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When I begin to doubt myself, I don’t shop. I don’t do drugs. I write. Today I feel the fear creeping into my heart, so I’ll put it out there to share with the world.
Five Things I Fear
I’ll live an unremarkable life.
I don’t want a life filled with heartbreak and drama, but nor do I want to live in the suburbs with my kids, dutiful husband, and white picket fence. I want to travel the world, eat crazy foods, meet crazy people, and influence people around the world to pursue their dreams and live remarkable lives.
I won’t marry someone who I am passionately in love with.
As you may have guessed, I love love! I have few things I love to talk, read, and think more about than relationships! But I’m a Black woman with two Masters degrees from Harvard, and according to the research, that doesn’t bode well for me. I want to be passionately in love with my husband—not just tolerating each other. And I don’t want to be alone either. Men are nice to have around.
I’ll have to get a real job.
I know this sounds ridiculous to most people reading this, but most of the professional jobs that I’ve had killed my soul. I can’t stand sitting in cubicles, analyzing data all day, or going to lots of meetings. I don’t mind being on the computer all day. I quite like it—as long as I can leave to go do some yoga for an hour whenever I like. I’m not afraid to work hard. I just don’t want to work hard at something I’m not passionate about. I’m passionate about being creative, about writing, and about coaching, mentoring, and counseling people. Oh yeah—and I’d like to be a famous talk show hostess/movie critic. I did enjoy working at the cinema concession stand, as a cashier at the grocery store, and as a teacher, so I guess I have some backups.
I’ll have to struggle to make money.
I’ve never earned a lot of money (well, except for my last two summer internships. I had a lot of money). But I’ve never had a full-time job where I was bringing in the bank and watching my bank account grow. One summer, I lived for 10 weeks in NYC off of $6000. That’s $85 per day—including housing, food, and a daily subway commute! So I know that I don’t need a lot of money to live off of. But I have a LOT of student debt. The U.S. government says that I’ll need to make over $130,000 to pay my loans off comfortably. Where is this money going to come from?!
I’ll be embarrassed at my Harvard class reunions.
Graduating from Harvard Business School is a really big deal. I’ve seen alumni time and again be unnerved and disappointed in their lives after coming to their 10-year class reunions. Everyone else seems to be so much more successful than they are. Anyone who knows me well enough to remember me in 10 years will remember that I want to be the next Oprah. If that doesn’t happen, it’s going to be really awkward when I come back and am like, “Yes, I am the Senior Brand Manager for socks at Foot & Co.” Okay, that will never happen, because I can’t stand sitting in a cubicle—or selling things I don’t care about. If anything, the worst case scenarios is that I’ll come back to the reunion and be a D-list celebrity as one of my blunt friends put it.
Saying my fears out loud makes them seem small and insignificant and reminds me of all the reasons why I must make decisions out of love and not out of fear.