, even applied and got accepted to another school back in 2009 but changed my mind). But looking at other job prospects, I’ve realized in my lifetime, I will never move up no matter how many years of experience I have without a masters degree.

So I found one of the most inexpensive programs online and applied.

And I was afraid. Afraid of how hard it would be. Afraid that I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Afraid that I wouldn’t have the time to do it. Afraid some part of my life would suffer because of it.

Afraid of the person I’ve come to believe is static, unchangeable, a student who figured out how to do the least amount of work, with the least amount of effort and still be considered “good”.

I figured I couldn’t be that person this time around. But does anyone really change? Would my instincts take over?

For the last three months I’ve been on a low calorie diet and exercise program. Some of it is being directed by an app and some of driven by my desire to move more. I’ve worked out every single day. Sometimes three times a day. Not anything insane, just ten, twenty, thirty minutes here and there getting in cardio or strength training or yoga.

I’ve lost 23 pounds so far.

I’ve been working hard and seeing results and I’m going to keep going. I’m going to TRY to keep going.

Am I a different person? No. Could all of this progress go down the drain? Certainly.

But have I done it? Have I gotten this far? Yeah. I have.

When I told my partner about my fear of being a bad student he told me to just be different. At first, that sounded ridiculous and almost condescending.

But he was right. The past does not dictate my present or my future. I can decide, right now, that I’m going to be different and then actually do it.

It guarantees nothing, but at least I can say I tried.

So far, I’ve gotten an “A” on assignments in both of my classes. I didn’t procrastinate. I’ve found ways to work faster AND harder.

I can be whoever I want to be and hopefully that means a person who isn’t so afraid.

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