Y’all ever told somebody about a plan you have only to have them ask you a bunch of sideways questions that make you start questioning your own motivations?
I don’t have this experience often…maybe because I learned very quickly not to share or maybe because I’m to usually too anxious to share to begin with, but it happened recently and it was NOT a good feeling.
I’m a dreamer!
I’m the person you meet who decides I want to do something and creates a 10 year plan, 5 year plan, 1 year plan, quarterly plan and a daily to do list to make sure I get there. And in my 29 years of life, I have yet to disappoint. Granted, things don’t always happen on my time but I’m good with making adjustments. Like…I am always working on upgrading my master plan.
I’m not much of a sharer.
I have a select few people (by few I mean…my mom, sister and like 1 friend) I share my visions with but mostly I move in silence. Occasionally, as I get close to making that plan a reality, I will run the idea by someone to gain some useful insight. Sometimes I will even tell others to make myself accountable but this is really rare.
I mean let’s be real…the way my anxiety is set up…my fear of failure would have me in full panic mode if I ever shared without a plan that I probably (ok, ok…actually) already have started to work on. Like…FULL. PANIC. MODE.
So…mostly I don’t share. I just do.
Recently I visited with a friend of 5+ years who I hadn’t seen in a while. Just to give you a little background: She’s dope, formally education, entrepreneur, extremely smart, and very driven aka she has her ducks in a row and she knows what it feels like to build something with nothing but a vision, passion and perseverance. Also, she is very supportive of me and is always rooting for me to succeed. Although, this time it didn’t really feel like it.
At dinner during my visit a conversation came up about going back to school. She said someone suggested she do so but she doesn’t want to. I validated her feelings, saying I felt the same way but also expressed my new interest in doing so because I found a program for integrative mental health that really caught my attention.
“What would be the purpose of that?” “You get all those loans and then what?” “Can’t you just do your own research?” Just like that…20 questions.
I did not see this response coming.
Her line of questioning quickly revealed to me that she wasn’t a fan of formal education, at least not beyond a Bachelor degree. Every answer I gave seemed to not be enough to prove my dream worthy of pursuing. And she ended with “well at least never stop doing your own research”. To which, I agreed and we ended the conversation there. I felt small, like a berated child. I started reconsidering my dreams for a PhD. Dreams I’ve had since I finished undergrad and took many years to finally decide to actually decide to follow through with. It was disheartening.
Psychological Analysis (because I’m a therapist so y’all know I processed this): My feeling of inadequacy and questioning of my own motivations came from a place of insecurity and uncertainty within myself. I recognize that she was just shining a light on the uncertainties I’ve been wrestling with regarding going to back school. Also, this was a lot of her projecting her own ‘stuff’ (that’s what I call people’s baggage, trauma, judgments and other unresolved issues) related to institutions, formal education, or even fear of Sallie Mae onto my vision (but we won’t go into that).
It took me a few days to work through the uncertainties that had risen to the surface but I’ve since reminded myself that it isn’t her vision and she doesn’t have to get it. Plus let’s be real…with that mindset nothing I would’ve said would’ve been a good enough answer.
I think I’ll stick with sharing with my mom for now…let everyone else just catch the graduation pics on Facebook!
In Perfect Love,