Sometimes I get scared.

This scared that I’m referring to is a unique kind of scared. Not unique to me but certainly not the same kinda scared as that kind when you eat seafood at an unknown restaurant, or the scared you feel just before you jump off Lion’s Head to start paragliding.

It’s the kinda scared when you feel excited but extremely fearful at the same time. Because it’s the “I’m growing” kinda scared. I can equate this scared to the feeling when I discovered I was going to be a mother the first time, or the time I left my permanent job and decided to be my own boss. With both those experiences I was frightened so badly that it felt as if my sphincter muscles went into spasm, causing the bowels to release with the result of me soiling my pants (that’s euphemism for a word we all know). I was scared shishless.

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So that’s how I sometimes feel now when I think about where I am on my journey. Not regretful, not remorseful. Feeling a little brave, sometimes a bit worn, tired and lonely but still strong enough. Feeling a bit small, but not insignificant. I need to grow.

These thoughts came about because of the work I’m doing on my PhD – this blog is mainly about my PhD journey after all. But a PhD doesn’t happen in isolation from the rest of one’s life. Besides the PhD, Life is a christmas trifle of events, experiences and feelings. And this is where things get muddy and confusicating in my head.

Fact – the PhD is merely a tool for me to serve a purpose. Like the work I have and do, also only a tool for me to serve a purpose. Or the friendships and relationships that I have – a tool. Even my role as a mother – simply just a tool. I get confused between these tools and my true purpose. My true purpose is to love.

When I give myself enough space, then I remember it’s all about balance. My purpose is my foundation and as I go along building my castle, I sometimes forget about my purpose. I build walls and structures that I either knock down some time later, or they were so structurally unsound that they collapse by themselves some time later anyway.

If I am too focused on the PhD, then I forget about my journey. My splendid beautiful journey, this adventure I am on, called Life. And then there are the times I forget about my purpose – because I am too taken in by Life and the wonderous distractions it has to offer. That’s when this “scared” has an important function. It serves as a reminder for me balance it out. Stop, breath, reconnect the dots and realign.

When I’m feeling that kind of scared, if I go quiet then I hear the little voice inside of me telling me that I can do it. Urging me on. I was created for my purpose – so I have everything that I need, no matter how high or daunting the mountain before me seems.

My mountain at this moment is this model I’m creating for the South African pharmaceutical industry – like for the country. Yah it’s all relative, so to some people that’s like meh whatever, it’s only big in Bronwyn’s mind. We all have our own perspective. To me it’s responsibility, and it is potential. It can be huge. It can be brilliant. And I’m the one in charge.

So I’m scared. I know what I must do. I feel it, but fear grips at my heart. But I’m embracing this scared. I am embracing the uncertainty of what I see and what logic based on facts and probabilities dictates to me. It’s time for me to ignore that. It’s time for me to trust my internal GPS again. True story, it never lets me down.

 

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