Monday, May 17, 2010

And Protect Us from All Undue Anxiety....

I am experiencing a great deal of anxiety about my upcoming move to a new school on the opposite coast. This is my dream school, and I could not be happier or more excited to begin my studies there in the fall. I anticipate meeting many new people, and am immensely looking forward to immersing myself in the community.


Recently, I have been struck by wave after wave of doubt and fear. Will people like me? Will I make any friends? Will they all think I am weird? Will the professors think I am dumb? Will I say stupid things the first day? Week? Month? Ever? And then my brain goes wild with speculation, imagining that everyone will be in a big, happy group of friends, fun, and academic success, and I will be left on the outside looking in.

Then I discovered the name of my academic advisor, and it is someone I have never heard of, who from what I can tell has nothing to do with my anticipated area of focus. I would not be quite so worried if I was not banking on having an experienced guide in this area, as I plan to do a Ph.D. and will certainly need someone of expertise to guide me through course selection, etc.

Well, I am sure I will say stupid things from time to time, though hopefully not too often. And I am sure not everyone will like me. Maybe I will not have very many friends, after all. Or maybe I will. Who knows?

Times like these make me even more keenly aware of my brain's tendency to spin around in circles like a hyper dog in a small backyard. Logic and reasoning do not seem to help much. I can tell myself ad nauseum that all I have to do is be myself and do all the things I did as an undergrad at USF, and I will be fine. Everything will work itself out; maybe not exactly how I would have planned it, but everything will work out according to God's plan, and I will be fine. But no matter how many times I repeat that like a mantra, there is a knot of fear that refuses to melt.

But then I force myself -- because sometimes it does require forcing -- to sit in silent contemplation. Resting in God, in silence. And the knot melts, and I can rest in relief. There is an enormous qualitative difference between trying to convince myself logically, and simply resting in God. Not actively praying for anything, just resting. Just sitting. Just being.

Relief in God.

I can take proactive steps, too. For example, contacting an admissions director and asking about my advisor, expressing my concerns. But for now, tonight, I will simply rest in God.



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