Conquering Your Fears

Poetry On Odyssey: Facing Fear

Confronting Those Scary Feelings

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There are a number of things that people are terrified of. Most things that are listed when people mention their fears are spiders, snakes, heights, small spaces, and flying. Some people are afraid of dogs or germs. What most people don't list are the ones that are more personal. Those fears that we keep locked up deep down inside. You know the ones, those little thoughts that creep in during the middle of the night. Some are small, manageable, and we can easily conquer. Things like "Oh, crap, did I turn off the oven?" are easily remedied by simply checking. Others are a little harder to conquer such as the ever-present "Am I parenting right?" question. The following are a few of my deeper fears. Hopefully, in writing them out, it'll make them easier to deal with. Also, if you feel the same, you'll know you aren't alone with these feelings.

My first fear I've already mentioned. I constantly worry that somehow the things that I do are going to screw my kid up. I worry that not always forcing him to try new foods will lead to him not getting the nutrition he needs. I'm terrified that even though I work on school-based activities at home, he'll fall behind. I'm constantly thinking about all of the what-ifs at the playground, grocery store, and home. Does letting him learn the hard way after I already explained things a handful of times mean that I'm not patient enough? Does having him help with chores teach him responsibility or do they just set more into his routine? With all of the parenting journals and advice all over the place, it's easy to start feeling overwhelmed. The only way that I've found to quiet this fear, at least for a little while, is to remind myself that my son is happy and healthy.

Another fear that I've yet to conquer is the overwhelming fear of failure. For me, failing is the worst thing that I can do. Try and try again is something that I teach my son but have yet to utilize for myself. The fear of failing seems for me to stem back from the need to exceed in school. Currently, starting my Master's Degree, I've found that with life occurring around me that the courses are a little bit more taxing than I thought they would be. Fearing the failure that comes with not being able to handle the course load leads to even more fear. I actually had a colleague recommend a helpful strategy for some. She recommended taking the assignments one step at a time for each individual assignment until you felt in control. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me, but hopefully, it'll come in handy for you faithful readers.

The last fear that I try not to own up to is that I fear to ask for help. I constantly struggle with my need for help on things versus the perception it puts in my head of myself. In my head, needing help paints me as weak or stupid. As the need for help increases, my fear of asking grows. It maybe that I don't like to be vulnerable to people or it maybe that I'm afraid of what people MAY think of me for needing help. Whatever the reason, the fear is overwhelming. While I have no issue with helping others out when they need it, I'm terrified of asking for reciprocation.

We all have different fears, just like we all have different dreams. If you're battling your own fears, know that someone out there is rooting for you. Someone is hoping you overcome those fears or is going through something similar. Maybe writing them down will help you. Maybe forcing yourself to confront what really makes you afraid will help you learn more about yourself. Either way, I wish you the best of luck.

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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