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View Full Version : Rejected and Dejected: All I wanted to do was go to grad school



pepperlandgirl
04-12-2005, 10:17 PM
For the past four years, I've worked my *** off. I do everything a good student is supposed to do. I never miss a class. I never turn work in late. I email my profs when I have questions and make it a point to only visit during their office hours. I'm graduating with a 3.85 gpa. I got an A on my senior exam. I have a minor in Creative Writing. I have done everything I know to do to the best of my abilities. While focusing on school, I haven't let my writing go forgotten. I have finished three full length novels, one of which will be published in May, and I've worked on about a million other projects, including short stories, poems, plays, and screenplays.

So after all of that, why can't I go to grad school? Why can't I get an MFA? Why did every school I apply to summarily reject me? What the hell did I do wrong? Five schools. Five rejection letters. Right now, I still have six weeks of school. I can't give up and slack off. But I don't even care anymore.

William Haskins
04-12-2005, 10:34 PM
i can imagine how frustrating it is, but you have to soldier on. the sixth might be the one. or the seventh.

you have to play the numbers and go through the anguish now in the interests of your future. you don't want to be 40 and pissed off at yourself for surrendering when victory could have been right around the corner and set you on a completely different path.

i know what i'm talking about here, believe me.

pepperlandgirl
04-12-2005, 10:43 PM
Thanks Haskins.

I'll apply again for fall 2006 and work in the meantime. I won't give up on getting my MFA and my MA...I just feel sick to my stomach with disappointment right now. At least when an agent or a publisher rejects me, I'm mostly expecting it. I've never, ever, ever dealt with an academic rejection before.

TemlynWriting
04-12-2005, 10:50 PM
All I can say is, don't give up. William said everything so eloquently.

dragonjax
04-12-2005, 11:05 PM
Oh, pepper, I'm so terribly sorry. The only thing I can tell you is the few people I know who went on to hold an MFA in writing summarily had to unlearn everything they were taught in grad school before they were able to publish a book. Perhaps you're already ahead of the game in that you're getting published. Heaven knows, I wish I was in your shoes--three completed novels, one about to be published, an AW Idol Finalist... :Hail:

Hang in there, pepper. I firmly believe everything happens for a reason.

Passing the virtual chocolates your way. Go ahead, dig in.

((((((((HUG))))))))

pepperlandgirl
04-13-2005, 01:27 AM
I heard the same thing about MFA programs--but I didn't want somebody to teach me how to write. I just wanted the two years to dedicate to my craft, get some teaching experience, hang out in academia some more....

mommie4a
04-13-2005, 01:37 AM
Silver lining - there is a silver lining. Always, always, always.

Get a job in the industry, or do something completely different for inspiration. Try to get some fellowships or grants or residencies. Sounds like you've cut your teeth enough professionally to do that. Consider a low-residency MFA while working.

Or just take it as an omen for now and re-examine what else might be a sign or a tip toward what you might need to or want to do.

Before I graduated college, I thought I was going to be a private school teacher for a year or two and bide my time until I went back to school for a PhD in sociology. About four weeks before graduation, I applied, then signed up for a year of volunteer work in the Middle East. I can't imagine what my life would be like if that hadn't happened. (And I didn't go to grad school until four years later, double degreed in law and social work, fought for abused and neglected kids, got married and had three kids and am now a writer - and I've ALWAYS written run-on sentences.)

Ever see the movie Sliding Doors? Life really is like that.

GOOD LUCK!

Medievalist
04-13-2005, 03:59 AM
Don't got to grad school yet.

Work for at least two years. Save some money--financial aid is sparse in the humanities, and sparser still in an MFA program.

You have much much better odds at being accepted for a Fall opening--most schools only have a few slots for other semesters. For MFAs in particular the portfolio makes a huge difference.

Did you take a look at Woodrow Wilson's MFA? It's one of the few programs I hear good things about from both sides of the academic wall.

Finally--are you sure you really want to go to grad school? I swear, it's not like undergrad. I'm old, cynical and embittered, but pretty much all the grad students I know are equally cautious-- in short, we're less than happy with our lot. We all think it would have been better to wait a few years before starting.

Or not starting at all.

sgtsdaughter
04-13-2005, 04:08 AM
pepperland,

i'm a grad school person type . . . and trust me, trying to refine and dedicate time to your creative craft is difficult at best. i have had months that were spent doing nothing but academic work and readings, and often when i do spend time on non-academic writings i feel guilty about it. only in the past two years have i been able to balance the two--not well, but it is getting better.

more importantly, don't worry about it so much. you have a novel coming out in may, that already makes you one step ahead of the game (and me for that matter). maybe you need to spend a year or two searching yourself (and even your craft) to fully realize your potential and heart's desires. the gradaute commitees probally saw these elements in your essays, and accordingly they "passed" you up. but, in reality they did not pass you up. they gave you the chance, and opportunity, to refine yourself, your desires, and your reasonings for graduate school and other career choices.

after graduation spend a few months writing . . . freelance to pay the bills and truely explore why you want to write, obtain an advanced degree, and what you see in your future. and on a lighter note, when you start freelancing you will be living a grad student lifestyle--poor and broke, with just enough money (usually coming in small sums--and sometimes large sums--here and there) to get by.

A.

zeprosnepsid
04-13-2005, 05:44 AM
I really really want to go to grad school (not for writing though). I'm always held back by the recommendations tho. I've been out of school for a while and there's no way I can scrape up 3 recommendations, are you kidding?

Anyway, back to you~
Getting into Grad school can oftentimes be a who-you-know experience -- or who you get to know. If you want it, go after it. Befreind admissions people, and more importantly, befriend the professors. It's not unheard of to e-mail professors in the programs and ask their advice. This can be a little hard in creative writing mfa because oftentimes the professors are professional authors -- but nonetheless, making yourself know to someone in the program really helps.

If you were a creative writing minor in college, see if any of your professors from your current college have contacts. Most of the people I know in tough Grad school programs all had professors with contacts. I was virtually guaranteed a spot at Cambridge Univ's Classic dept. when I was going to apply there for Grad school even though my grades were not great because of my contacts. (Eventually I decided I didn't want to do 4 more years of Classics and why should I take the spot I can get through people I know than give it to someone who actually deserves it?)

Also, this is not true of all schools by any means, but I know for sure it is true of some -- they might not want you because you are published. It's not like you can take that off your resume, but it is the truth. A lot of schools want to teach you their way. I went to USC Film School (which I know is not writing but is harder to get into than Yale Law!) and I know for a fact they do not take people with film experience. Because they want to teach you their way. It's like the difference between amateur and professional in sports. But like I said, this obviously isn't true of everywhere and you need to find the program that really fits you. Also, let them know in your essays what you still hope to learn even though you would now be considered professional.

But anyway, as you can see, admission is oftentimes not based on merit. I suggest trying to find books and website that talk about the ins and outs of admission -- particular in the programs you are interested in. See if you can find other people who got into programs you are interested in. When looking at schools I've e-mailed students (sometimes the admissions office will even give you students to e-mail when you ask them) to ask about the ins and outs of the program. Just like when you query a publication -- they like some types of stories better than others. Find out what they like at the places you're applying to. It's not a matter of changing yourself but if you find out one program really emphasizes emotional stories than maybe you will send them a writing sample you already have of an emotional story versus the humor story you were planning on sending them.

Grad School is like anything. You have to pitch yourself. In your essays let the programs know that they will gain more prestige in the future with you having graduated from that program. You have to let them know why they should take you.

Also, be sure to let professors who you got recommendations from know that you're going to need them again. A lot of professors hold on to their recs for 5 years. But it always helps to let them know you'll be calling on them again.

Anyway, this is my grad school advice =) I really believe getting in is not always about merit so don't be down on yourself. There are plenty of great authors who don't get noticed because they don't promote themselves and plenty of crap authors who do get noticed (and sell books) because they can promote themselves. It's a sad truth (all though not sad for those of us who are better at promoting ourselves than actually writing).

Good luck to you no matter what!

pepperlandgirl
04-13-2005, 08:47 AM
Thank you, everybody, for your posts.

To address a few points:

I am an academic person. Some people hate school. I love everything about school. I'm a big geek. If it's about literature or writing, I love it. To me, the idea of focusing for 2 years on a single subject and studying it to death sounds like Heaven. I can't think of anything more fun.

Also, it was always my plan. The worst part is that I don't have a plan now. I don't know what the hell I'm going to do. Where am I going to work? What am I going to do? I don't know the answers to these questions and I graduate in six weeks. I'm considering appealing to the Education department at my University for late admittance so I can get my teaching credential. I don't want to be a teacher. Not even a little tiny bit. But it seems to make financial sense. It's something to do at least. What else have I got to do?

When I applied, I wasn't published. My editor made an offer to me in January. It's coming out so quickly because it's an e-book. So some people wouldn't even consider me published at all--even though my novel is edited, I'll be earning royalties, etc etc. So there may have been a million reasons to reject me, but it's not because I was already published.

I just don't know what to do. I don't even think I'm going to "walk" this May. I don't really take any pleasure or pride in my degree...I don't feel like the last four years was worth anything at all, because shouldn't I have some clue now? Some prospects? Some idea? Some chance at my dreams?

Sorry for dumping all of this here. I appreciate the posts and the PM I received from all of you good people.

veinglory
04-13-2005, 01:01 PM
I am not really familiar with the US situation but make sure you use every option. Apply to less prestigious schools, you can transfer after one or two years. Capitalise on any positive relationships you have with professors -- make an appointment and discuss your concerns with them. They are on the inside and will have the best idea what you can do.

Medievalist
04-13-2005, 07:23 PM
I am an academic person. Some people hate school. I love everything about school. I'm a big geek. If it's about literature or writing, I love it. To me, the idea of focusing for 2 years on a single subject and studying it to death sounds like Heaven. I can't think of anything more fun.

That's not what graduate school is like. Really. I thought it would be like that too when I got my first M.A. Funding is a huge problem, and sure, you can work (I did and do) but that makes it a bit harder in terms of school and classes. You're doing a lot more independent research as a grad student; very few of your classes are lectures. They're small, and you are going to be writing a lot more than you did before. The classes are in some ways the worst part, because they slow you down. Yes, that's right, they're a hindrance if you're a good student. You could accomplish the same amount of work, more efficiently, on your own. A lot of the time you're working with/on the work of your peers, rather than with faculty, and your peers aren't likely to know much more than you. This is less of a problem in an MFA program, where the emphasis is on writing, but it's still a problem.

Get a job for two years. Save your money. Read a lot, and write a lot. Then go to grad school. You'll be more mature than most of your peers, less arrogant than they are*, and you'll have a better portfolio to show for it. And you can pick the school you want, go there, talk to faculty and to other students.

And you'll be able to afford school.

*First year graduate students are frequently unbelievably arrogant. They were the best in their undergraduate program, so they think they're still the best--and actually, they're not. There's a high failure rate, in any program at any school, for the first qualifying exams. Until you survive that stage of the program, you're temporary.

alanna
04-13-2005, 07:43 PM
[QUOTE=pepperlandgirl]
I am an academic person. Some people hate school. I love everything about school. I'm a big geek. If it's about literature or writing, I love it. To me, the idea of focusing for 2 years on a single subject and studying it to death sounds like Heaven. I can't think of anything more fun. [QUOTE]

'tis me also. i'm sorry that your apps were rejected. i can't give you advice on grad school...haven't gotten that far yet...but I can do two things. First, here. :Hug2: second: if you love writing and literature that much, it is very doubtful that you will let a lack of degree stop you. there are many other options- i.e. a job at a publishing house to know the ins and outs, establishing your own writing group, attending a few classes at a local adult education center...etc. I know it can't compare right now, but there are so many great things that you can do with your love of literature and writing! who knows, you might even wind up designing your own cirriculum for study, by making a list of books to read and workshops to attend, etc. Good luck!

-alanna

Moondancer
04-13-2005, 07:56 PM
Medievalist has given some good advice, pepperlandgirl. Grad school is not "all that". Some schools are so exacting about what they look for in potential graduate students it is especially difficult to get in regardless of grades or test scores and any number of other factors. Someone else said it's often who you know as well and that is certainly true.

When I was doing the grad school rounds trying to decide what I was going to do after undergraduate I didn't have the greatest GPA (barely graduated with honors) but I had community involvement and other factors in my favor, plus I knew somebody at one of the schools to which I was applying. Talk to your advisor and ask for help. Like Medievalist said, get a job for awhile. Or get a job to pay your own way through graduate school. A school is more likely to accept you if you pay your own way.

And no, going to college doesn't always set one on the road to their future career. Some never figure that out; some figure it out much later. I didn't finish graduate school because 5 semester hours of fulfilling the degree I suddenly realized that was not where I wanted to be.

brinkett
04-13-2005, 08:54 PM
I am an academic person. Some people hate school. I love everything about school.
That's something I would have written when I started graduate school. Loved everything about being a student. Then I changed career goals, dropped out of graduate school, did another undergraduate degree in an entirely different subject, and never looked back. One of the best decisions I've ever made. When I completed the second degree, I figured I'd go back to school after taking a break for maybe 5 years because, oh my god, I was going to miss school. Sixteen years later, I still haven't gone back. It's never going to happen. Being a student again doesn't appeal at all.

Look upon this "setback" as an opportunity to discover new things about yourself. Though I wouldn't spend time getting any qualifications for something you know you don't want to do (like teaching) unless you think it'll open up doors for you in areas that do interest you.



And no, going to college doesn't always set one on the road to their future career.
If I had the opportunity to do it again, I would take a break before entering college/university to figure out what I really wanted to do. For most people, it's too early to know what you want to do with your life when university time arrives.

Lauri B
04-13-2005, 09:11 PM
I heard the same thing about MFA programs--but I didn't want somebody to teach me how to write. I just wanted the two years to dedicate to my craft, get some teaching experience, hang out in academia some more....

So do you want an MFA or an MA? An MFA is considered a terminal degree, but an MA isn't particularly useful, career-wise--meaning, you can be hired as an adjunct faculty member with an MA but it's unlikely you'll ever be hired for a tenure-track position at any major (or even minor) university without a PhD or MFA. The good news is that while you missed out on starting again in September, you can apply for winter term admission (which is easier for entry, in many cases, since you won't be on the list for grant or fellowship awards).
The bad news is that you won't be on the list for grant or fellowship awards, so you'll have to pay your own way for the first semester.

Also, consider looking at universities with small programs if you were rejected by the "bigs." Sometimes the smaller programs are better, since there is far less infighting, competition, and far more one-on-one with professors--which can lead to some pretty great opportunities, work wise.

I had a similar experience as you when I graduated from college--I was sure I was going to an Ivy grad school, and was rejected by all of them. I didn't have a plan, so I worked as an editor for 6 months, wrote for every publication I could manage, applied for winter admission to a small English program, then applied in the spring for fellowships at the program. Worked like a charm: the professors knew me and my work, offered me a full ride, and I got a lot of great teaching experience.

So don't worry too much--there is a school for you, a way to pay for it, and a chance to get some outside job experience while you're still writing.

Good luck!
Lauri

pepperlandgirl
04-13-2005, 09:45 PM
I want an MA and an MFA, and eventually a Ph.D. I did want to work as a professor. Now I don't know. I went and talked to one of my profs this morning and he looked at my application materials and told me all the reasons why I suck. It was actually helpful, though a little hard to hear right now (he can tell me all the reasons why I suck because I know he thinks I'm the smartest person in the department and he's asked me to help him edit/proofread several of his books in the past 2 years. We have a good working relationship).

Honestly, if I could leave the entire academic world behind me right now, I don't think I'd miss it. I just feel so beat up. I would love to work as an editor. I would love to work in publishing. I would love to do freelance work. I would love to continue to work as a tutor. I would love to simply have the time to write.

I'm so confused and you are all so great for not only reading about it, but for writing such thoughtful and helpful posts.

In other news, I sold my first book ever today. I used lulu.com to make a poetry collection and the prof (after the lecture on why I suck) bought the only copy I have, lol. Wrote me my first "royalty" check. I would say it's nice of him, except he bought it so he could mail it to an editor of a journal that looks like crap. Sort of "Look, you suck" present. He's not quite as bad as I make him sound.

Lauri B
04-13-2005, 09:49 PM
I left academia because it's like playing any other game: you write as much as possible, get published in right journals and present papers at the right conferences and you get promoted, but it takes all the fun out of reading and teaching. I hated killing all those books in the name of literary theory.

So it's obvious you don't suck, and now you're a published author. Not bad.

Medievalist
04-13-2005, 11:14 PM
I want an MA and an MFA, and eventually a Ph.D. I did want to work as a professor . . .
I would love to work as an editor. I would love to work in publishing. I would love to do freelance work. I would love to continue to work as a tutor. I would love to simply have the time to write.

Gah. Getting a tenure track job in the humanities is really rare right now. There are far too many candidates, and fewer jobs than there were--because it's cheaper to hire from the endless supply of grad students and lecturers, than it is to create tenure track positions. And I'm pretty sure you don't want the stress of being a contract instructor or lecturer.

If you want an MFA, think about one of the distance/residency programs; I've heard really good things about Warren-Wilson. Their graduates get jobs, they publish, and the teachers are people you've heard of--not always the case in MFA programs.

Get an internship job in publishing--you can start in almost any kind of publishing, text book, academic, small press, magazine--and take the time to figure out what interests you, then target a particular aspect, form, genre, or company.

If you're ultimate goal is a Ph.D. then you might want to start out, in a couple of years, applying to a Ph.D. program. It's a royal pain to start with an M.A. and then apply--and you'll essentially, or literally, have to earn a second M.A. anyway. Take a couple of years and read widely, then take the GREs, having consumed the Norton Anthologies of English and American Lit. The GRE score is oddly important in terms of exciting interest, and if you do that, and you have a solid portfolio, and you've done some networking, you're in much better shape to get support monies.

I'd start looking for work now that leaves you some time/energy for writing, and think about applying again in two years.

pepperlandgirl
04-13-2005, 11:49 PM
Medievalist, thanks for your post. Prof "Jerk" pretty much told me the same thing. He's been trying to talk me out of pursuing graduate school since last year. "If I jumped off a building and somehow survived, do you think I would advise you to do the same thing?" is how he put it, I believe.

Can anybody tell me how to get an internship (paid or unpaid) with some sort of publisher? What channels to go through? Where I should start looking? I imagine it helps that I'm in Los Angeles and not, say, Idaho.

mdmkay
04-14-2005, 12:26 AM
I'm trying to think of how to put this in the nicest way possible. I loved school. You say that you want to write. To be able to touch the heart of a reader you have to know what it is to have had your heart broken, a door slammed in your face, basically to have lived life in the "real" world. The world of academia is safe. If you follow the rules, do the work, you will be rewarded. It isn't easy but you always know the rules and basically you always know the outcomes. In life all those rules are tossed right out the nearest window. In life you can try and follow the rules, be a good person, and still get kicked in the face everytime you turn around. To be a great writer you have to have experienced life before being able to write about it. I realize that right now you see not being able to further your education at this point frustrating and feel as if a door as been slammed in your face. Perhaps this isn't dead end but an opportunity to get out there in the trenches and to get some experience under your belt. You already have talent (you've already proved that by having gotten a book published). Now that you have all the tools for writing down just imagine the depth and purpose that experience will add to your prose. No one wants to read someone pontificating from an ivory tower. They want to know what it was like being a soldier experiencing the fight from ground level.

I don't want you to think that I'm taking your feelings lightly. It is obvious that you are disappointed, and with good cause. I'm just hoping to help you see this as a new beginning, full of possibilities, not a sad ending.

pepperlandgirl
04-14-2005, 12:34 AM
mdmkay, I don't feel like you're taking my feelings lightly at all. There are people IRL who say, "Cheer up! Everybody gets rejected!" That makes me feel like they're taking my feelings lightly--like I don't have the right to be disappointed or frustrated or angry because "everybody" gets rejected and I should just get over it.

Besides, you hit on my biggest problem--very astute since you don't know me! Academia is safe, and I am very comfortable with the system of rewards for good behaivor. Hey, I know the rules of the game and how to play the game, and now I have to go out into the world where I don't know ****. In my sane, rational moments, I recongize that is my biggest source of fear.

Medievalist
04-14-2005, 03:38 AM
Academia is safe, and I am very comfortable with the system of rewards for good behaivor. Hey, I know the rules of the game and how to play the game, and now I have to go out into the world where I don't know ****. In my sane, rational moments, I recongize that is my biggest source of fear.

Except it's not what you think--the rules change in grad school, and they change drastically. I just finished talking to some of the recruited students, and well, they're clueless.

That said, I'd start by looking at the campus you're getting your B.A. from. They always need writers/editors/proofers. You might then try contacting some of the SoCal publishers--UC Press has an office in Westwood. There are also sometimes ads on Monster.com for other publishers in the Los Angeles area.

jackie106
04-14-2005, 08:07 AM
Can anybody tell me how to get an internship (paid or unpaid) with some sort of publisher? What channels to go through? Where I should start looking? I imagine it helps that I'm in Los Angeles and not, say, Idaho.

To get an internship, just send your resume to a couple of local publishing companies. I've had two internships, so feel free to PM me if you want more info.

With a strong GPA and BA in English, you have a good shot at becoming an editorial assistant. Check out MediaBistro (http://www.mediabistro.com) or journalismjobs.com (http://www.journalismjobs.com) for job listings.

Best of luck!
Jackie

Jamesaritchie
04-14-2005, 09:15 AM
For the past four years, I've worked my *** off. I do everything a good student is supposed to do. I never miss a class. I never turn work in late. I email my profs when I have questions and make it a point to only visit during their office hours. I'm graduating with a 3.85 gpa. I got an A on my senior exam. I have a minor in Creative Writing. I have done everything I know to do to the best of my abilities. While focusing on school, I haven't let my writing go forgotten. I have finished three full length novels, one of which will be published in May, and I've worked on about a million other projects, including short stories, poems, plays, and screenplays.

So after all of that, why can't I go to grad school? Why can't I get an MFA? Why did every school I apply to summarily reject me? What the hell did I do wrong? Five schools. Five rejection letters. Right now, I still have six weeks of school. I can't give up and slack off. But I don't even care anymore.

You have a minor in creative writing, but what's your major? This can make a huge difference. So can the publisher of your novel, and even the genre of your novel. Minors help, but it's your major that plays the biggest role for an MFA.

There's never enough room for everyone who applies to an MFA program. Usually not anywhere near enough room. Sometimes it isn't that you've done anything wrong, it's simply that others have done something a bit better. Most decent MFA programs are fairly small, and the level of those who make it in, especially as first year applicants, is unbelievable. Simply put, many who get into MFA programs are second year applicants, and many never get into the better programs at all.

What and where you've been published can make a huge differerence, at least with the better programs. Being published at the right places can almost guarantee entry, and being published at the wrong places can almost guarantee exclusion.

Sometimes it really is best to take a year off and use it to build your resume, then apply again.

And there are more than five MFA programs out there. As hard as most are to get into, it isn't unsusual to have to make many, many applications before finding one that will take you in.

pepperlandgirl
04-14-2005, 09:27 AM
I majored in English. Also, at the time of application, I didn't have a novel published. I have practically no publication credits (except the novel) because, well, the novel was the first thing I ever submitted....And it wasn't accepted until after I applied.

So just as I was starting to adjust and come to terms with my rejection (mainly thanks to the wise and thoughtful posts in this thread) my prof emailed me and told me he contacted the chair of the MFA program at UCR to see if I could get late admission. So, to quote him, "we'll see." He really didn't have to do that and I'm actually shocked he did.

In the mean time, I've got a lot of great suggestions of where to look for a job. Another prof promised to use his what connections he has (he's fairly new to the area) to help me find a job. I've got 4 WIPs waiting for me. I've got debt to pay off. I'm again on an optimistic upswing.

zeprosnepsid
04-14-2005, 01:26 PM
Nothing in college prepares you for being out of college. And some people make the transition better than others. I've been out of college for 2 years and I'm a complete failure at it. But you seem to be very realistic, you know it's not easy and you have already have these avenues you've explored since writing your first post in this topic. I think you are off to a rather good start. Good luck to you.

maestrowork
04-14-2005, 03:02 PM
Have you gotten feedback why you weren't accepted? With your GPA, publishing credits, and active writing and excellent skills, I don't know why they would turn you down...

The only thing I can suggest is keep trying, and start getting more recommendations... getting some writing-related work experience would be a good way to go, too.

I admit I'm not an academic type. I went through grad school with half a brain. Granted, I was working full-time and going to grad school part-time. Still, I felt like I learned more on the job than in school. Later, I found out getting a Master's didn't really do much for me -- I was already in the job market and doing quite well. Of course, I have a M.S. degree, so it could be different. And you certainly don't need an MFA to become a successful writer.

But if grad school is your dream, go for it. I applaud those who know what they want and go for it with all the passion.

mdmkay
04-16-2005, 09:26 PM
I understand the fear. I've had to start my life over several times and it is scary. There is no way of getting around that. I tell my boys to imagine what they would do if they were not afraid, visualize the steps that would take them there and then keep visualizing them until the fear subsides then start taking the steps. When they start doing the things towards their goal they need to act like they know what they are doing (but not afraid to ask questions and keep their ears and eyes open to learn as much as possible) and pretend they aren't afraid and before to long they will realize that they no longer are afraid and do know what they are doing. I've had to start over several times through circumstance usually beyond my control but I couldn't just lay down and die so I started over. I started my life over again at 43 completely from scratch (trust me no family support, no money----nothing) I was a tad fearful (like throwing myself out of the nearest window scared out of my mind). I'm sitting here writing to you today at the age of 46 and I have NEVER felt as comfortable, happy, and content as I do at this time in my life. I never could understand grown men and woman who look back on high school as their golden years........yee gads 4 years out of 40,50,60 or more----do they realize how pathetic that is? Yea high school was fun, college was better but frankly I've tried to improve my life ever since and those days fall pretty far down the list. What I'm trying to tell you (in my rambling sort of way) is that these days seem pretty darn good but you've got the rest of your life to build even better memories if your willing to rope in that fear and take the steps anyway. I've also always been scared starting new things but I've never regretting doing them (well, most of the time ---we all have those "what the heck was I thinking moments"). Good Luck to you my friend. Let me know how you do.
Kay