Have you ever done anything that has scared the living daylights out of you? I mean it literally scared you to no end? I know I've written about fear before. I'm no stranger to it. But I wanted to write about it again because writing is how I cope with things. I'm afraid of a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.
I'm not just talking about scary movies and Halloween haunted forest rides (can't do either...), I'm talking about life in general. I think so far being 20 has been the scariest age. I'm already young for where I am in school, and now it's starting to become more and more of a reality that I'll be graduating college in a little over a year. I still remember my first day of middle school, and thinking I had all this time left to grow up. Yeah right.
We all have our fears, mostly of what can break us. But have you ever been scared of your potential?
You're probably thinking I'm crazy right now. Who's scared of who they could be? Most people just want to go out there and be the best person they can be. And don't get me wrong, I want that too. I want to build a life I'm proud of; I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish, dreams I'd like to fulfill, goals to aspire to.
But I think what's really getting to me right now is that I'm starting to fully grasp the range of my potential. And it's not a bad thing, as a matter of fact, it's kind of a good thing. I'm not trying to say, "Oh my gosh I have so many amazing things lined up for me and life is going to be awesome and go me." I'm not that optimistic.
Truth be told though, junior year has opened up some pretty amazing opportunities. I'm learning more than I ever thought I would (in a professional sphere and in a personal sphere), and even though I've still got a lot of growing up to do, I finally feel like I have a relatively mature handle on things.
This weird thing happened on my 20th birthday. All of a sudden it was like, holy cow, my life is actually starting. There is no safety net after college. I've lived my life relying on safety nets.
So why can't I let go of the safety net?
I suppose it's not a matter of whether or not I can let go of the safety net, but more so a matter of whether or not I want to let go of the safety net. I'm aware that graduating college creates opportunity to be all that you can be, to dream big and start working your way up. And I'm so thankful for the opportunity to get the education I'm getting. But letting go of the safety net? Being stuck with only yourself and your... potential? It's such a scary thought it nearly makes me sick.
Potential isn't a guarantee of success. Potential isn't a promise for a healthy paycheck. Potential isn't a 100% chance of happiness post-college.
I promise I have a point. Relying on just your potential is a downright terrifying thought. It's even more terrifying when you're a twenty-something with a resume full of "potential." The thing that's the scariest of all though, is realizing just how much potential you have, just how successful you can be-- if only you work for it.
Changing the cycle that's been your life for the past twenty or so years is hard, I mean, change is hard. And the thing that's so confusing to me right now is that I'm scared of failing, but I'm scared of being successful too. With so much riding on your shoulders, how are you supposed to know what to do? But I guess when life is hard like this, and you don't know which direction to go, the best thing to do is follow your heart, right?
"What the mind can conceive and believe, and the heart can desire, you can achieve." ~ Norman Vincent Peale
If you're feeling as unsure of the future as I am right now, make this your mantra for this week. Because really, do any of us really know our true potential? I think if we did, we'd all do things a lot differently.