What did I get myself into? How did I end up here? Providence, Rhode Island. Brown. Reoccurring thoughts cart-wheel through my busy mind as I kick up crispy orange/yellow leaves scattered about the old New England campus. The truth is – it’s hard. I’m struggling. When I’m having a hard time, I don’t write. Because what if you knew that I doubted myself? That I questioned if I’m smart enough and capable enough to be here? Maybe I am if I believe I am. Some days I do and others I don’t, but I show up anyway.
The truth is, I’ve been having an inner battle with myself since I set foot in the expensive brick buildings of Brown. I was so excited to come here, but it wasn’t until the orientation, when I looked around at my well-educated peers, that I wondered if I belonged here. I learned long ago not to compare myself to others, but alas, here I am. Perhaps I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it? That scared girl who grew up in the dark shadow of alcoholism, who was told she wouldn’t go anywhere, could walk amongst the educated and elite undetected. It’s just that, the only one who detects it, the only one who knows where I came from is me, and I don’t forget.
It seems that intelligence doesn’t infer that things come easily, but with awareness and understanding, I can be patient and calmly allow myself to digest new information. Intelligence isn’t grasping every concept immediately, but working hard to make sure I get it – something I know quite well. Learning a new language takes practice, persistence, patience. Isn’t it that way with most things? Painful at first, but with time, bearable and even enjoyable.
The truth is, I don’t know what I’m doing. I didn’t plan on being here. Mountains have been climbed to end up here, yet at another mountain, but, I wanted this, didn’t I? I keep forgetting I know how to climb, I’ve done this before. I don’t just want this, I want more, but I always want more. I’ll risk failure every time at the alternative of not trying. Can I appreciate and acknowledge the growing pains of change? These uncomfortable pings of stepping into the unknown I’ve once avoided, are now some of the most rewarding and defining moments of my life. So I ask, what would you do if you believed you could?