January 04, 2008

The Price of Living A Dream

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.


knittingnurse said...

Ah, sweety don't I know what you mean. It's hard being a worrier (takes one to know one) but sometimes in life you need to learn to just 'let it be'. It's hard for me, even now in my early 40's to do. But, in those few precious times that I find myself being able to trust it all and just 'let it be' the happiness you are feeling now will be ten fold. Er, that is until our natural instincts take over and we are back to worrying.

You are growing up and doing so very gracefully.

Chris said...

:( I wish I could wave a magic wand for you and the fear would go away. Alas. Maybe with a little more practice, it will all feel more real to you??

mrspao said...

Hug. I know what it is like. I'm constantly worried about how we are managing and what the future will bring. Worried about being almost 35 and missing out on having kids. Sometimes we just have to trust that everything is going to be ok.

Batty said...

I think you're just a worrier at heart. I have the same problem, feeling like I don't deserve the good things and waiting for the bad things that must be lurking behind the next corner to come out and ruin everything. And it's all a bunch of hooey.

College and grad school are high pressure environments. You'll feel stupid at times, brilliant at others, you'll have to contend with being broke (grad students just are), and with demanding advisors. But so will everyone else in your department. And if your boyfriend has seen every facet of your character and still loves you, I'm not sure what new horror you could possibly grow (short of demonic possession or becoming a Cthulhu cultist) that would make him just leave you. You're doing the right thing if it makes you this happy. You deserve to be this happy.

Traceyleezle said...

OH yes, worrier here too. It's going to be okay though. Don't forget girly, you have someone to share those worries and fears with now, I'll bet he'd even share them with you in the early am when you have Tums on your breath and tear stained cheeks.