“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I’m about to graduate, I’m scared and I have a lot to say.
A million things dawned on me:
- I entered Carolina under the impression that I wanted to write. But I never actually write – so maybe not?
- I hated, loathed, and despised Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
- Then I fell in love with Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
What does one do with this love of mine? You teach, become a scholar, or become a teaching scholar. Ideally, I would do the last one. Except the only advice I have been given is that there are no jobs out there. “Avoid graduate school!” they say.
In my case the facts are simple: I don’t have the money for graduate school. I don’t have the grades and hell, I don’t even have three letters of recommendation.
This is what I love. I love literature and all the theories that come with it: traveling wombs, lycanthropy, and witchcraft. I want to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, and make my students act out the death of Henry’s wives (hehe). I want to be their support system; I want to push my students in every way that Dr. Barbour has pushed me. I want them to recognize their potential; I want them to change the world.
When I fall in love with something I put my complete heart into it. I know this may sound backwards, but my own potential to succeed is what scares me. Failing at this would be disastrous, it would crush me.
This is what I love, failure cannot be an option.
I have this feeling in my bones that my life will not be ‘conventional’. I cannot picture a version of myself in which I’m married by 25 and pregnant by 26. I feel suffocated by the very thought of it.
I’m not saying the conventional (as defined by American society) is in any way bad. I just don’t think it’s for me. This also scares me. What if I stray so far from the beaten path that I completely lose myself? Never to be found again?
Would that be as bad as I’m imagining it?
On to my second thought: my professor, Dr. B.
In less than a month I will be saying goodbye to this man and the anticipation of it already has my heart beating with fear (I already don’t do goodbyes).
While I was having lunch with my professor I was telling her that sometimes all you needed was someone to look at you and say, “I believe in you and I think you’re worth it.”
So simple, yet it’s not something that happens very often…
Without his encouragement, dedication and belief in me I’m not sure what would have happened to me. He is simply and truly an extraordinary man and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to say to him, but I’m probably going to do it in a letter. I’m pretty sure I will become an overemotional mess and end up crying instead of thanking him.
I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to repay him, but I will.
He’s changed my life, and so has Carolina. I underestimated my abilities and my intelligence. And I’ am scared shitless of my life after graduation, but as long as I’m surrounded by my bulldogs and a good Elizabethan tragedy, it can’t be too bad, right?
You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.