Choice Made From Fear

My mostly solitary life continued through high school as I became enamored with the study of literature. My family moved near the ocean when I was in the tenth grade. I had never seen the ocean and it was the beginning of a love affair that continues today (but that discussion is for another time). Then off to college I went scared yet determined. Early in the college experience a leadership desire arose even in my shyness. At one point I was a residence counselor but it became apparent my introversion led to my being seen as aloof and judgmental. Although at the time I did not think that was accurate maybe those were characteristics that developed as a result of my feelings of never fitting in with any group. College started out as an adventure and road to freedom but by the end I was in a dark place confused and unhappy.
The need to make a decision about what to do with my life after college paralyzed and depressed me. A degree in English Literature does not provide one with a multitude of job opportunities but the thought of graduate school caused the fear of not being good enough to resurface so I made no decision.
Now a new pattern (maybe not new but one I begin to recognize at this point when I look back on my life) began. That pattern is a period of indecision occurs with my mind jumping back and forth with all the pros and cons and finally an impulsive choice is made. In this instance out of desperation I made an impulsive decision to take a job teaching in a high school in a rural community. They did not require a teaching degree. I had no teacher training at all and there I was facing 10th and 11th graders. It was a disaster that blessedly did not last long. However, another seed was planted. Parts of the experience of teaching and standing in front of a group resonated in my heart and waited for fertilizer to activate it.

Have you ever been paralyzed by the fear involved in making a decision or choice? What has been the result? Have you found ways to move through this?


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