Growing up I remember being an extremely passionate child. When I loved something, the people closest to me knew everything about it. I wasn't afraid of making my reality, often getting lost in a world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's.' Just like every little girl, I dreamed of being a pop star, a doctor, a teacher, a lawyer, a real estate agent, a pilot, and even a stay-at-home mom.
Playing dress up and taking care of baby dolls at age seven, walking around in my moms' heels at ten, writing songs at thirteen, telling people I knew I wanted to be a nurse at sixteen. I couldn't wait to grow up. My longing for adulthood made the ability to dream up any possible career seem second nature because I was fascinated by the endless possibilities that the unknown future possessed.
I am no longer fascinated by all of the unknown possibilities that life presents.
I fear them.
I dreamed big and often as a child, but I haven't in a while.
Recently I've felt detached from what were once dreams and goals. Since starting college and entering the world that is adulthood, my anxiety has acquainted itself with a voice in my head that tells me I am not strong or deserving enough to have the things in life I once dreamed about. These voices instill in me a constant underlying worry convincing me that I must merely exist to get through the day.
They are plaguing my mind with fear of failure and disappointment.
This of worry and fear of the unknown makes it hard to appreciate the little accomplishments that occur day-to-day. This worry and fear of what my future may hold have made it hard to be proud of the big things that I've already achieved.
Life is supposed to be about taking risks. I know this.
I know my life has the potential to be everything that I once dreamed it to be. I am only in my second year of college, yet, I want to run and hide when asked about my plans post-graduation. I am just in my second year of college; however, I have changed my major and transferred schools… twice.
It is a new year, and as cliche, as it is to say, it is also a chance for new beginnings. My New Year's Resolution for 2019 was to confide in one of those self-reflective, leather-bound journals that you buy off the shelf of Barnes and Noble. This week I prompted myself to write about something that I am afraid of with the hope to address and overcome it throughout 2019.
My greatest fear isn't spiders or clowns or being kidnapped. Although these things are all genuine fears I have, they do not overwhelm my day-to-day life. My greatest fear is that I am 19-years-old and am void of the great dreams and grand ideas that inspired me as a child.
I have become accustomed to expecting the worst to occur leaving me only slightly satisfied when things turn out okay.
Adulthood is overwhelming.
College is overwhelming.
Everything about the real world feels overwhelming. Will I be successful? How do I find my place in it? I've realized that I tend to place my happiness in whether or not I'm navigating successfully through the trails of early adulthood. I run away from chasing my dreams and setting big goals because I fear disappointment.
However, won't I be disappointing myself anyway if I remain in this mindset that let's fear and anxiety take control of my self-esteem? I have already experienced disappointment, hurt, failure, and heartbreak, yet, I've still been successful. I have already experienced happiness and success so I why should I be hesitant to experience it again?
I shouldn't be.
Life isn't fully lived when we act in forethought and avoidance of the 'what if's' and 'could be's' that can introduce us to disappointment and hurt.
While living life this way has gotten me far, has it made me truly happy? The best things to happen in my life have been those experiences that have been unplanned and unexpected, not the moments I had tried so hard to plan and prepare for. These experiences took me for a ride into unfamiliar territory that I eagerly welcomed.
Now, as we welcome in 2019, I am ready.
I am ready to tear down walls that I've allowed to be built around my heart out of the fear and anxiety that the uncertainty of my future presents. In 2019 I will throw myself into my passions even when the voice that is my anxiety tells me I am not strong or deserving, even when they scream at me to run away. I will remind myself that some responsibilities can wait because you need to take a step back and reward yourself for the hard work you have already accomplished.
In 2019 I want to be okay with wanting things, even the big ones. I want to allow myself to dream again, to lose myself in the world of 'what-if's' and 'could be's' without fear of disappointment and hurt. I want to honor little Hannah's ambition and imagination by relearning what it's like to live as an adult with that kind of passion and spirit.
It is 2019, and it is time to let go.