No Fear

Certain people just inspire you time and time again. For me, those people are often those whose work or talent I admire. One such person is Judy Blume.

Some months ago, I wrote this post in which I talked about things I used to be but am not anymore. I tossed in there that that very statement—"I used to be ___ but I'm not anymore" is straight from the Original Queen Bee of YA Literature, Ms. Blume herself. (In Just As Long As We're Together, Stephanie is given a school assignment in which she has to write about what she used to be but isn't anymore. She chose the word "optimist" to fill in the blank.) All this is just to say, I have to give credit where credit is due.

I've been having a challenging week. One thing I tend to do when life gets challenging—at least, in the way it has been this week—is look back on how I got here... how I used to be... what's different about my life from how I thought it would look at [insert age here]. At 26, I can pretty confidently say no younger version of me thought my life would look like this today.

Which isn't to say it's taken a bad turn; it hasn't. It's just changed. In more ways than I ever could have anticipated. I like to believe at my core I'm still made up of the same things I was at 6 and 16: An ENFJ. An Aries. An HSP. Stubborn as the day is long, lazy when the right mood strikes, hell on wheels when the wrong one does. Silly when I don't think anyone's watching, funny if you're listening carefully enough, and committed 1,000% to something if I'm committed at all.

But then again, there are a lot of (more) things I used to be that I'm not anymore.
in love with my job. After nearly three years here, the bloom is off the rose. To be fair, my job now is nothing like it was three years ago, two years ago, or even last year. People who ask me today "How's work?" who haven't asked in years are usually a little surprised by the change in my tune. But that's okay; like all things in life, this is a season.

obsessed with the number on my scale. I currently have no idea how much I weigh, and that's the way it'll stay. I suppose in a way the obsession has just shifted from seeing certain digits to seeing no digits at all. But I know that I am happier when there's no option for me to tie my health, fitness, wellness, or worth to any series of numbers—how much I weigh, my BMI, what I can lift, how many calories I've consumed, and so on. Today, the only numbers that weigh on my mind and factor into my life are the miles my strong, capable body can run, and minutes of yoga it can do. It's much better this way.

afraid to throw things away. If something was given to me as a gift, I felt obligated to keep it forever, regardless of how I felt about the item or the giver. If I owned an object that was tied to a memory, no matter how deeply engrained that memory was to me even without that object, I felt obligated to keep it forever. But somewhere along the way I've realized that things aren't love, and memories don't live in clothes or knick-knacks. Love and memories of the things that are important to me live within me, or on the pages of my journals or in the depths of my writings here. I don't need a dust-collecting source of clutter that carries the weight of obligation to remember the best day of my life, or a scrap of paper to hear those songs in my head over and over again. I can let go now.

sure of what I wanted from my career. I was going to be an English teacher. I was going to be a teacher who wrote during the summers. I was going to be a sports reporter. I was going to be a Features editor. I was going to be a columnist. I was going to be an education and curriculum writer. I was going to write books.... Today, I am an education writer and event coordinator, a freelance writer, a magazine editor, and a literary editor. I have no idea what I'm going to be, or what I'm even going to want to be, a year from now.

terrified to not have a plan. And what I just said in the last item? Used to wake me up in cold sweats in the middle of the night. If I didn't have a plan, what could I possibly do to make sure that my life wasn't spiraling downward? If I wasn't working toward the next phase in the plan, how did I know I was making any progress or doing anything worth anything in my life at all? But what I've learned is that my plans have done little but give me something to panic over when I wanted to change them. If I couldn't or decided not to stick to the plan, for perfectly valid reasons, I would freak and break down. Right now, I'm moving forward. My life is good. I spend my time wisely, I seek to better myself as I can, and I am productive. I don't need a plan to tell me I'm doing okay anymore. And while I don't know where I'm going yet, I'm (finally) open to whatever paths open up and reveal themselves to me. Finally, I'm open.

And it took writing this post for me to realize I used to be afraid of a lot that I'm not afraid of anymore.

What were you once that you aren't anymore?

Comments

  1. I'm so happy that you aren't afraid of things you were once afraid of!! I love what you said about the numbers that weigh on you - really well said girl! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  2. Well said! Fear is only in our minds..I know, easier said than done, but ok..:) I have nominated you for the Liebster Award :) see my page for details!

    http://www.theperfectchapter.com/the-liebster-award-some-facts-about-me/

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  3. I love this concept! Mid-20's is a weird place, & I'm about to jump right on over into late-20s in May when I hit the big 2-8. Not that any two stories are the same, but reflecting on where I was at 26 to now, I think I can say it calmed down a little. Not as much as changed in the last two years as I would have anticipated based on the earlier rate of 22-26 changes. Boo. This makes me itchy for an adventure!! Glad to hear you're conquering your fears!

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  4. in concurrence with one of your "not any more" I've noticed too that by blogging and journaling it frees me up to get rid of stuff because I have a record of so many of my memories and I don't need anything more than my own thoughts to pay homage to an event, person or time in my life, and its far more compact and portable than boxes!

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  5. I'm happy you are not afraid anymore. That is awesome in itself.
    I'm still obsessed with the number on the scale, I'd love to not be, but it's ingrained in who I am. When I say obsessed, I'm nowhere near as bad as I used to be and if I gain or lose a pound it doesn't affect my day like it used to. but I still weigh myself. I don't keep track of my BMI and I don't count calories anymore. Calories were always my downfall. But anyway this isn't about me lol. I'm happy that you are not obsessed with the scale, and not terrified without a plan. If anyone's got this - it's you! :)

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  6. I need to work on so many of these areas! Fear and anxiety are things I defintely struggle with, but I've come a loong way in the past 5 years so I think it's still important to celebrate the journey :) I really hope you are able to move to a new job that sparks your passion again! I've been feeling much of the same lately and my boss says that when you're young is the time to embrace new challenges and keep things exciting!

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  7. Love this!!! It is great to not be afraid of the things we once were. And to be ok with where we are even though it wasn't what we had "planned." I guess what they say is true, we do grow wiser as we get older. I still have some fears that I am working on, but I know that I can overcome them.

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  8. I probably don't need to tell you how much I love this BUT I'm gonna do it anyway. I can relate to so many of this, as we've talked about a million times, and I think that just makes me even prouder of you for getting to where you are now, because I know from personal experience what a shift in perspective it's taken to get here.
    Oh and I'm an INFJ!

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  9. No younger version of me would have thought I would be here either. I think I still have a lot of fears but I'm pushing though them. I can relate to much of this - e.g. Im still obsessed with the scale and need to lose that obsession. STAT. Its actually getting worse and not better as I lose weight. Weird.
    I am happy you have made so many strides and I hope to make some of those too! :D

    PS missed your blog and soulful words lady - <3

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  10. Not having a plan is the most wonderful thing of all time, and being different than you were is a great thing. It shows growth and understanding of yourself, two things that I've admired about you and your wisdom since the day I "met" you! :)

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  11. Love this! It's really fun/interesting to look back and see how much we've changed as a person. I know I sure have, but there's still a lot of room for more growing.

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  12. I love this post! Isn't it crazy how much our lives change and mold from where we thought they may be. I remember getting an assignment during my senior year of high school, I had to make a one, five, and ten year plan for where I wanted my life to be. I do remember bits and pieces of what I wrote down, but mostly I know that I am far from where I thought I was going to be. However, that is not necessarily a bad thing :) I might have to borrow this post idea!

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