Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm Afraid

"Don't be scared."

I just said that to myself, out loud, as I sat down to write this post.

I don't have anything mind-blowing to tell you, or really anything to tell you at all. But I haven't been blogging, and I've been oddly afraid to start back. I haven't been writing my stories either, and I'm paralyzed with terror to start back. I'm also afraid to look for a job, prepare to lead this camp next Monday, and get my things in order for college. I'm just...scared.

I've never wanted to grow up. A lot of people wait their whole lives to be sixteen, eighteen, twenty-five, but I've never wanted to be an adult. I had an amazing childhood. I ran away from a pirate ship, discovered Narnia, started an orphan gang, had thirteen siblings, and learned to fend for myself in Arabia. Seriously, what's not to love? Who would want to grow up and leave behind that amazing life?

I did a pretty good job of not growing up until I was about fifteen. Then I abruptly abandoned the outspoken nerdiness and rude bossiness that had defined me as a kid. I decided it would be a good idea to be ABLE fit into society, even if I occasionally chose not to.

That personal project went fine. I did fit in better. I was less of a bookworm, less of a snobby nerd. I started looking better, too. Cutting my waist-length brown hair still makes the list of Top Five Best Decisions I Ever Made.

I grew up a LOT in the years between fifteen and now, though. That's probably a result of stunting my maturity during the years leading up. I learned things in those years that I'd be happy not to know and did things I wish I could take back.

But I did get caught up on maturity, and now I think I'm a relatively normal eighteen-year-old girl. Maybe a little bit smarter. Maybe a lot more afraid.

I thought I was ready for life after high school. I mean, it never actually occurred to me that I might NOT be. Freaking out and spiraling into the abyss of apathy wasn't something that had crossed my mind until a few months ago when it started happening.

All around me, people have grown up and gone to college in one smooth, classy, controlled step. Whether they headed to an ivy league school, a university or a community college, I had never witnessed anyone seem wildly unsure or incapable of making steps towards their future.

Until me.

Little by little, in a slow fade, I feel like I've unraveled. The dream-recording went first, followed by my writing. I stopped making my bed every morning. I forget to feed my dog. I don't get up to work out. I eat random crap. I don't take pictures. I don't put away my laundry. I don't answer my emails. I don't blog thoughtfully.

Everything that I used to do has fizzled out. I want to get it all back, but when I think about trying to resume...

I'm afraid.

I freak out inside at the thought of pursing a job. My chest tightens when I consider writing six words of a story. A crushing depression consumes me when I think about getting my life back in order.

I'm afraid.

What if I can't do it? What if I've forgotten how to write well? What if I can't find a job? What if I've lost all my physical fitness and have to start at square one? What if going to college is harder than I expect?

I'm afraid.

I'm paralyzed with fear. I'm a loser; I'm a bum; I'm on my way to being that person that grows up on her mother's couch and squanders any potential she ever had. That scares me. A lot. But right now, trying to prevent it scares me more.

I never thought this would be me. My whole life I've had it all together. I've been smart, talented, confident, determined, able to take on the world--and I planned to. But now I'm face to face with the world, and it's staring me down with fierce, taunting eyes and I cower away, afraid.

This isn't how I thought I would be. This isn't what I expected of myself. When did this happen? How did this happen?

I was sort of wandering around my room today, trying to do SOMETHING productive, when something in me almost...convulsed. The fierce, angry, determined part of me named "Ember" flared up and snapped,

"Stop this. What are you doing to me? It's disgusting. I deserve more respect than this."

It was the weirdest thing. It was a piece of me I hadn't heard in a long time--and she was right.

What am I doing, guys? This apathetic shell has grown over the brightness I used to have, trapping and suffocating it. Ember doesn't deserve that. How DARE I repress her this way? What am I doing by not doing ANYTHING?

I don't deserve to have that done to me.

The old me is still in here--she just said so--and she doesn't deserve to be snuffed out. I don't know who the apathetic loser is or how she got here, but it's about time for her to step the fuck aside and let Ember back out.

Apathy is not working for me. It's miserable. I hate it. There is nothing about laziness that I enjoy.

"I don't know how I got this way; I know it's not alright. So I'm breaking the habit"--now. And the first step is ceasing to be afraid. I can't be afraid to try or I'll end up--like I have. It's about time I hand the reigns over to the part of me that can make things happen. And the first step is admitting all this. So here I am.

"Don't be scared..."



  1. Hey. Don't fret. You need to go through one of these unpleasant phases before you finally get off your butt and back to your original state. Been there, which is why I know how depressing all this can be.

    Don't worry about your writing - a natural will always find her way back into her words.

    College - TOTALLY get what you mean. The whole concept is overwhelming. But once you begin to accept the idea, it's actually pretty cool. Think about it.

    Stop being so hard on yourself. You're awesome. Stay that way :) Hope you get through.


  2. Whether or not it looks like we have it all together as we move from high school to college, i can tell you that it freaks. everyone. out. Seriously. It's a huge life change that is about to happen to you! But honestly, it's good. and it's scary, but you'll make good friends. soon you'll be almost done and you won't want to leave and you'll look back and wonder what had you so scared in the first place. but you're allowed to be scared. just don't let it get in the way. you are too wonderful to be living on your momma's couch for your entire life. i promise. so sit back, take a deep breath, let God handle it, and you'll be fine.