Friday, August 15, 2014

#FacingMyFears, Week One and Done

I started this 21 day challenge of facing my fears for two reasons: I thought it sounded like a fun way to challenge myself and bring about some changes I've been putting off out of self doubt (and some laziness), and to really focus on two of my greatest fears - surrendering/losing control to someone else, and repeating a mistake that I've already made and "should have" learned from. It's been a whole week, and I haven't missed a day yet!

Day 1: Spend the day telling the people I love, that I love them. I am afraid of the greatness of the words I love you, and I need to do a better job at expressing that. I have always been able to tell people how much they matter, how important they are, how much I need them...but I struggle with the literal word, love. Spending the day saying it, made it less scary, and ended up being a day spent hearing I love you as well - and who doesn't feel better after that?

Day 2: Tell my family I'm moving (again). I am afraid of judgment and people being overly opinionated about my life choices. I made a decision to move into a 2 bedroom with a new roommate almost a month ago, and I was putting off talking to my family about it because I didn't want to have to defend my choices. But in telling them, everyone was supportive and encouraging of my choice, and I was reminded that they love me and always have my best intentions at heart. So I moved this week. I moved into a two bedroom, and my roommate is moving in tomorrow. Eeeeek!

Day 3: Snail mail something "gushy" to someone who makes my days brighter, in an effort to brighten his day back. I enjoy sending physical tokens of my appreciation for the important people in my life, but it makes me really nervous to reach out to someone with a gesture like that, because I am afraid of rejection. I mailed a book and a card to my friend Mike, because we had just had a conversation about the ways he related to this book - so I went out and bought it, took it to the post office, and sent it on it's way, with a note about how impressed I am by him. And I learned that I had nothing to fear, it made his day brighter, just as I'd intended. In fact, it made him gitty. And when I corrected him on the spelling of the word giddy, he explained that that's how long it had been, since the last time he felt giddy...that he couldn't even remember how to spell it. So, mission apparently accomplished.

Day 4: Apply for the writing program I've been looking into at WSU. I have tossed around the idea of going back to school for the last year or so, and I just have been too hesitant to move forward, and I wasn't sure that the money spent on a graduate degree was something I was all that ready to do. So instead of finding a grad program, I found a professional certificate I can get, with 15 credits of writing courses and an internship, and I applied! I was so nervous filling out the application and financial aid packet, but I was also instantly proud of myself for finding a program that would work for me, and I am excited to get started this fall (or winter, if my application is too late). 

Day 5: Step on the scale, take my measurements, and set my fitness goals. I have been putting this off for the same reasons everyone else does - I don't prioritize the gym as much as I need to. At the end of a shitty day at work, it's the last place I want to go. And I am not good at getting up at 5:00 to go before work. Also, working out in public gives me anxiety, and I hate it. But I know it is vitally important to my health, especially with my frightening family heart history, so I sat down with my measurements and my goals, and made a plan to succeed. 

Day 6: Schedule blood work & "lady biz" doctor's appointments. This is a simple, stupid fear of going to the doctor. I don't know where it comes from, but I hate going there. I need a full physical/lab work. I'm 31, and you're supposed to get those. I need to make sure my family's medical history of diabetes and cancer and heart disease and high cholesterol. I have been hesitant to schedule my appointment with the gynecologist for two reasons - because with the endometriosis diagnosis (say that 3x fast) I got, I know there is always a chance of that coming back (and that surgery was not fun), and also because there is a chance, based on the aforementioned surgery/diagnosis, that I am not able to have babies. And while I do not want to have babies, I feel like I should be the one pulling it off the table, not science. In any case, I scheduled my appointments for the 28th, and we'll just see how it all goes.

Day 7 (that's today!!): Make the same mistake twice. I had a conversation about this one earlier this week, trying to find a way to manifest it without just intentionally making a mistake I've already made, just to say I made the same mistake twice; that seemed stupid to me. And I was told in terms of the heart, you have to be courageously a way, you have to put yourself out there and risk the hurt again. Wise words spoken by my wise friends. And it's so true. I have held myself back from letting someone in, because in the past, it has been painful. But that's not fair to me, nor is it fair to someone who I should be fully letting in and haven't been. The only thing I can do now, is embrace how I feel, be honest about it, and see what happens. It's easy to fall into the mindset of, I've been hurt before, if I do this again, I'll get hurt again.

That's where I find myself, fairly often. I think back on conversations I have with this guy I'm into, or I think about times that we've hung out, and I compare them to conversations or time spent with other guys who have eventually hurt me, and I find myself second guessing everything said, every move made. And that's ridiculous; it's such a waste of my time and my energy, and it's not fair to have these meaningful conversations and then go back and second guess their validity later on. I am making an effort today to strike up a conversation, about how I feel and the way I think, and then to just let that conversation go - to not worry about it or dwell on it, to not focus on the words spoken or the actions that may or may not follow. I don't need to second guess this person; he's not someone who has broken my heart in the past. In fact, quite the opposite, he has been one to be very cautious with it. I need to focus on the fact that other people are not responsible for my baggage, and that sometimes, the best thing I can do for myself, is let someone new in. And if that's the best I can do, I need to do it. And I am making a true effort to do just that - let him in, and not question his intentions unfairly.

So, I made it through week one in one piece. I do have to say, it has been a challenge! It's been a means to stay very focused on myself, my actions, my thoughts - and that's not something I'm used to doing. But I shared with my counselor that I'd started it (my appointment was on day two) and she thought it was a great idea. It's certainly been a good way to stay present in the moments throughout my day, and has been a motivating week.

On to week two!