fuck that: fear of failure

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Almost a year has passed since I wrote the post below, in which I had a crisis about what the fuck I'm doing with my life and what I wanted to get out of the year. Reading it now makes me feel a mix of things- proud, because I finally moved on from a job I was too comfortable in, achieved most of my goals, and genuinely believe I've made big steps in working on myself. But there's a little bit of shame mixed in because I haven't been trying as hard to achieve my other dreams and I hate guilting myself for that. Even though I'm in a better place mentally and creatively, meaning I feel like I have something that feels like it's what I should be doing, making the type of art I'm making at the moment is fulfilling to me- I'm not really doing anything with it I guess.

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I'm wanting to take on more freelance work this year but I'm scared if I ask, no one will hire me. And sometimes yeah, projects do just fall into your lap and I'm grateful for them because for a minute, it affirms that I'm good enough. But the voice in my head that says you're not good enough won't be quiet and so I put off working on client projects and continue to nestle into bed after work and watch TV shows and psych myself out of starting a new project even for myself, because I'm too scared of other people not liking it or worse, me not liking it.

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It's amazing what self doubt will do to you and keep you from doing. Part of me wants to just keep making things just for me until I feel "ready" to share it with people and confident that I'm "good enough". Part of me wants to delete every form of social media I have because it makes me so incredibly anxious to share anything anymore. But what the fuck is the point of having a journal called the work in progress journals if I don't share the works in progress? I'll probably never get to the point where I'm "ready" and sure of myself so why not just put my big girl pants on, wipe my tears away and just fucking do it? I feel like an idiot for worrying about it so much and getting caught in the fear trap every time I start feeling a little bit ambitious. But y'know what I'm even more scared of? Having another year of just getting by. I'm not shooting for the moon, but I think it's time to try a little harder and say fuck that to the fear of failure. I'll keep you posted. 

Read the from the archive post:

First published on March 8th as "Am I having a gap year? Who knows? Not me."

Exactly like the title reads, today I'm gonna ponder through my fingers my thoughts on what exactly the fuck I'm up to these days because honestly who knows? Not me!

So since I've finished uni, I've been working full time as a coffee slave, and my manager at work the other day was like 'so what are you gonna do with yourself, are you like having a gap year or do you want to look for a job with your degree?' and I was like oh. I forgot that gap years exist.

I guess I just kind of thought I would potter away at my job for a bit while I figured out where I wanted to work and apply for a job there and I guess I assumed it wouldn't be too much of a drama but as it turns out a) there ain't much out there I'm excited about doing that I'm qualified to do and b) there ain't much out there I'm qualified to do. Every position I've thought 'shit I can do that I would love that' requires a lot of experience and is (read this next part in Meryl Streep circa Devil wears Prada voice) "Not Suitable For Graduates." 

Never in my life have I considered having a gap year, it never really appeared on my radar as something I might enjoy but right now it seems like a really appealing option?? I don't know where I'm going or what I'm doing or what I want to do and isn't that why people take gap year?

Like. I've been telling other adults that I'm 'figuring it out' and 'seeing what happens' for about four months now and to be honest I have absolutely nothing figured out other than:

  • BEING AN ADULT IS EXPENSIVE AF

  • Working too much is necessary but soul destroying
  • All the companies I want to work at either aren't hiring or are hiring for things I can't do
  • Maybe I've kinda figured out budgeting? That's a cool adult thing I'm pretty proud of because I am NOTORIOUSLY terrible with my money
  • I'm a big scaredy cat and too afraid to go after what I want and also still don't really know what exactly I WANT other than to go on adventures and meet my savings goals.
  • I REALLY JUST THINK I NEED TO SPEND THIS YEAR WORKING ON MYSELF.

  • I want to start selling my 'work' and painting / illustrating more (but idk how to fit that into a fifty hour work week and training and sleeping lol)

That last point in bold is so very typical "millennial takes time off to eat pray love and find herself." But I think it's important and necessary and something I am trying not to be too hard on myself for- in a world where the hustle and the side hustle and every hustle imaginable is being thrown at us like a bad game of dodgeball and you're the last person in and everyone else is Moving Forward and Doing Cool Things and Making 2017 Their Year, the one thing I definitely need to keep reminding myself of is this: you are not a failure (in CAPITALS tattooed on my forearm as a reminder) (thanks 2 @alixhigby for that one) 

So idk. It's not like I don't have goals. I have savings goals, travel goals, I want to get my restricted and get a car to go on adventures in, I want to work on my health and fitness and taking care of my plants and being creative and who knows maybe in a year I'll be finally working for myself like I've always wanted! Here's to not being a failure just because you're not someone else's idea of success (yet.)