That What You Fear The Most?

Last week I completed a class I never intended on taking. In fact, I have been running from that whole sector of the academic world for half my life. I even transferred to obscure colleges to circumvent certain requirements. I am not proud. I felt guilty, of course, but I figured I would never need it and I was smart enough in other areas to move forward with my life.

I was wrong of course. It turns out one of these classes were a non-negotiable requirement for the graduate program which would afford me the career I have wanted to get into since high school.

All I had to do was enroll and pass with a "C" or higher and I was golden. Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe for you. For me it was my own personal road to psychological Mordor. It was that which I was most reluctant to face. It was something stupid but over the years it had grown large and frightening in my mind. Sounds kindof funny. It was a class, not a warzone. So I did something new. Instead of not trying to get into that program or getting around it somehow I enrolled in the class and then:

I asked for help.

Then universe did that thing where it conspires to make it happen because you have been humble enough to ask. A tutor of great patience and experience was willing to help me. He told me to stop whining about my early-childhood issues with this particular subject and get back to the matter at hand. He was in the ring after every fight (test) offering me water (coffee) and reminding me to keep light on my feet (did you do your homework?).

Why is this story important to you? In my view it is because I could have saved myself literally half a lifetime of stress if I had gotten to this class sooner. The amount of psychological space in my brain dedicated to perseverating in depressed moments about what a dork I was for not implicitly knowing this stuff is absurd. I don't know where I got the idea you had to know something before you studied it but that was a bunch of crap.

I get wrapped up in fear sometimes. I get so tied up sometimes that I can't make a choice of my own free will and the universe has to blow me off the fence, to one side or another. When I am on the ground it doesn't matter what side I am on, just that I am no longer gripping the fencepost with wide fearful eyes. I may not even know it yet, but the world has become my oyster (in a non-manifest destiny, sustainable kind of way).

I am probably not the only one who has some secret they have been running from. I suspect there are more of us out there. I not gonna say everything got hunky dory all of a sudden there is a sense of relief because I worked my way through the woods and found out it wasn't Mordor after all. It was just a Statistics class.

So go do what you're afraid of already. We don't have much time.




14 Responses to "That What You Fear The Most?"

  1. Chia   May 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I am proud of you!

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 15, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Thank you, Chia. Long time since BAC Cohort E! What a time we had! Xo.

  2. Chuck   May 15, 2012 at 9:40 am

    What a great story, well told. Thanks for sharing. If anyone in the same situation (and maybe we all are?) is reading, this will be an inspiration to them.

  3. Jessica Ehlers   May 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Thanks for your comment, Chuck. Glad it was worth a read. Cheers!

  4. susan ma and grandma   May 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Refreshing, honest, true and a word from the wise.

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      It takes a village. Xo.

  5. Susan E Lindley   May 15, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Wonderful wisdom: “I asked for help”…and then you were willing to take direction, another of those tough lessons that you seem to have learned so well. You say it with grace and humility; I want what you have! I love who you are, each moment growing more into yourself.

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 16, 2012 at 6:30 pm

      Thanks, Mama.

  6. λ   May 16, 2012 at 1:35 am

    As a wise man once said “One does not simply walk into Mordor.” Guess he should have brushed up on his statistics.

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Here’s to traveling as a pack!

  7. robin   May 16, 2012 at 6:29 am

    go jessica go!

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 16, 2012 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks, Robin. You too! Xo.

  8. Mary Roediger James   May 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks for writing what I needed to read, at the perfect time…. I have wanted to take several different classes, but have an unwillingness to fail and/or deal with unknown people. You have inspired me, and i hope to enroll in at least one college class, maybe just an online class, but it’s a start! I want to thank you. You have made a difference in my life today!

    • Jessica Ehlers   May 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      Wow I am so glad to hear that. One class is the first step. This week I have started running. Why not? Life is pretty short, even if we’re lucky enough to live long healthy lives. Cheers!


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