Failure, the Monster of Fear

I want to design things.

I keep seeing videos or projects or posters or fonts that make me want to make stuff. I listen to songs that make me want to make things and everything is just beautiful and so well done and I want to be able to do that too, but I can’t.

I hate the learning process. Let me unpack that a bit… I like learning new things, but I like to learn them and be able to be good at them right away. Maybe I like to discover things. Discovering things usually means they’re ready to go, like discovering a talent for something! Learning things means having to not be very good at them at first. It means being able to see something I want to be able to make so perfectly in my minds eye, and not being able to recreate it.

Learning is frustrating, it’s hard, it’s discouraging, it’s frightening. What if what I desire to create is something I will never achieve? What if no matter how hard I work and study and learn, I’ll never develop the ability to truly do to the extent I desire?

This week I feel like I’ve seen so many things that spark that desire to create, but I haven’t created a thing because I’m scared to try and sure I’ll fail. People tell me otherwise and they say I’ll be great, or they say, that’s part of learning! but that doesn’t actually lessen the sting of failure. I’ve built up failure as a monster of a fear in my mind’s eye, I might only be looking at the shadow, failure could be a mouse in front of a candle’s flame, but that shadow on the wall is big and scary and I’m not sure I can face it just yet. I begin to wonder if I’ll ever be ready to face it.

 

These are some things that I loved the look and sound and feel of lately:

Tessa’s music video for her song “Dream”

Dodie’s song “Sick of Losing Soulmates” (heads up, contains swear words)

Episode 1 of Emily’s webseries “Cold” (everything Emily touches is so beautifully made, her Letters to July series are amazing)

 

I turn 23 at the end of this week. It sounds too grown up.

-B

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The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015

Well we can drink our water again. Wednesday evening it was announced that traces of E. Coli had been found in water samples from across the city to we were all on a boil-water advisory while they figured out what was going on. Today the second negative test came back so they’ve said Wedneday was false positives.

It’s nice to be able to use tap water again. I didn’t realise how much it effects me but I am very grateful for clean running water.

Also, it’s official now:

 

So that’s exciting! And tomorrow I’m speaking at a small school event so that should be interesting… Just finished my 10/15  minute talk…
HOPE I SURVIVE IT WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH I LOOOOOVE PUBLIC SPEAKING!

Anywho, see you tomorrow after I survive. I survived The Great E. Coli Scare of 2015, I got this, it’s cool…
-B

Scared

I’m speaking at youth group tomorrow and for the past 24 hours I’ve felt like I was going to throw up every waking moment. I’m not fully prepared (I have all tomorrow afternoon thankfully) and I don’t feel confident in my ability to be able to do this. Last time I spoke at youth I had my worst a panic attack to date a few hours beforehand and I’m terrified that it’s going to happen again and I feel like I am setting myself up for failure because I’m not totally prepared yet and I feel so jittery and my heart is constantly racing and I know it’s all irrational fear because I don’t have a problem speaking in public it the speaking something I’ve written up that freaks me. If I was memorizing and reciting something some one else had written I’d be totally fine. If I was writing something for a video, I’d be totally fine making that video. If I was writing a paper, I’d be fine writing that paper. As soon as I know I’m going to have to present the words I’m writing though, I freeze up and the butterflies all come out of their coccoons and then I procrastinate because I’m freakin terrified and then I’m not prepared and my inner prefectionist throws a panic attack party and I end up in hysterics.

I’m so scared. I’m so, so scared. If you pray, please pray.
-B

The Pas – Saturday

(See yesterday’s post recapping Friday’s adventures)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday morning we were meeting at the church building at 9:30am and our lovely friend who was letting us stay at her house baked us fresh cinnamon buns and scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast. It was DELICIOUS! Well except for the bacon. I realize this is a bit taboo, but I don’t like bacon. Sorry. I just tell people, all the more bacon is left for them!!

We made our way to the building and got ready to go out. We were going to go to some of the local schools and do prayer walks around outside. We made up three groups with the three families we were working with and went to two schools each and prayed over the buildings and the students and teachers who go there.

After that we headed back to the church building (keep in mind, everything in this town is pretty much within five minutes of everything else so though it may sound like a lot of back-and-forthing, it really wasn’t). Once regrouped, we sorted through some old tracks to try and salvage some because we were going to the local mall to offer to pray for people. In the end though I think most of us decided to just pray and not hand out the tracks, they were just a little toooooo old. The mall unfortunately was preeeeeetty dead. Like, not counting store employees, the eight of us nearly doubled the number of people in the mall. Okay, possibly a slight exaggeration, but seriously, I’ve never seen that few people in a “mall” ever and I work retail. Apparently Saturdays are often like that, very slow because most people are sleeping off hangovers or just sleeping in. So we prayed for those that were willing out of those that were there and then we had lunch in the food court. I should, perhaps, describe the size of this mall. This mall had under a dozen stores, one of which was a grocery store, and three non-chain restaurants made up the food court. It was very small… But, hey, it had the necessities, which is all that’s important: there was a Timmies beside the mall!

After lunch we drove about an hour out of town into the reserve and eventually into Saskatchewan and went to Sturgeon Landing, which is a teeny, tiny community of about 80 people. It’s incredibly run down and we were told that the vast majority of the people who live there are alcoholics and/or huffers. It was like going to a ghost town. I counted the number of people I saw, 8 through windows, three outside (one of which was a child and one of which was obviously very intoxicated staggering along the road). We were there around three or four in the afternoon and saw eleven people. It was the most bizarre experience.

Sturgeon Landing Swinging Bridge

Sturgeon Landing Swinging Bridge

View off of the Sturgeon Landing swinging bridge

View off of the Sturgeon Landing swinging bridge

Sturgeon Landing also has a swinging bridge that we went across so that was some nice light fun. On the other side however, there used to be a Residential School. For those not familiar with residential schools, starting around the 1870’s, the Canadian government partnered with Anglican, Catholic, United, and Presbyterians churches to start up boarding and residential schools for Aboriginal children with the idea of fully integrating them into Canadian culture (by force basically) Attendance at these schools was mandatory for all aboriginal children and over 150,000 children (some as young as 4 years old) were sent through them. Many were forcibly taken from their homes and families and forced to attend these English schools where their own culture and languages were now banned. In many cases the school authorities and religious leaders abused the children both sexually and physically. The last residential school in Canada closed down in 1996. I was alive when the last of these horrific schools closed down. For many people this is still an issue that hits very close to home and this abuse of by the white man has not been forgiven in many cases. Sturgeon Landing is one of those places. On a previous outreach run by our friends pastoring up there they brought transportable soccer nets and soccer balls up and began to play around, trying to get the kids to come play too. Some did, but one girl in particular who couldn’t have been more than eight years old refused to come play because she wouldn’t “play with a blue-eyed white boy” (one our friend’s sons who is about five years old). Racism is still very much alive up there and though many, if not most people are friendly and welcoming, there are still many people smarting from the wounds inflicted in past years.

That was a bit of a side note, but it gives you some background on the kind of environment we were heading into.

Before we left Sturgeon Landing we decided to walk through the community and pray for them, and if we met up with anyone we’d see if they’d let us pray for them in person. We saw a couple people through windows (included in the above count) and sometimes got a chance to briefly chat through a window but one house we passed, my friend saw someone in the window and walked up to go say hi. They opened the door and she started up a conversation, kind of explained what we were doing (going around praying, would she like any prayer? etc). The woman said yes, they would like some prayer and invited my friend in. She called over our friend (the pastor) and his wife and one of the guys who was with us (a fellow intern), and the four of them went inside to go pray.

So the rest of us were left outside. There were five children under age eight with us, and about seven adults just kind of standing around outside this house. I’m sure most of us were praying for the four inside but as I saw the kids getting restless I started to get a little anxious. When I’m anxious I can get slightly controlling so basically I started parenting the children… Thankfully I don’t think their parents noticed/minded (I do hope I wasn’t being rude by acting like I was parenting their children… I know it was unnecessary but it was my immediate coping mechanism…) I went full on babysitter and attempted to round those children up. It didn’t really work… I was holding one, and another was being held by someone else so that accounted for two, but left five running around after the “neighbourhood” puppies (all quite dirty, but friendly and safe enough). I started getting more freaked out when I saw a male figure walking from where we’d left our vehicles and coming towards us. I was beginning to think of all the things that could have been done to our cars that would prevent us from being able to leave and praying like crazy. He took a different path before reaching us. Sigh of relief. A few minutes later another man comes from the same area. This time he was obviously heavily intoxicated, staggering back and forth across the road, weaving towards us. I was probably over seventy-five percent sure we were going to get yelled at and beginning to think we might be attacked and that I might die then and there. Soooooo I prayed some more! (I’m sure everyone else was too!). Like the first fellow, this guy also veered off the road before reaching us, heading towards a different house. Soon after, our friends came out from the house we were waiting t and we began to head back to our vehicles.

The vehicles were totally fine, no one had touched them. Our friend were totally fine, the people inside had been super nice to them (I almost feeling they were safer inside than we were outside), and no one confronted us. I had allowed fear to get in my head and hadn’t been trusting God to protect us.

I have done outreaches like this before (not to this extreme, but similar type) and I often begin to panic and mentally discover all the ways I could be colourfully murdered. It’s a problem. It’s a lack of trust and it’s allowing myself to get foolishly worked up about very unlikely situations about which I have nothing to base my fear on other than more fear. I feel that this year I will have plenty more opportunities to worked on this. (See, putting a positive spin on it. Opportunity to learn…)

We then drove back to the church building in The Pas and had another potluck dinner with some of the other members of their church and then (busy day, Saturday was!) The five of us interns (four of us are in the program I’m in and one is interning directly under our church’s’ head pastor) and one of the couples we’re friends with out there, went to a young adults evening worship night/house group. We got to speak to them about internship and mentoring and why we felt it was important etc and it was really fun! That was probably my highlight of the trip getting to hang out and chat with all those young adults and just see how passionate about God they are and how excited they are about what He’s doing and what He’s going to do in their town! I’m really glad we got to meet and hang out with them.

Then we headed back to the houses we were staying at and went to bed. It was an eyeopening day, especially heading to Sturgeon Landing. It’s shocking to see those kind of cut-off communities exist, especially in Canada, and how very different people and places can be living just an hour away from each other. A very busy day, but a good one!

Tomorrow, Sunday summary!

By the way, today is my 20th birthday and I feel kind of strange. I feel like now I’m a proper adult and have to start behaving all grown up… I’m not sure what I think of this.

I had a really nice day though! My friend in the intership decorated our classroom with balloons and got me a cake and my roommate ran out to the store while I was in the shower this morning so I wouldn’t notice she was gon a bought me a fancy croissant for breakfast and she got me a really nice used copy of Our Mutual Friend from 1923 and, and, and, and *melts* MY FRIIIIIEEEEEENNNNNDSSSSSSS…. They win.

-B

Me: Depression

I’ve probably said stuff like this before but earlier this year when I decided wasn’t going back to the university program I was in, I began to feel really excited for my future, like I just knew good stuff was gonna happen and it was coming and that’s a big deal.

Why is that a big deal? Well in the latter half of grade twelve and until after the new year after graduation I went through a period of what I can only call depression. I’m loathe to call it that because I know the connotations and the mentalities often paired with mental illness. I also know what I suffered was very light depression compared to what many people have to go through and for that I am grateful, but when you’re in it, when you’re in it, it does not feel “light”.

I don’t know what caused me to spiral down into where I landed part way through grade twelve but I suspect it was the fact that this was a last year and big changes were coming and I had no clue, literally no clue what I wanted to do. I am a person who craves structure (and with that often comes a need for control) and not knowing what was going to happen FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE freaked me out and as I went through the year still not knowing what I was doing and having nothing I could dig up peak my interest, I allowed myself to shut down.

Shut down? Well, often when emotions intimate me, I’ve allowed my mind to get into the habit of shutting them down. I push the problem out of the way and ignore it. This creates indifference (can’t see it, don’t need to bother with it. It’s no longer there), and then if it’s something important, when the deadline arrives, this method of coping results in a panic and if it’s bad enough, a full-fledged anxiety attack. I’ve only ever had three anxiety attacks that I can think of and I NEVER want to go through that again. The only way I can explain it is something explodes. The emotions that have been shut down and blocked out suddenly… pop. and everything explodes. Sound is extreme, light is extreme, people can’t talk-shouldn’t talk, there’s just sound and crying and panic and breathing, breathing is really loud and hard to do, and nothing makes sense and my mind stops registering anything and the worst thing you can EVER do if this is happening is ask me “what’s wrong?” I don’t know, that’s part of the problem, I just don’t know what’s going on. Something has become the last drop in the emotional pool to knock down the wall and all the hidden emotions are coming out.

That was a sidenote, sorry. (But seriously, the best thing you can do for someone having an anxiety attack, at least one like that, is just sit down and wait it out. Be there. Don’t talk, just be there. When they’re ready, they’ll talk. Don’t ask, don’t probe. Wait, and then listen. Once they’re done, think before you speak, if you are a person of faith, then you pray what God wants you to say then and there, because if that person just opened up to you that way they’re being extremely vulnerable and they’re are going to remember what you say and if you begin telling them what they’re feeling is wrong in any way, you’ve lost and they’re going to shut back down and think twice before opening up to you again. Be there and CARE)

Oh look, another sidenote. On a lighter note, depression… erm, uhh, nevermind.
So that year was hard because I shut down emotions and told next to no one what I was going through because I really didn’t understand it myself so how could I explain it to them and ask them to help me? To me I simply felt hopeless and indifferent all the freakin time and let me tell you, that is a crap way to live your life.
(In hindsight, just tell an adult you trust, they will be able to help. I mean I don’t know that from experience but I can imagine that’s a lot easier then suffering through it alone. At least then someone else knows and you don’t have to fake happy-and-normal with everyone)

I think what also allowed me to get so far down the spiral was that I stopped doing daily devotions and I stopped really pressing into God. I’ve heard a preacher say you can never stand still in your relationship with God. You’re either going forwards or you’re going back. I know I wasn’t going forwards in my relationship with God, so that means I spent a whole year backsliding and having pity parties. That’s a bad state of mind to be in. I don’t remember what happened but one day it was like something clicked and I realized “I don’t have to live like this…” and so I stopped.

I think that’s what makes many people doubt what I went through was real, the fact that it finished so fast, the fact that I could literally “snap” out of it. I am not saying, “get a grip, you can just snap out of it” to people. It was a mindset change. Like I said, something clicked. I don’t know what it was but in that moment it was like a little bit of hope came back. It didn’t have to be like this. This wasn’t all there was to life.

I never suffered suicidal thoughts but one thing I often prayed was “God, if this is life, it’s not worth it.” I’m not sure if I was accusing him, or just letting him know that’s how I felt, but I still agree with the statement, if that was life it wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, that’s not life.

The last year has been tough. I’m still getting back to where I was with God before it all happened and I’ve still never talked to anyone expect a couple friends (actually, maybe only one…) in this much detail about that year, so sometimes I think I’m trying to do it too much on my own but I still have a very hard time opening up to people (seriously, posting this is tough but telling it to someone in person… I mean I don’t want to say impossible, but…). I’m relearning how to read my Bible. I’m trying to get that foundation because I want it so bad. I want there to be a God who wants to have a relationship with me, I want to know him, I want there to be hope, I want there to be salvation. I need it. I don’t just want it, I NEED it, because life without that, it isn’t worth it. It just feels empty and hollow and bleak. Very bleak…

So I’ve been excited and hopeful for what’s to come for the first time in a long time and a few months ago it was decided that my church was going to restart and revamp it’s post-secondary Bible school from when I was a kid and as soon as I heard that I knew, yes, that was what my next year was going to be. It was going to happen if it happened based on my desperate prayers alone and I was the only student. And it’s happening guys, it’s happening and I’m really excited. I’m going to be getting theological training, and mentorship, and church ministry practicum, and I’m going to learn so much and grow so much in my relationship with God and I can’t wait! I know it’s going to be frightening and I’m going to have to learn to open up to people and I’m going to have to let go of a lot of control problems but I’m, well not ready, but I’m waiting in anticipation and I’m probably as ready as I’ll ever be!

I’m excited. I’m really excited that I AM excited. This is new. This is a new beginning, and it’s going to be good.

-Becky.

Some of my "textbooks" for school this year

Some of my “textbooks” for school this year

Control

I seem to have a bit of a jealous nature.

I find it hard to get attached to people and then when I am able to, I get selfish, and insecure.

I am continually doubting my own ability to be interesting. I doubt that they honestly like me and don’t just put up with me, why would they want to be friends with me? I mean, what could I possibly have to offer to this friendship?

I always give myself the short end and through that I begin to back away from people and yet I am jealous of them. I see them talking to others and immediately assume that because they spoke to that person they like them more than me, that I’m seeing the friendship as more than it is, that I’m clingy, overly-attached and through these worries and insecurities I become what I fear being. I get clingy and become overly-attacted, or, I get detached. I hide. I avoid. I crave contact and yet I flee from it because I doubt my ability to earn it, to hold it, to deserve it.

I begin to over-hype things and read into things and I start to go crazy. I obsess. I loose sleep. and then I realize, this is silly, it’s unnecessary and so I cut them off and I forget.

And I really do.

I’m almost worried at my ability to do this honestly, but I close people out, shut them down, and forget them. I overhyped, so I get nothing. It could have been something but now it will be nothing because I shut down and destroy any emotion that was once attached to them. I can look back on something that was the best while simultaneously being the worst and feel nothing. I’ve forgotten. I’ve deleted. It’s gone. It’s neutral.

I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to doubt me, what have I to doubt? I am perfectly and wonderfully made, I can be what I need to be. God will never give me more than I can handle if only I’ll step up to the plate. But will I? Can I?

Can I risk all? Can I let go of the control I crave so much? If I could read minds this would all be so simple! I’d know what they thought, how they felt and I could behave appropriately. It’s the not knowing, the guessing, the tip-toeing around wondering how close to get or how far to stay. It’s the control.

I need to give up the control.

I need to trust.

I need to trust God.

I need to trust those he puts in my life.

I need to trust me.

God, don’t let me push it out, shut it down and hide it. Give me confidence, give me faith, give me peace. Help me to vanquish control.

I trust you.

-B

 

Control – JJ Heller (link)

Oh, control
It’s time, time to let you go

Perfection has a price
But I cannot afford to live that life
It always ends the same; a fight I never win

Oh, control
It’s time, time to let you go

I’m letting go of the illusion
I’m letting go of the confusion
I can’t carry it another step
I close my eyes and take a breath
I’m letting go, letting go