Sometimes I’m afraid, but I still do stuff!

Me, in my element

So, I’ve been thinking about blogging for a very long time. Like, when I say a long time, I mean probably as long as blogs have been in existence. What’s been stopping me? That little voice in the back of my head telling me I’m not good enough; I don’t have enough time; who cares about my life anyway.

To be fair, I really didn’t have a lot of time up until last Sunday, which is when I passed in my final assignment to complete my Masters of Art in Creative Writing and Literature. Yup, I have a Master’s Degree. Exciting stuff. If you know me though, you’ll know I’m underwhelmed. I’ve talked to my therapist at length about my ability to be completely underwhelmed with amazing things that happen in my life. This probably stems from my feeling that I’ve always just not been good enough. And, I’m afraid a lot. Afraid of failing – I’m a recovering perfectionist – afraid of doing things to upset people; afraid of losing people. Read between the lines here; I have anxiety.

Back to my Master’s Degree. The last time I saw my therapist we talked about my impending graduation:

“So Judy, you’re graduating in May, with a Masters.” She looks excited and does a mini handclap.

I shrug my shoulders, “Yeah, it’s pretty good.” I smirk, and she just stares at me.

“You’ve worked so hard for this. Aren’t you excited?”

“Not really,” I shrug again. “I mean, yes; I’ve put in a lot of time to get this degree. But it was mostly fun. I like to write, so I don’t think it’s that big a deal. The Lit classes were challenging, but all the writing classes were great. I learned a lot too about story and concept, marketing, and online teaching.”

We talk more about why I feel this way and I tell her, “It’s just that, I do stuff.”

She looks perplexed

“You know, I have an assignment each week and I just get it done.”

“So, you just do stuff? That’s what you’re going to tell people about your degree, ‘Yeah, I’m Judy. I got this great degree, but, you know, I just did it!’” She rolls her eyes.

I giggled, “Yeah, that’s how I feel.”

I’ve stumped my therapist.

Anyway, that’s me. I never really feel like anything I do is noteworthy. I’ve led an interesting life thus far, but it’s not a big deal. Now, for those of you who have achieved this same accomplishment midlife life like I have, I do think it’s pretty great. I’m always impressed with people who work full time, manage a family, and go to school. For some ridiculous reason unbeknownst to my therapist or me, I don’t feel entitled to the accolades. It’s just me; I just do stuff.

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Perhaps you’re wondering why I see a therapist. Here’s the deal. In August of 2018 I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. To say I almost went off the tracks would be an understatement. I found out about the tumor while I was in the midst of another health crisis; I needed a hysterectomy as well.

If you’re reading this and you’re a man or a young woman, you’re probably wondering why I viewed a hysterectomy as a health crisis. If you’re a premenopausal woman and you’re reading this, you probably know why this was a health crisis. Actually, there’s a story behind why I needed that surgery so badly. Stay tuned, as that part of the tale is coming; I promise. Details about those crazy 16 weeks in my life are on the way. I’ve started writing a memoir about it. But to get back to my original point, I began seeing my therapist because I knew I was facing brain surgery and another major surgery in a matter of weeks from one another.

When I got my diagnosis for the tumor I tried to adopt this attitude, “Nothing has changed except this kernel of knowledge that I have a brain tumor.” That idea mildly helped. The day I found out about my tumor, I kept reminding myself it was there that morning, and it would be there when I went to bed that night. Nothing else had changed; except it had. I now knew it was there, and until I had further testing, because I melted down in the MRI machine and only had a partial scan – damn it, that machine was really snug – I only had one detail from my doctor and it was that I had a brain tumor. I hadn’t spoken with anyone who could tell me if it was operable, if I would even need surgery, or what that surgery was going to be like. You get it; not having details was paralyzing. I only knew it was there and it was benign. That in itself was a God-send. After getting that bit of information, I knew I just had to soldier on and get answers.

So, I was afraid, but I knew I had to deal with that tumor. I frequently become afraid skiing, but I go down any slope I encounter because it’s easier than walking back up. I was afraid to write this blog, but I did it.

So, I hope you’ll keep coming back. I mean, what else do we have to do now except be on social media? Covid-19 has given me the time to blog and the time for you to read.