Facing Fear

I’m afraid. I’m afraid of facing my fears. I run away from research papers as if they’re chasing me through a dark hallway in the midst of a bad horror movie. I’m that white girl who runs away and hides, thinking the monster will just go into another room– thinking I’ll be safe until the credits start rolling, only to turn around and find the monster to be right behind me.

I don’t know if it’s the failure that really terrifies me or if it’s simply my imperfection. My inability to focus, to work hard. I have created this wall within my mind that prevents me from actually learning- from actually trying. Even as I type this out I’m afraid. I don’t want to confront my shortcomings. I gave up this quarter. I reached the end and I threw down my fucking cards before I even had the chance to see what the other players had been dealt. I folded. Like the way I fold myself underneath the covers in my bed to hide from my next assignment.

It’s hard to determine when it started being this way. I remember the English paper I had to write for 1B in community college. I waited last minute, as I do with everything else in my life. It was 11:50 pm and I had ten minutes to finish up my last body paragraph and conclusion. I was crying hysterically. I was reading through my paper, swearing at myself for the mess I had created on the screen in front of me, a bunch of jumbled words forced out of my head and down through my fingers so that I can finally just get it over with. I finally wrote the last word and turned it in, right at 12. I put my head down in shame. I knew it wasn’t my best work. I knew I could’ve done better. I also knew I wasn’t enjoying college anymore. I started to fucking hate it, just as I do now.

Then I see a person’s eyes light up when I tell them I go to UCLA. Like it’s a fucking badge of honor and maybe it should be, but I don’t wear it. I throw it in the corner of my closet with the clothes I don’t take the time to fold after wearing them. I don’t feel deserving. It’s my mindset. I know it is. I know I need to work harder, try harder, do better, be stronger. But, as I tell myself to do this and that, I still find that I fall back into that same pattern. Giving into my fears and folding.

I don’t know what I need to do. I really don’t. I tell myself I’ll do better next time. I promise the people who are counting on me that I will eventually do better, but I fail to do so. It’s funny because when I fail, it’s almost a relief. What I have failed at is over and done with, so I can be happy once again. Too bad, failing means that you have not achieved. It means that this goal that has been destined for you to accomplish, is still sitting there waiting for you. It’s lurking in the shadows. It’s coming up behind you, despite the belief that you are safe. It comes back again. What I have to do is learn how to face it. Take it head on. Turn around and look that monster straight in its eyes and attack it until it’s on the floor, dead in front of me. I need to face it. I can’t keep turning my back anymore. I’m tired of hiding.

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