The Fear of Not Gonna Make It

On episode 25, season 4 of ‘Full House‘, titled The Graduation, D.J Tanner read out her graduation speech in front of Danny– her father, in which she said:

Today, as we said goodbye to Van Atta Junior High, we realized that everything up until now has been but preparation for the future. Finally, we’re about to enter high school and our lives are about to begin.”

In which Danny gave her his opinion and said, “I’m just curious, but what about the last 14 years? It sounds like you’re saying that your life hasn’t even started yet. ………… My point is, don’t miss out on what’s happening right now just because you’re waiting for something better to come along. You can’t live for the future– just like you can’t live in the past”.

Have you– for any reason– question yourself and your capabilities to face what the future might hold? Because I have.

As we all know, there are plenty of fears that a human being can have– even at the same time. One can have fear of spiders and heights, another one can fear of locked rooms and darkness– one of my fears is– and always has been— the fear of not gonna make it.

What is it?’ you might ask. Honestly, I don’t even know. It’s just some floating questions around– and inside my head, whether all I have done up until now worth it? I sure did and do learn a lot from my past experiences on anything. Might it be failures or winnings, relationships or academics, house chores or health, but I sure did gain a lot of lessons on each experience I’ve had. But maybe it is also the fact that humans can never be satisfied, that’s also why one of the very first things that they teach on ECON 101 is the topic of scarcity— the fact the humans have unlimited demands. We also learn about the Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs, where– even when all other needs are covered, we have the self-realization needs that– only God knows– how to fulfil it.

D.J.’s and Danny’s conversation sure hit me, and it hit me well. Have I looked at my past experiences and opportunities the wrong way? Maybe I have.

I have been looking at my life now, as a preparation for something bigger, that I thought will come, without realizing that I am now, is a bigger person, living on the bigger things that I once prepared, with bigger accomplishments and achievements, yet with bigger goals, visions, aspirations, and objectives. That’s one of the reasons why I have been scared, of not being able to be good enough to become the person I aspire to be, with the things I aspire to have

Another thing that took me a while on realizing and digesting is that– you are the only person that you’re competing with.

When I feel like I’m not good enough, therefore, won’t make “it“, it is me telling myself that I am not.

The chair on Asia Youth International Model UN, David-an Bosschaert, told me one thing (amongst others) when I asked for a feedback. “Stop telling yourself that you’re dumb, although it is just a joke, you can hear it most“. I thought it was a harmless joke, but when he explained to me, I realized that I should not do that to myself.

I mean, if I think that I was stupid, compared to whom? I said that I’m dumb compared to this standard of intelligence that I aspire to have. Again– I am only competing with the standards I have in mind. That’s why we have these kind of fears of not going to make ‘it’. Although we aren’t sure what “it” is, we just have this set of expectations that we fear we won’t be able to accomplish. Remember, everyone has their own kind of “it” that they want to achieve.

When I was in junior high school, my family hosted several different exchange students from different countries, and I thought “whoa! being an exchange student must be awesome, my life will finally start“, so I prepared and became an exchange student when I was in high school.

But after the exchange year was over, I still thought that, “this is not it. I can’t wait until I get to go to college!”, and I prepared for it. Did my research on which majors I wanted to learn, and at that time, I thought college will be the start of something new, of my ‘life’.

Now, I’m preparing for the working life, can’t wait, too excited, but also fearing that I won’t make ‘it’, not realizing that this is a cycle and who I am now, is standing as the product of my past preparation, as the figure that I once thought would be ‘the beginning of my life’, yet still preparing for the future, sometimes forgetting that life is about “now“.

To end this conclusion-less self-reflection post, I just want to remind you all (if there is actually people reading this) about this post I stumbled upon my instagram explore a few months back:

Why is it that in ‘back to the past‘ movies, people are so scared to do anything in the past– no matter how small it is, because the reaction of that small action might cause a huge change to the present, but no one has really thought how a small action now might change the future a lot“.

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