Finally….Degree Acquired!

Here we are, my college graduation. A day I’ve looked forward to my entire life. 

As a kid, I dreamed of a life spent in libraries and bookstores. I hoped to become a writer and a professor and a lawyer. That last one is thanks to John Grisham. I didn’t know the major detour my life would take:

Only applying to two schools because I was afraid I wouldn’t get in anywhere else. 

My parents convincing me to study architecture because “writers don’t make any money”.

Having to withdraw from the University of Kansas because I didn’t have enough money to pay tuition.

Moving across the country.

Meeting my guy only months after arriving in the new state.

Discovering Valencia College, and its cheaper tuition, and the direct connect program to the University of Central Florida.

Attending UCF and falling in love with the campus and enjoying my professors.

Having a baby with my guy.

Getting accepted at USF for graduate school to further my focus on creative nonfiction writing. 

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There are so many factors that go into the success of a goal. Short term goals can turn into long term goals overnight. My six year goal to graduate from university with my Masters in Architecture turned into a ten year goal to study English and Creative Writing.

A part of me laughs now. Thinking back to those nights I spent writing when I was supposed to be doing homework for architecture. How I would tell my on campus writing group how I wanted to become an author and they would say “why are you studying this, then?” How I told my story to a girl at a cafe and she said “omg, like…you could write a book about this”. 

I also think about the late nights. The hours spent writing essays while taking care of the baby, and making journals for my shop. The arguments about money; the tears about money. The imposter syndrome (which is a term I hate). The professors who sent me emails saying they believed in me. The day I gave birth to Naomi and took exams while still in the hospital (something I will always brag about). The ups and downs of Covid and virtual school. The people I’ve met and the connections I’ve made. 

So many things have happened since I began this journey, and my heart is full now. I have a long while to go before I finish my schooling. Three years in my masters program and possibly five to seven years with my PhD but I’m excited about it. When I was a kid, I often told people that I’d go to school forever if I could. That’s still true.

I’ve always loved school, loved learning new things, and loved reading. That has never gone away and I hope it never will. Most people are discouraging and somber when I tell them what I want to do after I finish but it’s alright. It’s not just about the end goal. It’s about the journal. Spending my entire life on scholarship and writing has always been my dream. My success is measured by a lifetime of progression. 

In other words, I am already successful. And isn’t that beautiful.

See ya,
Jade

The Fear of Success

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Heya,

Alongside my fear of failure sits my fear of success. It’s just as crippling. The intense and overwhelming thought of “what if I do it? Like, what if I DO it? What then? Can I live up to the pressure to be great?” Part of it comes from my previous lack of confidence. 

I’m not going to say that I’ve cured my insecurities – because they are definitely still there – but I am starting to see the roots of my issues and can address them. After manifesting emotional intelligence and a deeper connection to who I am, I’ve been seeing all the bad habits, all the internalized shame, all the fear that’s been holding me back. 

“Can I get an example? Because this all feels vague,” you might say. 

Alright, I have been struggling to lose weight ever since I had my baby girl. In the beginning, I was very adamant about taking care of my infant, my mental health, and focusing on school. I made sure that the pressure of “snapping back” (when women immediately lose the preggo weight after giving birth – ex. Having a flat tummy the next day) wasn’t something I was focusing on. It was amazing. 

I embraced my body, even though it let me down with each of my pregnancies and losses before Naomi, and referred to my stretch marks as “Baby Ink”. I enjoyed the swell and drop of my breasts and the changes my body went through. It meant that I was finally a mom with a healthy baby. It meant that I was getting my dream. 

Then January 2020, I finally felt comfortable and ready to lose weight. I got my gym membership back, I restarted my yoga practice, and I ate proper portions. I was getting it. Then Covid 19 hit. It set me back emotionally and physically. I was scared for my family, scared for my new baby, and stuck in another state. I had no money, no safety net, and no place to workout. I gained 11lbs due to stress and comfort eating. I could barely read – and I’m usually an avid reader. 

This year so much has happened but I’m ready to restart. It feels like this is my 2020 do-over but it’s much harder than I thought. My old fears have come back up. I know I can do this. I know I can lose the weight: be healthier, be stronger, and more. But I’m also afraid that I’ll try my hardest and that nothing will work. That I’ll start running again and my body will let me down. That no matter how much weight I lose I still won’t be beautiful. This isn’t a “down on myself” type of thought. I believe that I’m pretty, but the fear is of change. 

I expect a drastic change when I drastically change my habits and if it doesn’t work out, where will I go from there? Was it all a waste? Am I really a failure or have I just peaked? And on. It’s the fear of succeeding and not knowing what that feels like that holds me back.

This is the type of negative self-talk I’ve discovered is a daily occurrence for me. I want to change it. Mantras and positive thoughts and yoga sessions to center myself. Running to get in shape and in tune with my body. Changing my style to feel more adult and be more professional, especially because I’m going to graduate school in the fall. Minimizing my belongings so that I can prepare for our move to a new city. Being healthier so that I am a happier mom, student, partner, and business owner. 

I know I can do it all but that fear of success, that rivals the fear of failure, is always there in the back of my mind. 

To circumvent that, I’ve been watching tons of Youtube videos, looking at transformations on TikTok and Instagram, and reading books for mindset. Not to compare myself to others. Well, not exactly. But to show myself what could be possible. To see transformations and know that I’m not the only one in my predicament. That I’m not alone – which is a big deal for me.  

I plan to get up in the mornings to run, which is already hard for me because I’m a night owl. However, the odd thing is that every time I’ve gone running or walking early (in the last 2-3 weeks), I’ve felt happier all day. More productive. More energized. More motivated to get other things done. This is just one of the changes I’ve wanted to make but it’s the biggest one in regards to my weight loss. 

It’s one of my most drastic changes to kill that fear of success. I can do this and I will. 

Watch me.

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Good Readdance,

Jade