Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Age of Fear and Anxiety

I would label age 22 as “The Age of Fear and Anxiety.” It held me captive, keeping me inside and sleeping away my life. I didn’t stretch myself to my fullest limits and let my anxiety to keep me from really living life. I let it keep me from believing in God’s promises and falling headfirst into a relationship with him. I let it keep me from enjoying relationships with friends, always worrying I was suffocating them with my presence and wondering what they saw in me as a person. I let it keep me from putting myself out there with my writing, going after freelance articles because I was too afraid of the consequences of not being good enough. The fear of failure and the fear of true happiness has crippled me. I don’t believe that there is an amazing plan for my life, because I’m too caught up in worry, anxiety, and fear.

I wrote those above words on Thanksgiving Day night. While I had a great holiday and left with a full belly and an even more full heart, I felt a tugging in my soul as I entered my apartment that night.

Next Thanksgiving, I want my life to look a whole lot different than what it looks like tonight.


I feel as if I’m living an endless cycle of mediocrity. The truth is, I’m scared. I’m scared of what could happen if I let go. If I start wearing my heart on my sleeve. If I submit articles for review. If I flirt back to that cute cashier at Publix. If I schedule a girls night out. If I join a Bible study. If I believe in myself.

I want this upcoming year to be a year of change. I did a lot of acknowledging the fear and how it was affecting my life in 2010. I want 2011 to be the year I put the change into action.


As of right now, here’s what I wish for 2011:

I want to be healthier. If this is the one goal I achieve in 2011, I will be happy because it has been an ongoing goal for years now. I want health and fitness to be my life, not just a part of it. I want my new normal to be exercise, wholesome food, and more water than soda. I want to be a runner and complete a half-marathon. I want a better self-image and part of that comes with taking better care of myself. I’m hoping this blog shifts a more healthy-living focus as I begin to make the change to being a healthier person. And I have to believe that being healthier will help me be happier.

I want to have a career. I am graduating from college in May and I’m a little nervous about the job market. I know it’s not easy to find jobs and probably even less so if you enter with very little experience. I just want to be out of the preschool world and into a more professional field.


I want to be independent. Once I graduate and have a job, I know my next big step is to move out. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I depend too much on my mom and I need to step out on my own. I need to have my own place, with my own responsibilities. It will give me an avenue to find my own identity separate from my mom. And force me to seek out social situations more and stop living inside my little bubble.

I want to be more social. I posted last month about how I am an introvert and find my happiness in being alone. But I also think I need to put myself out there more. I don’t really hang out with friends and although I’m never going to be one for the bar scene, I know there are plenty of other options for me. Book clubs, coffee dates, and shopping trips are among the many options available to me. While I’m more content to stay inside and keep to myself, I know I need to expand my horizons, just to see what’s out there.


I want to be a writer. I hate the feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I hear of someone else doing freelance writing. The only writing I’m doing now is here on this blog and on Blissfully Domestic. I really want to do more with my writing (maybe even get paid for it!), but it’s a scary process to put yourself out there like that. I’m so afraid of failing, but I think I just need to do it. Submit some stories and see what happens. I’m pretty sure there will be few feelings in the world that compare to seeing my name in print. I’m determined to get to that point, even if it breaks me.

2011 is going to bring about a lot of change. Change is scary, hard, and messy. But change is inevitable and it is necessary. I’m ready for it. So long, 22. You were good to me, but I’m moving on to a better age. An age when I start believing in myself and enjoying the life I have been given. Hello, 23. I’ve been waiting for you.


  1. Your legs look so skinny in that picture at Disney World! Hope you had a great birthday and 2011 brings you everything you want!

  2. I feel like you literally took my thoughts and put it in your blog! Crazy. I feel the same about 2011 though, I want this year to be a year of change as well.

    Has you birthday passed yet?! I know it's not too long after your Thanksgiving but I lost track :( in any case HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY! All the best xxx

  3. toast to change on new years eve, it will all be diff next year!

  4. I think your goals for the new year are wonderful and I am 100% sure that you can go after them!

    Happy 23rd year! :)

  5. I think these are amazing goals you can totally achieve! It's scary to take risks, but it's even scarier to shut yourself off from opportunity- and once you start taking little risks it's not as hard as it seemed. You deserve an exceptional life, and I can't wait to see you chase it down :)

  6. I love your goals. Risks = terrifying but they are well worth it. I'd be happy to share some of my recent risks and payoffs (and lessons learned) if you're interested in ever chatting. Just email me! Sending hugs and tons of support. You can do this and you deserve a happy life full of fun and love, hope and joy. <3

  7. First off, Happy Birthday!!

    For me, my 20s have been a decade of fear and anxiety. I am months away from saying good bye to them, though, and I can say that I have really grown and changed as the years progressed. I have fallen on my face but I have learned to pick myself up, brush off the dust, and carry forward. You will learn these lessons, too! They are tough lessons to learn but important ones!

    I hope 23 is kind to you! Lovely post!

  8. We have, for the most part, ALL OF THE SAME GOALS. Let's encourage one another, OK? <3

  9. I KNOW this upcoming year is going to be your year of breaking free!!!

  10. Stephany I hope you get everything that you want in this next year!

  11. I love love LOVE this post. I hope 2011 is a great year for you as well and that this time next year you're saying, "wow, what a year," in a totally amazing way.

  12. I totally identify with the beginning of this post - I could've written it myself. Ever since I got out of college, I've kind of cocooned into myself, letting fear and anxiety make my decisions for me.

    Your goals sound awesome and I hope that the upcoming year is fabulous for you!

  13. Thanks for sharing this! I know personally, I had many of the same fears of not realizing my potential once I left the safety of school and much of the last few years of my adulthood has been spent wrestling with what God's plan for me is and generally feeling lost. Someone from church recommended David Fox's Comfort Healing and Joy. Mixed with my Daily Bible, I started to feel more confident. You seem like you're there and I applaud you.

  14. I love the first photo of you at Disney. You look gorgeous!

    I know how you feel about writing. It's a scary thing. I even panic every time I go to submit an article for class... I think all writers feel that way, haha. But you have nothing to worry about - you are an amazing writer with a great voice, and a lot of honesty, and a sense of humor. (By the way, New Roots News is a good place to submit articles - did you know about them?)

    Oh, and I'm always up for a coffee and a book discussion!

  15. I hope everything works out. I know how you feel even though I'm 2 1/2 years younger than you are and still have a year-and-a-half left of school to finish up first. I'm not really as worried about the social part, and I don't know that I necessarily should be, because I hang out with my cousin a lot, and through some people she works with, I hang out with them some, too, and we all get along well. Now, if you're talking guys, then that's a whole 'nother ballgame I have to work on. Lol. So, here's to you: Happy Birthday, Stephany! I really do hope that you accomplish all your goals, and get to a place where you're happy with life (not that you're not now, but in the context of your goals, I mean). :D

  16. YES! Great attitude! Now every time you start to go off track in your 23rd year come back and read this post :)

  17. I think the first step in making change is deciding what you want to change! Next up, planning and doing it! You're on the right track :)

  18. You have a great list of things you want to accomplish and I think acknowledging that you want change is the first step in making those become a reality. I can't wait to see where the next year takes you.


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