D and I were having a rather serious conversation the other day. Usually our phone calls consist of describing to the other what we’re watching, playful name-calling, discussing my annoying roommates (who shall forever forward be referred to as the Dorm Trolls), and bemoaning our financial woes. But we were discussing serious things this night, talking about our dreams and the what-if’s of life.
He’d confessed his great regret of life to me and how he wished that he could be out there, living his dream. And I told him that I was living my dream. If I had all the money in the world, all the opportunities and every single door was open to me, I’d still be here, getting educated, working towards my PhD. I just wouldn’t be living with the Dorm Trolls.
But living my dream isn’t as sweet as I might have imagined a year ago. I’m happy, don’t get me wrong. Aside from returning to school to get my degree I’ve met a wonderful man who I feel completely safe with. There’s no face of mine that he hasn’t seen. I honestly don’t understand what I’ve done to deserve this happiness I have right now. Education. Loving family. And a boyfriend I can easily imagine spending the rest of my life with.
Unfortunately with the happiness comes fear. Cold. Constant. Unrelenting. I’m afraid of failure. Afraid of financial issues ruining my education. Afraid I’ve made the wrong decision in returning to school. Afraid that even if I do get my PhD I’ll end up never using it. Afraid that I’m not smart enough to make it all the way. Afraid of losing D and spending another 5 or 6 years alone. Afraid. Afraid. Afraid.
It eats away at me, mostly at night when everything is quiet and still. When I’m supposed to be sleeping I’m lying awake in bed, chewing on Tums, often crying, sometimes offering up panicked prayers to the cosmos to please not take this away from me. Don’t strip me of what I’ve wanted for so long, what I’ve worked so hard for.
I know it’s silly. It’s stupid and pointless to be so worried because right now everything is in my power. The financial issues... so long as I take the steps necessary for the loans I’ll be fine. Having made the wrong decision… I know in my heart that this is where I’m supposed to be. But I can’t stop the worry from coming. I wish I could.
But it’s a small price to pay for the happiness that I’ve found.