Lately I have been doing a lot of writing. Just in my own journal because I love the feeling of pen on paper. I like the tactile quality of doing things the “old fashioned” way. I have a love/hate relationship with the screen too. As someone who has spent so much time hanging out in academia I have spent too much time in front of the screen! So getting away from it is a blessing. And carrying around a journal instead of a laptop is, by far, much easier.
A very wonderful friend of mine has recently started a PhD program at FSU in Tallahassee Florida and while she has been separated from me I still feel like she is close by. We were talking yesterday because the job she wants is open in the location she wants. The only problem is that she needs the PhD to be able to get the job. I flirt with the idea of going back to school for that doctorate. I want it some days, and other days I struggle with the idea of putting my student hat back on. What happens when I finish and have spent so much time and effort doing this great thing, and there’s nothing for me to do with it at the end, beyond what I already do? Don’t get me wrong the title alone would be epic for me, and I’d be the first doctor in my family, but I often struggle with the potential future that it would create. Yes, I would love to be able to study and do the things that I love in this world more effectively and write about them. Yes, I would love to be able to find a tenure track position and teach art history to the masses (because maybe one day it will be important again!). And I realize that I have to be far more dedicated to my studies than I already am in order to achieve any of this. There is lots of studying involved in even being accepted to a program. There’s lots of writing as well. Which I don’t mind, I just am so out of practice of all of these things that I feel I might be completely terrible at it. And I know that I probably will be at first, but eventually it will all come back. I’m not stupid, I am quite capable. I may in fact be the best damn researcher on the planet (I’m not really, but I’m damn good at it!). So what gives? What is holding me back? I honestly don’t know, other than fear.
So what is fear? Fear of failure? Fear of never being accepted to a school? Fear of not finding a university that would actually pay me to be there, because there’s no way I can afford to take out any kind of loan to do this degree. It will have to be a completely full ride. Basically, I have to get over these fears. If I try, and actually apply myself then I should find a program that will see my potential and let me in. If I try and actually find myself succeeding, then I will know this was the right path for me, yes? And maybe the universe will recognize the effort that I’m putting into it all. The personal evolution that I am going through to let go of these fears and just let things happen. I keep saying that I want my new place to be a different kind of energy and getting rid of the fear that lingers in my head about these tasks is something that has to be left behind. I’m throwing them out with the old furniture that I am not bringing with me! I’m letting it go with the old clothes that I donated. I’m throwing it all away with the trash I leave in the dumpster. Because I can do this. I know I can.
At first I didn’t think that I could be a successful yoga instructor, but I am slowly growing into one. I have had some great mentors! So if I can go from thinking that I’m not the best, to actually thinking that I am pretty good on the mat, then I can find my way to apply that to my education and growing my crazy number of degrees. Counting my High School Diploma I have 5. And one day, counting my high school diploma I want to have six.
I want that PhD. I don’t care what I have to do to get it. If I have to study all night, and work all day, then I will do what is required. It is something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about for a long time. And they say (whomever “they” are) if you can’t stop thinking about it then you should probably just go ahead and do it.
I know that I am on a path of growth. I am uncomfortable most of the time, and that is simply me adjusting to this new realm of possibility. I want to be something better than what I am. I want to be the best that I can be. I want to work every day to find my way to that better place. I want to study and to grow and learn.
The journal that I am writing in these days, the cover says “The best way to get something done is to begin” and the only way that I can get this done is to start. I have to. I know how to. I just have to actually do it. So I suppose I should stop milling around, grab a fresh cup of coffee and dive into something beneficial for me and my future. No matter what it is, no matter how little I think I am accomplishing, a little is better than none. And eventually that “little” will evolve into something much bigger. Even pennies add up to something!
Fear is no longer an option. I have to push forward. The universe is pushing me in that direction and I can no longer resist.