I've felt so incredibly self-conscious and anxious this past year. My anxiety has been borderline panicky. Sometimes, it just feels like my skin is crawling. Sometimes, I just want to break down and cry. It's a lot of pressure I've put upon myself. I love to be successful. I loved being in school- I did it for 20 years, darn it! I knew I was good at it.
My new job as a faculty member is a whole new adventure that I'm not quite sure how to navigate through.
I don't want to let myself down. I told my therapist the other day, "I don't want to seem stuck up, but I've had a very blessed life. All my life I dreamed of going to BYU. It was the only college I applied to. I got in. I got full-ride scholarships all the way through a PhD. I have met the people I've needed to meet to get connected. I got a great job at the end of my program when our family needed it. I got my dream job at age 25.... I could go on, but it basically seems in my life I've worked hard and I've gotten everything I've ever wanted..... I just don't want these big things- My dream job. My Children. My Marriage. The big things that matter- to be the things I fail at. Because I know everybody has to fail at some point..... What if my time is now?"
Failure terrifies me.
My thinking goes something like this on a regular basis... (see if you can even follow)
I love my job, but what if I'm not good at my job? I think I'm good at it. The students and faculty tell me I'm really good and my vitality brings a lot. What if I can't get CFS? What if they don't really like me? I'm improving the program so much, though. I have such a good vision. What if they're just playing me and just want me here to get things together and they'll let me go in a couple years? What if this is all just some funny game to them? What if I don't ever feel welcome? What if I fail my dream job?
What a waste it would be if I spent so much time working at home and at work while my kids are young. What if my kids turn out to be delinquent? It'll be all my fault for working. All this research that shows how moms are such a great impact on their children- especially when they're young like mine are. Oh gosh. It'll be all my fault. If Aidan ever does drugs. If Avalon has premartial sex. If they're bullied. If they become bullies. It'll be all my fault because I wasn't home more.
But being home all the time would honestly drive me crazy. Does that make me a bad woman? Am I a bad LDS woman because I want to work? I got a PhD. I should use it. He opened doors of opportunity for this. Should I be repenting of my desire to work? Is this just a test from Him to see if I can let go of this job? Should I be quitting? Should I be choosing my family over work? Can I do both? How do people balance this? I'm pretty sure God told us this was the correct choice for us at this time.
And what about Aaron? He's been so down lately; it's like he's been emasculated. He doesn't have a career and he's 30. He always mentions that he wants a career. Am I so selfish to work while he stays home? He doesn't really have any friends in our new town. He has hobbies, but I don't really like them the way he does. What if me working is tearing our marriage apart? What if he needs to work? He hasn't finished his Bachelor's yet. Another thing that kills at his self-esteem. Is that my fault somehow, too? But really I guess he couldn't provide right now like I can provide.
Oh man, the pressure of providing. That just feels so heavy. I hate feeling like every bit of our life depends on me- our house, our cars, our kids' education and future, groceries, ayeeee. I wonder if this is how Aaron felt while he was working full-time. This is insane. So much pressure.
I have to provide, but I also need to be the nurturer. How the heck do I do both? What if I fail? What if I utterly fail at that which is most important? Okay. Job- I could find a new job. My kids and my husband are what matter. I should focus more on them. Screw working my butt off for work. It's not like I'll get a decent raise, anyway, since I don't publish. But I do still have to provide...
Okay. Breathe. It'll all be okay. God has a plan. It'll all be okay. He can see everything. Remember your patriarchal blessing. Breathe. Pray....