Monday, August 20, 2007

Mirrors

So I'm graduating in December.

And I've known for a long time that grad school needs to be in my future. Its pretty much my only option if I want to do any good in Education.

And I've been praying about it and keeping my eyes open.

But I have to tell you - as much as I don't want to admit it - I'm really, really scared.

I'm scared that I won't get into any program ever anywhere and I'll be just another English major asking if you "want fries with that".

But whats funny is that I'm even more scared that I will get into one. Because then I'm sure that I will be the short bus rider of the group. There is one specific program that if I do get into, I'm terrified I will just drown in. But I would be a fool not to go. Its this B.A. to Ph.D. track that looks pretty promising.

I mean, a Ph.D. has been something I've always wanted to achieve. Much like meeting Emma Thompson or climbing a glacier. It's always just been a little past reality but fun to think about.

But right now, today - with that last email I sent - it's terrifyingly real and I feel very....... weak. I feel horribly weak. Helpless even.

Am I really smart enough to get through a program? Am I strong enough to carry the class load? Am I disciplined enough to do justice to it? Do I have enough original thought to actually put together any kind of substantial dissertation? Do I have any original contributions or insights to make to my field? I haven't even done a Senior thesis! The longest thing I've ever written have been a few chapters of my adolescent lit fiction novel I've been pecking at for the last couple of years.

I am so scared that my intellectual tendencies might be just that - tendencies. And all of that identity and worth I have found therein is for naught. And if I don't have that to offer, I kind of feel like ... like I don't have anything to offer. I know that sounds silly and dramatic but its true. Like-trying-not-to-sniff-too-loudly-behind-my-cubicle-walls-so-that-no-one-will-ask-if-I'm-crying-because-I-am true.

Grad school represents all of these questions and answers and pathways to me and I am scared I will be found wanting. Painfully wanting.

I know that its something I need to do and I will apply and have faith that if I'm supposed to go I will be accepted. And if I'm accepted I will go and I will be blessed. "Whom the Lord calls the Lord qualifies" I know that this is true and will apply directly to me because it will honestly take an act of God for any of this to come to pass.

If this is His path for me I'll take it. No matter how much is scares me. The fear never goes away I think, my capacity to deal just increases. But I can't ignore my fear either I think, because it just festers and comes out in dysfunctional ways. Like shopping too much or yelling at cars on the freeway.

I'm determined the make my best efforts and submit my best work. I won't let my fear drive my decisions because that always ends a mess. I mean - if that were the case I wouldn't try at all. The only sure way not to be rejected is not to try. But is also the surest way to not be accepted either... and that's just not an option.

And it's not that I don't believe in myself, I'm just not sure there is enough of "myself". I don't want to fail. Not at this. Not at something so important and at something that basically will determine what and where I will be for the rest of my life.

It pretty petrifying - these crossroad places...
Just remember to breathe right? Just breathe...

***P.S.***
I'm not looking for/needing validation and stuff. I know there are tons of options and places and ways to do good everywhere and I'm not discounting them. I'm just needing to spalt down all these feelings somewhere so they'll quit bugging me so much and I can get on with it all.

4 comments:

cuteculturechick said...

You have a lot of big decisions coming up, and some possible great opportunities. You deserve all the success in the world. I'll be praying for you, and hope that you'll have the strength to accepts what the Lord opens up for you.

Amanda said...

Great things can be done in education with a Master's degree. :)

Amanda said...

I meant without a Master's degree.

Liz W. said...

I know exactly how you feel. I have 4 options I'm looking at right now (one of them being Master's in English).

I'm not sure if I can do it either.

Just keep praying, that's what I'm doing.