My Break-Up with Fear

by Jackie Roessler

We go through life running away from things that scare us. We are uncomfortable with uncertainty, but most importantly we lack the courage to see past our fears. On a recent trip to Birmingham, I had to drive through thick clouds of fog in the dark of night. Of course it scared me; I could only see a mere 15 feet in front of me, but I took my time and managed to make it safely to where I was headed. Not until recently had I learned that this voyage I made would end up being a metaphor for the new life I was about to start.

Senior year is both fun, sad, and nerve racking. It’s your last chance to live it up in college (which is both fun and sad), but it’s also the time where the pressure to find a ‘big-girl job’ is on. A few months in to my senior year (which consisted of one semester since I was graduating early) I felt a sense of insecurity that I had never felt before. I questioned things like had I picked the right major? Do I really want to live in this city? Am I good enough to compete in this job market? Do I apply to grad school, and do I even want to go? What are people going to think if I decide to take this job or that job?

I became so consumed with these thoughts that I forgot to look at the bigger picture: is this decision going to make me happy? Your friend who got that so-called ‘amazing’ job might not actually be happy with what they’re doing for that company, or where they’re living. We put up these facades and judge people by what they plan on doing after college which in turn causes us to be afraid about the next chapter in our lives. Graduating college brings about a sense of uncertainty, yes, but we have to remember that we are in our young twenties and it’s okay to be uncertain about life. We are never going to have the opportunities and freedom we have now, so if you need to take a few months or years to figure out your life, take them!

My biggest fear was that I was not going to be happy continuing a few of my projects in Tuscaloosa after I graduated. I needed to take a step back and look past this fear that had accumulated over the past few weeks. So, I remembered the time I navigated through the fog and decided to take a chance on myself. An action that many women fear because they think things won’t work out, or that they will be judged by their peers. I decided to continue my job search and move to a new city, while still continuing to work on some of my projects in Tuscaloosa. And you know what? Once I took that chance I noticed a change in my overall attitude. I was finally happy again, and for the first time in a while I was excited that I could do whatever I wanted to.

Whatever major life point you are at, always remember to ask yourself if you are happy and doing your best to achieve your real dreams. Not the dreams your parents or friends have for you. Don’t ever be afraid, especially as a woman, to go after what you really want in life. If you work hard and are passionate in all your endeavors, things will fall into place. Once you learn to trust yourself and your abilities as an individual, nothing and no-one will have the power to stop you.

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27


Jackie Roessler