I met a new friend recently and when I told her about my education background, she said, “That is so brave of you, to just up and leave everything and everyone you know and move half way around the world.”
But she’s wrong. There’s a difference between being brave and being fearless. Being brave is to overcome something you’re afraid of and forging ahead. Being fearless is to not even realize you’re afraid. I was the latter. I was 22 and I was fearless.
Now I’m in my 30s, mother of a young child, and I. Am. Afraid. Of. Everything.
20s and turbulence: Woohoo! This is like a roller coaster!
30s and turbulence: If something happens to the plane, I won’t be able to protect my son.
20s and health: Eh, whatever I have will most likely resolve itself.
30s and health: OMG, WhatIsThisAmIGoingToDie, what if Dragon loses his mother.
20s and safety: Fast driving, fast talking, fast drinking, fast fast fast.
30s and safety: We’re almost at the speed limit, can you slow down? There’s a child in the car.
You get the picture.
Now I’m looking to retire my role as a full-time Mommy and sniffing around for positions in the workforce again, and I realize this fearless/fearful situation is even revealing itself in something as simple as sitting in front of the computer and searching LinkedIn.
Straight out of grad school, I only applied for jobs that I was waaaaay under qualified for. “What have I got to lose?” was the mentality and my ego was gigantic. And looking back, I’m seeing that ego can be cleverly disguised as confidence, and confidence (along with skills obviously) wins over interviewers.
This go around, I find myself mostly applying for jobs I am over qualified for. The nagging voice in my head constantly undermines myself. “How are you going to explain the gap between employment?” “Will being a SAHM for awhile make me less desirable?” “What if I lost my touch?”
What ifs plaque my mind.
Is this an age thing? Maybe something that comes with the territory of becoming a parent? Or is it just me? Have I just gotten soft?