Raise your hand if you remember that feeling… you know, the one you would get right before school started back up after summer vacation?
We’ve been having this discussion a lot in my house lately. And, it is tough not to laugh when my daughter explains that she is scared she won’t have any friends in class… won’t get a good teacher… won’t be smart enough to do
the work. I try to explain that every summer for as long as there has been school with summer vacation, kids have felt the exact same as her at this point in the year.
In my last blog post I wrote about change. Having this chance to observe my daughter has pointed out something to me. Since change is inevitable, and since there will always be some measure of fear that goes with it… fear must
be inevitable too. Perhaps this is obvious to others, but for me this is an epiphany.
Not liking the feelings that fear creates I have worked throughout my life to fight it. I have believed if I were simply stronger, more secure, more stable, more…. something, I could avoid having to experience these feelings of fear. Now I see that no matter how much I might try to control myself and my environment fear is part of life.
So, what can I do about it? Well, that is why I wanted to laugh at my daughter’s anxiety about going back to school. Although those are very real concerns, there’s actually nothing she can do about them until she sees how it plays out. She can’t actually not go to school (as was her suggestion). She has to simply live it out.
Writing is a scary business, filled with what-ifs and self-doubt. And, unlike school, writers can, and some do, decide to avoid it by just not writing. But it shouldn’t stop us. Because even though writing may be scary, it also gives me something to do while I worry about whether my daughter will like her new teacher in school this year.