I submitted an application today. In fact, I sent it in about two minutes ago. I have visited the webpage for this application dozens of times since learning about the program behind it, and I had always come very close to clicking the “submit” button, but never did it.
Today, I couldn’t sleep, I was sick all morning, and I woke up feeling anxious and fidgety. I tried everything I usually try when this happens: eat something, drink some coffee, meditate, take a shower, splash some cold water on your face, do more suggested methods of anxiety reduction until you finally realize that this horrible feeling isn’t going anywhere because it’s being caused by something more specific: the sense of loss. The feeling of self-destruction, the feeling of dishonesty within yourself.
I opened the page. I didn’t think, I just filled out the short form. I wrote a brief paragraph about why I was interested in the program and I tried not to edit it too much. I wanted it to be the true reason, not the reason that I wanted people to hear. If I was going to apply to this program with the idea of “being honest with myself,” then I was going to start being honest with everyone.
There are very few people in my life I would say I am honest with. In fact, I would say there is really only one. This is not for lack of trying. I have made an effort to be truthful with people close to me about my doubts, my aspirations, my curiosity about my options, but they usually are not interested in hearing about alternatives. They want to see me on a secure path, which I can appreciate as them being caring, but it can be hard to feel pressured into a safe situation that bores me to death.
Here is the honest truth: there is a path I chose to take that I began to doubt before I even started it. My research, my experience, and my logic told me that this path could benefit me, but it may not push me to the best that I could be. That thought devastated me. I knew then that I would struggle with the balance between security and prosperity for a significant part of my life. I begged for counsel from those closest to me, and only found concern for my financial well-being, not my happiness. I saw that I was the only person who could honestly see what happiness meant to me and what I would need to do to achieve it.
So I hit the submit button at 9:27am on July 20th, 2018. The morning I took the first step towards my happiness, even if it meant a step away from security. Being secure, being financially stable won’t mean anything without a fulfilling life. I know I won’t feel fulfilled if I lie to myself and refuse to even entertain alternatives because those around me see them as “radical” and “on the bleeding edge.” They don’t understand that that’s exactly where I want to be.