Recently I took on a new opportunity. I felt ready for a new challenge, ready to dive into something new. Feelings of doubt and apprehension did rise but I tried to shove them down and let the “what ifs” subside so I could enjoy this new journey.
Now, I know this might sound a bit vague, but I want to express myself without spilling all the beans about my personal or professional life. So please bear with me.
The whole time I felt like I was floating in the middle of the ocean on a small raft with small islands off in the distance. I couldn’t paddle fast or hard enough. The islands were right within my reach yet unattainable despite my efforts. I tried so hard to be successful.
I dreamt that I needed to go back to middle school. My bachelor’s degree became invalid, I needed to fulfill a P.E. credit I somehow missed along the way. Walking through the halls of my middle school I came across other former classmates trying to fulfill missed credits. They were tall, heads floating above the crowded hallways filled with tweens. My old locker at the end of the row sat banged, beat up and worn.
My days filled with anxiety as I tried to do more than my best and I tried to meet the expectations. Soon the anxiety and stress overflowed into tears. Tears of frustration. The islands disappeared from my view. I floated on my raft in the middle of the ocean with nothing to reach for.
I fell into the water. Gasped for air. They pulled the raft from under me. More tears. I could not allow the salty water to fill me up and make me sink. I sank anyway. It’s hard not to sometimes. I felt like a big fish from a small pond thrown into the ocean. I could not survive.
I should not doubt myself but I can’t help it, did I just get lucky once? Is that path over now? Time to go back to the old way? Calculate numbers I don’t understand, drown in paperwork and complaint lines? Anxiety knows how to take over, sit on your chest, twist your skin and press firmly and steadily on your lungs.
I am a small fish aren’t I.