Thursday, September 07, 2006

Taking Away The Fear

I know I asked all of you what you would do different if you took away your fears. I never told you what I would do.

I have had a lot of time to think about things the past couple of weeks. Mainly because I am not working as much as I would like to and my classes are not requiring as much study time as I anticipated. In some ways this is a good thing for I have had the chance to just BE. I have had time to write. I have had time to realize that this fictional story in my head of what I thought I was I just that – fiction.

I believe a lot of what is said to us growing up gets absorbed easily and therefore it becomes a belief rather quickly.

I have had two teachers in my scholastic history that have taken the time to tell me how smart I am or how talented I am. My 5th grade teacher Mrs. Fry, with whom is still a family friend today, made me feel like a freaking genius. She encouraged my writing, she used positive reinforcement, and pointed out all the talents I never knew I had. She made me want to come to class and made learning fun. Then there was Mr. Rupp in high school. He thought I was spectacular. He thought I was this amazing talent just waiting to be discovered. The words he used in my yearbook, which I still remember today, were, “You are like the atomic bomb, who knew so much could come out of something so little.”
But two teachers out of countless does not a belief make. The rest – well what can I say about them. I was told I was dumb. I was told I was a horrible writer, or horrible at math or horrible at something. When I got an A on a test I was accused of cheating. My parents were called and told how much of a “trouble maker” I was.

They all made me hate school.

My life has had a lot of changes this year and now I am on this leading edge. I have created this clean slate – this Tabula Rasa – in which I can now walk in a direction of my choosing.

At first I was scared. Could I follow my dream? Could I make it happen? What about what I have been told? Now mind you I have never once had a family member, a boyfriend, a friend or anything of that nature call me dumb or not talented.

So the past few months I have realized something.

Those teachers didn’t know shit about me. They were projecting their issues.

With a lot of work I have been able to stomp a lot of those beliefs I used to carry with me into the ground. They are not buried completely but at least I have been doing the introspective changes to get there.

I have been applying for jobs in the field I have always wanted to be in. I have been contacting networks. I have been taking the first step. I have enrolled in some media classes. I have been getting help with my resume. I have been working on getting my ass in the door.

Martin Luther King once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase just take the first step.”

So here I am. Clean Slate. 24 years of feeling less than genius gone with the wind.

And I am not there yet.

But I am taking the first steps.

It feels fucking fantastic.


twobuyfour said...

Good for you. What field are you interested in? I wish you all the luck in the world.

One person helped me realize a long time ago that a lot of what most people believe is simply what their parents told them. Or their teacher. Or anybody. Kids believe stuff, and then it just never gets corrected. He encouraged me to question everything, and think for myself. I think he's great. He's Frank Sontag and you can hear him in the middle of the night on weekends on 95.5 KLOS in LA. Or, you could 10 years ago, anyway.

-Sub J said...

I have to be careful in my phrasing of this comment because it is no way meant to minimize the advances you are making. However, the Muppets had a story related to this concept, Just One Person

If just one person believes in you,
Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you...
Hard enough, and long enough,
It stands to reason, that someone else will think
"If he can do it, I can do it."

-Sub J said...

Oh, and evidently my early morning brain likes to confuse the word "song" with the word "story".

Rachel said...

The road to self-awareness and self-worth is sometimes full of pits that you have to pull yourself out of.
Kudos to you that at the age of 24 you are following your dream.
I am 32 and still haven't figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
With a name like Rachel Heather there must be fabulousness in your future. ;o)~

Tiffanie said...

That's cool Rachel. Happy for you. You are right, those teachers didn't know you and they were projecting their OWN issues on you.

Now, YOU know YOU, so project your "issues" and see what magic happens in your life.

mollymcmommy said...

very awesome, sounds like things are going fab :)


Scott said...

That is wicked. Great quote from King... that is great advice for us all.


kat at work said...

i like cocky bastards who know precisely how smart they are. feel free to join my crowd. you deserve it.

what'cha looking into? btw, i used to work in HR if you need outside help on resume/coverletter stuff. i also (believe it or not) am a pretty good proofreader (when i actually do it - unlike now with this comment).

CP said...

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open. Sir James Dewar, Scientist (1877-1925)


Jenna said...

Living without fear...cudos to you!
Take risks and beleve in yourself, it took me so long to get there...
but it realy is all about you, what you think about yourself, when "nobody is looking."
As to the math comment, one of my math proffesors used to say" there are no dumb studends, only teachers who don't know how to teach..." He rocked! I've liked math ever since...

deepsat said...

kudos to you rachel. those who take those steps and keep moving are the true winners. like i always say, you are the best judge of yourself. the others show you their mirror which is not quite correct!!!

keep going!!!

hav a nice weekend!


Keshi said...



itai said...

Hi good luck!
I'm not there yet myself:)
my ass is still only half way through the door:)
but I'm thinking positive. keep it up your self:)

Lydia said...

Good for you! I've often been inspired by The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, and it sounds like that could fit your decision here. And great that you know the direction you want to head in. All the best, Rachel.

Robert said...

woot woot go rachel get your dream job not your birthday but you work it!!!! LOL awesome how you are slaying the dragons which would hold you back rachel!!! it's easy to see on here why your high school teacher said what he did about you!!!