That's The Way It Is
iTunes loves to give me Celine Dion at 2am. My work iTunes collection holds no candle to my at home collection, but somehow they both sense the "Oh, it's late at night? Clearly we need a faith and power ballad by a strong independent female." And so I get, "That's the Way It Is" Maybe Apple has a secret programming feature to give you inspirational pop songs in the middle of the night. I certainly know I need them when I'm on night shift.
Since I have been so blessed during my reading, I'll use this as my March opportunity, Don't be afraid to be afraid. Or rather, don't let fear of things stop you from doing anything.
Apparently I come off as intimidating person. I've heard this throughout high school and college and now in my professional life, It's a fact that fascinates me. I'm a tiny little blonde. Why would anyone be intimidated by me?
And so I'm told, "You just are." "Why?" "You're scary." "Why? Why would anyone thing I'm scary?". "You're just so confident." "Really? Is that what people think?" "You just look like you know what you're doing and like people shouldn't question you about what you're doing."
Here's the secret -I'm afraid all the time. I'm constantly worried about whether or not everything is going to come together. I'm constantly worried about whether or not I'm going to be able to do everything I said I was going to do. I'm constantly worried about whether or not I'm going to be able to do everything I'm supposed to do. Sleep? I don't get much sleep anyway, but when I'm planning, I lose it over the thing I'm planning. The thing I'm worried about, the thing I'm dreading, hoping, wishing for.
I don't know what the experience is for everyone, but for me, it's in the last minute. The minute before everything is supposed to happen or everything you dreamed of is supposed to come true, but you're worried it won't.
In that moment, you do only have the two choices: Continue to be anxiety ridden or let it go.
I let it go.
People like to portray nihilism as a depressive philosophy, intent on determining life in the universe is meaningless and nothing matters.
My interpretation of nihilism, and existential philosophy in general, doesn't rest on the fact that nothing matters, They hinge on the belief that you get to decide what matters (Because nothing inherently matters other than don't bother other people). Not going to get the job promotion you wanted? The universe is going to explode anyway. Worried that you screwed up at work? The universe is going to explode anyway. Your crush who you're deciding to confess your love to doesn't feel the same? The universe is going to explode anyways.
In many instances, no matter what our belief of impact may be, the future of the universe remains the same. In the extraordinarily rare instance you do hold the fate of humanity in your hands, I'll ask for as distinguished and complex an answer as you can muster, but in most cases, the world won't fall to its knees as a result of your personal decisions. A lot of people probably won't either. Hell, if you take a minute to breathe and think about it in this context, you may not.
Herein, comes why you believe I am so cool, calm and composed. I let the stress and anxiety take hold of me, and I rack and worry up until the minute before the thing I am dreading is about to happen.
And then I suck in a big breath, take a pause to let it fill my lungs and fill my soul, and then I let it out. And then I don't care. Because to much of the universe has been decided before I arrived here with my paltry convictions. And maybe I'll change the world, but maybe I won't. In either case, the universe will wind up exactly where it needed and wanted to be I played my part No longer does it matter that anyone was scared or anxious because things happened anyway. And if they happened anyway, why feel any which way that they happened? Because as Robert Penn Warren granted in "All the King;s Men", "What we students of history always learn is that the human being is a very complicated contraption and that they are not good or bad but are good and bad and the good comes out of the bad and the bad out of the good, and the devil take the hindmost."
So the next time you're worried of anything, remember me and remember this, Breathe. It doesn't matter as much as you think it does, and even if it does, there's probably not a lot you could do about it anyways.
Do things you're afraid of because they'll expand your horizons and your experience. Even if you can't expand to change the universe, you can expand to change yourself.
"When you want it the most
There's no easy way out
When you're ready to go
And your heart's left in doubt
Don't give up on your faith
Love comes to those who believe it
And that's the way it is"
Just a Woman in STEM finding her way