When I first separated from the Air Force in 2007, I was bright eyed, bushy tailed, and eager to take on civilian life. I was confident that my resume was a banger and I was going to conquer the world with my charm. Then the reality of job searching sank in, and a month into “career” hunting I began to wonder if I was good enough for the jobs that I was applying to when all I could think about was writing. My brain was always on auto pilot, thinking and creating imaginative tales.
I have tried many things in my short time on earth…34 years…and in everything I have done in the back on my mind I had a million questions. I’ve believed in black and white all of my life which is why the yearning to put things in black and white print means something to me.
I used to write in my journal during my first marriage (2003-2011) but my journal thoughts were stolen from me when my husband decided to read my intimate passages and views on life. When that marriage began to crumble in the summer of 2008, I had doubts about love, happiness, family, and security. For eight years my life revolved around one man and our two children. I wrote all of these things down in a new journal that I kept hidden from him because no matter how true your words are for you, it would be hard for someone to know that you hated the thought of being home with them. Things were not bad the entire time, but the bad outweighs the good and I totally accept my responsibility for the dysfunction that lasted as long as it did.
As I wrote through my constant doubts of family, I took on a new role as an educator. I asked myself many questions to help my thought process.
- Will I make an impact?
- Will I be good at teaching?
- Will my students like me?
- How will I get along with my colleagues?
I had doubts about the career change and as I worked through many misunderstandings and nuisances, I continued to keep a running memo. Embarking on my doctoral journey I heard, “You gone degree yourself out of a job?” More doubt surfaced because I began to think about the possibility of being over qualified for jobs. Then the yearning and urging to write became more prevalent. That memo of rejection began to grow because everything I have poured myself into was being met with opposition. The memo turned into a book and while I’m satisfied with the outcome. In comes the doubt.
- Will my book be liked?
- How can I garner as many customers as some of the authors I love to read?
- Am I to be taken seriously about my writing?
- Will people read and like my message?
Doubt and fear will cripple your ambition. The thought of writing, doing something different but yet the same, just taking it to the next level makes me nervous. Being subjected to rejection as I was in my first marriage has at times paralyzed my writing. Being rejected with my blog makes me cautious because the competition is fierce. You click a twitter username, follow the links to a blog page and the flood gates open. How to do this better, how to do that better, top tips for job searching, my list of zig zags, and the brilliancy and creativity goes on and on. I have had plenty of doubts because I want to stand out in a big sea that is full of fish.
The doubt does not keep me from trying anyways, it helps me sort out my thoughts, my endless list of things to do, blog notes, sticky notes, celebrations lists, tweets, pins, facebook, and instagram posts. I don’t doubt that I’m good, I don’t doubt that I’ll be great. I have had plenty of doubts about next steps, so until then I’m sifting through my stuff to create substance.
Independent Author of My Fourth Year in Middle School: The Truth About Teaching