I don’t know where to begin. I have been stressed out like crazy for the past 3 weeks. I overcame that hurdle, despite feeling like it was an eternity, and am preparing for another.
Is it even possible to be fully content in life? I used to think that meant having no problems, but a life without problems would be quite a boring one. No challenges, no unknown ventures to push me out of my comfort zone to see how far I can go. No limits to test my fears and help me see that, hey, that was f**king scary but I did it, so next time maybe it will be a little easier.
I still occasionally run away. I run until I exhaust myself from putting things off. When I charge ahead at what I am afraid of, I don’t feel brave and instead I am shaking on the inside, wishing the sky would fall down and keep me from the confrontation of my fears. I am incredibly afraid of failure. Of trying and hoping against hope that although I was sure I did poorly, that I would be given a chance. Then I beat myself up for thinking I could get anything besides a straight-up no. My self-confidence is about as low as it is. Getting the prize was a euphoria before the dust settled and my mind went back to scrubbing at my doubts and insecurities. This is awful, really. Even when reality gives me proof I fought for what I earned, I still needlessly search for evidence of the opposite.
3 weeks ago I looked into pursuing training in the hospitality job industry. A potential school opportunity that could benefit me in the long run. I met the criteria for admission, which included a comprehensive English exam to demonstrate fluency in the language.
What I didn’t know was an interview with the program coordinator was also required before I could actually register for real. I went with the flow as best I could, even during moments in the interview where I stammered or lapsed into silence from anxiety over the question I was being asked. Giving polished fake answers was not my strong suit. I was honest but brief about my reasons for being unemployed for so long; that I was working on bettering my mental and physical health and was ready to devote my time to furthering my education. I felt very vulnerable clarifying what I thought I would get from studying hospitality. True to my nature, I made up a rambling response on the spot, telling her I wanted to gain confidence and more exposure to different situations and people. Too generic sounding? I don’t know if I impressed her or not.
Ridiculously, I even blabbed to her that I didn’t think I did very well for the interview. She gave me what sounded like polite feedback in response. When she informed me she would let me know her final decision within 2 weeks, it had such an ominous ring to me that I assumed she already made up her mind not to accept me into the program. I didn’t help myself either by googling “what does it mean when an employer says they will call you” and reading a bunch of websites that claimed such a response usually meant you weren’t going to receive an offer. Maybe in an actual job interview that might’ve counted but the interview I went on was for a school. Still, I just ended up putting negative ideas in my own head which weren’t necessary to begin with. I should have been proud that I even went to see the coordinator and got through with it, plus that I had scheduled the earliest date and time for the appointment in the first place.
Slowly but steadily I lost my s**t as 2 weeks passed and not a peep came from the coordinator. I am not about to explain in excruciating detail how I felt because that would take another paragraph or two (knowing how much I get carried away in my own writing…), except that at this point my heart had sunk. After I left the coordinator a voice message (she didn’t answer her phone) and a email, I comforted myself with the prospect that I couldn’t judge the situation as a negative or positive until I heard back from her.
Then I got an unhelpful suggestion from one of my parents, who straight up said I was likely rejected from the program for being too small and not physically robust enough to be able to work in hospitality. The criticism hurt, but more untrue was the idea that this was how the school was determining my qualifications. I knew it wasn’t true and yet once the thought was planted in me, it gnawed away at me every day. What if I really was rejected because of that?
I shot the coordinator a second email, and she wrote back, promising to get back to me within the end of the week. Waiting that whole week was torture. But I did, somehow, and wrestled with how I would deal with things depending on her response. I was still half-convinced I wouldn’t get in. The day passed uneventfully with no news. I left a voice message for someone else from the same department as the coordinator, in the hopes another person could help me instead. That turned out to be unnecessary because in the evening, the coordinator emailed me to confirm I was accepted. The next few minutes after, it felt like one of those tingly out of body experiences. I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the email was real.
Being on cloud nine could only last so long though. Changes happen every day in my life, but because this one will be hugely significant and soon I’ll have to rework aspects of my daily schedule around it, I am afraid. Afraid I won’t be able to rise to the challenges. Afraid of coming this far to continue on. But I don’t want to go back, either.