Written & Posted Originally: 5th September 2015
Have you ever wanted something with such ferocity that it literally frightened you beyond comprehension? Well that is pretty much how I felt the closer and closer it got to me leaving for France. Fear undiluted pumped through my veins every day before my departure date of August 17. Anxiety was my constant friend, sleepless nights and early mornings became the norm. It was even hard to be excited some days, and that was because of the fear.
Why would I be afraid of something I wanted?
Well because I was actually going to get it. It wasn’t only that though. There were so many other things going on that many didn’t know outside of my inner circle and of course I am not going to delve into that right now but I will list all the things that I was afraid of.
List of Fears:
Success. I was afraid of success. In fact I almost felt a bit guilty about it. I know it’s some weird psychological nonsense I was experiencing but it was happening. I know what I am capable of, and the thought frightened me. Coming to France meant more education, it meant more freedom and it meant that I could possibly start an amazing existence in Europe outside of my home country without having to ever return full time.
Lack of Safety Net. Of course living in your country of birth has its advantages. You have your family, friends, the system (if that happens to work in your favor in your country), general security, your mother tongue, and a plethora of people you know as acquaintances. France meant ALL of that would be gone. There would be no one to rely on but myself. The thought was beyond daunting. A part from that I felt an overwhelming sense of guilt for leaving everyone behind. Especially knowing there would be no visiting for the first few years just due to a lack of funds…student life.
Language Barrier. Of course I’ve been in this boat so many times…so why was it freaking me out this time? I honestly could not tell you, but I was very worried about being able to navigate the French Beau acratic system successfully without being able to speak French on the onset of arrival. However, I’ve managed thus far and I’ve been lucky to find people that speak English well enough. I feel much better about learning the language. I recently became friends with a Girl from Jamaica that came here last October with minimum French and after 9 months she speaks really great French with an authentic French accent. I know the accent is authentic because this French guy we went out with kept going on and on about it (he likes her…it’s so cute.)
Failure. The possibility of failing also freaked me out more than succeeding. You know there are always times when we doubt our own capabilities, and I had many days where I wondered if I could do this. It isn’t easy deciding at 30 to be a student again, and I questioned my sanity many times but I had to remind myself that there is no age requirement. Learning never stops and my mind is very sharp thanks to the copious amounts of reading and writing I’ve done over the years. YAY!
Uncertainty. This one was I think the most powerful. Not being able to know the future and how this would all turn out. My father even pointed out to me one day that because there was so much uncertainty then maybe I should just stay in Nassau where it was more certain. His words catapulted me out of worrying about what I did not know, and instead embracing whatever may come my way. If I had not fought to do this with the others who aided me in battle (my amazing friends and family that contributed financially and gave support) then I would have regretted it for the rest of my life.
Most of all I was afraid to leave the people I love. The ones that have been my cheerleaders, my friends, my family, and even in some regard the Bahamas itself. I’ve traveled a lot in my short time and I’ve even moved countries before, but this time was so different. Different in that I knew there was going to be no coming home on breaks, and no long summers in Nassau. This time I was really leaving to make my way in a new world and that was so unnerving but I wanted more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my entire life.
I cried saying goodbye to many people. Even though I knew they could come and visit and eventually I would be able to afford a visit myself; I could not fight the bereft feeling I felt. I do think having the anxiety and depression resurface this year aided to the creation of the fear-scape.
Feeling fear is not bad, not overcoming it and allowing it to hinder you is what can become a travesty. I conquered the fear and I was able to get on that plane with a smile and travel towards my dreams.
Now that I am here in France it is so easy to discuss these feelings. I am glad that I can identify them and put them behind me. Now that I am here, there is no room for fear, doubt, anxiety or uncertainty. There is only determination, perseverance, stamina, fortitude and optimism toward facing the future.
Fear can be used as a catalyst to help achieve the things you want. Instead of a deterrent.
Everything does not have to happen on your own. Independence is great but wisdom is knowing who to ask for help and then allowing them to help you.
Perseverance always pays off. Doubt can creep in but never allow it to take up residence. Kick it out! Keep pressing forward no matter what.
Dreams are always attainable. It is never too late.
Success is a journey and therefore it is not linear. There will be roadblocks and traffic jams but the flow can always be achieved again. The road is never easy and sometimes there are steep mountains to climb, rough unchartered waters to brave, and many pitfalls along the way; however, there are always small victors along the way. The journey never ends.