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Everything Starts To Fall Into Place — twenty(or)something: the archives

Everything Starts To Fall Into Place

by Susan Pogorzelski on April 8, 2009 · 19 comments

Yeah you questioned this life
Sure you wondered about love
But you swear there’s always hope…
Everything starts to fall into place.
Collective Soul, “Good Morning After All”

Heart-Shaped Cloud by lejson (flickr)

Sometimes I wonder if I’m not a little bit afraid of finding success and happiness. Sometimes I wonder if I don’t subconsciously sabotage myself, hold back as a kind of defense mechanism to prevent failure, to prevent getting hurt.

I’m not exactly proud to admit this, but I wonder if there’s any truth to it. There are moments where I feel those small flickers of familiar feelings rising up again — tiny nuggets of doubt, questioning myself, wondering if something will end before it even starts, worried that these good things are too good to be true.

Maybe this is why I’m so resistant to change. Because there’s a comfort knowing that you can’t fail, that you can’t get hurt. If you don’t let yourself be vulnerable, you can’t lose anything.

But what’s worse, you can’t gain anything, either.

I’m sitting here typing this — thinking about my new job, new connections, new opportunities — and I’m wondering why I’m questioning myself, wondering why this is even an issue. Where are all these thoughts stemming from? Who is this person with all these sudden insecurities and doubts?

Am I really still that same person who months ago feared love, feared success, feared change? Am I still that girl who carried the weight of her world? Who shied away from taking risks, taking chances?

No.

No way.

I’m not that same girl. And, truthfully, I don’t think that ever was me, not really. For months, I thought that my situation and these feelings were what defined me. But I’ve since realized that I’ve always been so much more.

I’m the girl who realized her worth and faced decisions she wasn’t entirely prepared for, finding her strength, confronting her past, then learning to let it go.

I’m the girl who hopped a plane to chase a dream almost on a whim; who found friendship by the fireside in a tiny village and serenity and strength alone in a Paris airport.

I’m the girl who found passion, found courage, found herself.

And I’ve turned into a woman who can push through these fears that threaten to rise, discovering that taking a chance means being vulnerable, that pursuing opportunity means confronting challenges.

And living life means embracing it all.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca April 8, 2009

Great post. Can I tell you how often I go through this? I pretty much have everything I wanted for my life right now and it scares the heck out of me. Often. I think, because it actually takes work to keep things like that, to stay happy, healthy. Nobody ever tells you that, right? Like, usually when you reach nirvana the work is supposed to be over? Maybe in my next life 😉

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Matt Cheuvront April 9, 2009

Hey Susan. You are right on the mark here – we all go through feeling like this from time to time. But, it’s important to remember that while maintaining a routine and structure, being resistant to change – it may be safe and comforting, but if you don’t step outside the box, take some risks, and try new things, you’ll never understand your true potential.

Don’t be afraid to be bold. If you try and fail, at least you tried, and you’ve gained experience that will help you moving forward.

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Sam April 9, 2009

Susan, this is such a beautifully open, honest post. Conquering your fears and believing in yourself is sometimes more difficult than people realize, so the fact that you were able to do this is no small accomplishment. Congratulations, and I hope you continue to believe in yourself and accomplish your goals.

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin April 10, 2009

Rebecca: Exactly. Sometimes things feel like they’re too good to be true and you wind up counting all the ways it can go wrong instead of looking forward and enjoying what you have. Guilty as charged. Thing is, I want these things to work out, it’s just an irrational fear (perhaps stemming from experience?) that they won’t. But you’re absolutely right — it won’t come easy, it will take work and some positive thinking. Here’s hoping we both find (and maintain) that happiness.

Matt: I love your comment, and I really think this is what I’ve begun to do again. Taking a chance, going to France, facing obstacles and overcoming them helped me to realize that, yeah, we’re all going to face challenges, but that’s not something to dread. It can mean a lot of new, exciting, good things. This especially rang true: “If you try and fail, at least you tried, and you’ve gained experience that will help you moving forward.” What a great reminder; I’ll definitely be holding that close. Thanks for your comment!

Sam: Thanks so much, as always, for your comment and support! I wish you the very best as well.

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Ryan Stephens April 10, 2009

Guilty as charged. In the past I’ve clung to my comfort zones and taken positions that I knew I could come in and EXCEL out right away, but the truth is that the instances I’ve been most satisfied and most proud are when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and really pushed myself.

And in my defense, part of it is learning to be more selective about things I want to take on. I’ve had a great blogger offer me the opportunity to write for his/her blog, and I’ve had to decline. It would’ve been the perfect opportunity to step up and challenge myself, but it also would’ve hindered my ability to do other things I’m passionate about.

The thing that I try to tell myself often is that while I’m young it doesn’t necessarily matter if I’m dominating a role/position that isn’t stimulating and challenging. I should be doing what David Armano just did, and constantly trying to find big challenges with people more intelligent with me that can truly challenge me to learn more (about the job & myself).

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Ruby April 10, 2009

Susan, I LOVE this post and I can relate so much. I love that at the end you almost summarize your recent life experiences with your blogging experience. The learning, the dreaming, the worrying, the ups and downs.. I go through so much emotions everyday and I too look at things that are working out, and then doubt myself. It’s almost exhausting – but it makes me feel that I’m living life fully. It’s all very confusing at times. But meeting people like you and reading your blog reminds me that I’m not alone and we’re all in this together. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

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shereen April 10, 2009

Thought provoking post Susan! I must say. Glad to have stumbled across it through Twitter.

Commenting as someone who’s recently left their youth and just entered the foreign territory of “30”; I can still say that to this day I go through these feelings and am glad to see someone else voice these emotions. We’re all in the same boat. Suddenly now I’m expected to “know” what I want and where I’m headed with all these expectations placed on me to live up to – but what really matters in the end is what we set for ourselves to live up to.

Although every time I feel this way I stop and ask myself; am I doing or (not doing) something out of fear of failure or out of fear of success?? I know I’ve subconsciously sabotaged myself many a time because of this “fear”. Comfort zones are such deceptive security blankets that keep us chained and tangled and insulate us from all the possibility and amazing potential out there.

Only when I decided to take full responsibility for where I was heading and stop being the victim did I break free. Did this please everyone – absolutely not! Did people understand why, of course not! But had I not taken the plunge I wouldn’t have experienced all I have so far (changed careers completely 3 times in less than 10 years, studied & lived in 5 countries and met my husband) and I also wouldn’t have met all the incredible people I’ve gotten to know online.

Does it make sense to others, probably not. As long as the choices we take make sense to us and add meaning to our lives and purpose that’s what matters. Whenever I speak to our new graduate hires about their careers that’s what I tell them; be true to you and follow your passion (might not make the company happy if it means leaving but hey, I gotta be real with them too!)

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin April 12, 2009

Ryan: It’s really true, what you say…When you step out of your comfort zone you’re able to see what you’re made of; it gives you an opportunity to succeed and feel proud at overcoming that. I think it’s that initial first step — in anything, really (relationships, jobs, travel) — where I, personally, at least, tend to hesitate out of fear of it not being what I expected or of that “too good to be true” mentality. Challenges can be frightening because it means being vulnerable, but it might be true that that’s what helps you grow. And maybe part of the difficulty is choosing which challenges to take on. Either way, I’m glad that you’ve found this, that you’ve taken the right steps for yourself. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

Ruby: Thanks so much for your comment! You’re exactly right — it’s incredibly exhausting, especially when your head and your heart are telling you two different things. Rationally, you see the good of what’s to come out of it. Emotionally, there’s that hesitation, that doubt. But I love how you say that it makes you feel like you’re living life to the fullest extent because I wonder if that’s not what it’s all about. It’s comforting to realize that there are people there alongside you. Thanks for being one of them, thanks for reading, and thanks for your comment. Wishing you the very best.

Shereen:I love your comment; thanks so much for sharing your experience. You voice my concerns exactly, and I love how you say this: “Comfort zones are such deceptive security blankets that keep us chained and tangled and insulate us from all the possibility and amazing potential out there.” It’s so true. I’m a bit afraid of something new, afraid of the vulnerability, the unexpectedness that comes with it. And I’m still trying to find the courage to push through that. I know that there can be amazing opportunities — Iike you, I’ve seen what can happen when you just let go and just let things happen. Which is why I constantly remind myself of that feeling of empowerment I felt, knowing that everything would work out. It’s something I want to hold onto, something I want to remember. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement; I hope that I can take your experience and find that for myself. All the best to you.

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Bryan Coe April 12, 2009

Susan,

This is a great post and I think we go through this throughout out lives. I’ve been through it a number of times myself. Right after college I moved to Germany to live, study and improve my language skills. It was hard. I only knew a handful of people, I was far away from friends and family and not everything worked out how I had planned. I was really out of my comfort zone. Many of my friends and family didn’t understand what I was doing, and because of this some of them tried to discourage me from going and also tried to get me to come back when things were tough. But it made me realize what I can accomplish in life and taught me a ton about myself, and somewhere along the way I found what I’m really passionate about. I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not done it.

I’ve been back in the states for a few years now and working on building my own business. As an entrepreneur there are many times when you question what you are doing and people tell you you are crazy. And sure there are times I wanted to give up. You were right on when you said, “If you don’t let yourself be vulnerable, you can’t lose anything. But what’s worse, you can’t gain anything, either.” I could be sitting in some corporate job with a steady pay check, but one thought would always be in the back of my mind. “What if..?” Living with that nagging question would be a slow painful death far worse than any pain that trying and possibly failing could bring.

I’m a big believer in following your dreams and especially your passions. If we all did that we would be much happier. I hope you continue to follow you passion.

Incidentally, I was at Barnes and Nobles and came across a book called “The Dip” by Seth Godin. I tweeted a quote from it yesterday. “It’s the incredibly difficult challenges (the Dips) that give you the opportunity to pull through.”

Oh yeah, @Shereen: being over 30 doesn’t have to mean you have left your youth behind. Being youthful has nothing to do with age. 😉

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Tom April 12, 2009

Excellent points. I know I’ve done this in the past, especially in relationships. I hold myself back because it’s easier than putting myself out there. And this is just another good reminder for me to stop doing that.

Thank you. 🙂

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Rhonda Olsen August 26, 2009

Beautiful post! I don’t believe in coincidence, and I so needed to read this post today….a day where I am feeling doubt and trepidation about the path I’m on. This helps me remember that no matter what steps I take, it will all work out for my higher good. This I know for sure. 🙂

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Susan Pogorzelski - admin August 27, 2009

Rhonda: I love how this post, though a bit dated on the blog, can still resonate with people and I’m so glad that you’re able to relate. Thanks for sharing and stopping by, Rhonda! May you achieve whatever you set out to do 🙂

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