Fear of moving forward

Here I am, once again, feeling stuck.

Last night was the last class of my student-teaching seminar.

I turned in all my assignments. The last one isn’t graded yet, but I’ve got an A right now. If I totally screwed it up, I suppose it could drop to a B, but that’s unlikely.

I still have to finish two Teaching Performance Assessments (TPA), a CPR class and pay $70 to the state for processing fees.

That’s it.

Problem is, I’ve had the material to finish up the TPAs for a year and a half. There are four of them, and two had to be done before student teaching and the other two were supposed to happen during student teaching.

I have the materials.

But the things are stupid and long and repetitive.

I can’t work on it for long without wanting to throw my computer across the room.

Of course, that’s not really the limiting factor.

I’ve done lots of stupid, long, and repetitive things in my life; who hasn’t?

File:The Scream.jpg
The Scream – Edvard Munch
(Yes, I feel like this: complete existential angst)

The limiting factor is fear.

The closer I get, the more scared I am.

I still haven’t gotten the letters of recommendation and/or introduction from my mentor teachers.

Why?

Because I’m embarrassed I haven’t asked for them yet. I should have done so in January 2012.

I’ve been told that because I’m finishing up the requirements and it will only be a matter of weeks until I get the credential, I can start applying for jobs.

Except I really can’t without the letters of recommendation.

Sooo, I have to get them. I’ve planned to do so several times in the last few months. But I’ve never actually done it.

I know that I will feel a lot better once I do.

But still, I stall.

I’m terrified of interviewing for a teaching job.

I know it’s because it’s new, and because I’m not completely certain this is something I can do.

I keep realizing that other people at my stage know so much more about the hiring process, about résumés for education, about what they are supposed to do. I never invited the principal to watch me when I was student-teaching. I didn’t know I was supposed to. Others knew they were supposed to. How?

And I’m in a position now where I have to get a job, NOW. It doesn’t matter what it is – I just need to be able to bring in at least $1000/mo through August to be able to pay the bills. And I keep putting it off.

I’m scared into immobility; gone “tharn”.

I have been here before – this is one of the ways I create a crisis, over and over again.

I’m aware of that.

And I still do it.

This is annoying as well as scary.

And I know how much better it will be once it’s all done and over with.

After all, I agonized about graduating from my university so much I forgot to put in my application, and never walked in the ceremony.

Isn’t this exactly the same thing?

It’s just a little bit more work. Just a bit.

And then something I’ve been working towards for almost 11 years now will be done.

Don’t I deserve that?

There’s also a thing where once I’ve got the credential, I’ll get two months of job search assistance from the V.A. Voc Rehab people, including $725/mo for those two months, money I could really use.

Actions for the next week:

1. Finalize and turn in TPA 3.
2. Find $$ for the CPR class and preliminary teaching credential application. This money will be refunded by the VA, but I need to come up with it first.
3. After my tire is replaced, get my butt to the school I did my student teaching in to get the letters of recommendation.
4. Apply for . . .how many? Minimum of 2? temp agency and/or tutoring center jobs.

Must.Take.Action.NOW.

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Creativity and "not good enough"

I have caught myself being stuck with the “not good enough” feelings lately.

I’m not a good enough writer.

I’m not a good enough teacher.

I’m not a good enough friend.

I’m nowhere near good enough to do anything creative.

I have a friend who is in a similar head-space.

Getting myself out of that space feels impossible. I try to counter it, but the position that I’m in for right now (financially, emotionally, socially) seems to confirm it.

But trying to get my friend out of that space, and suddenly I’m all optimistic. I can see the good things in life for him, but not for myself. So, I find myself listening to what I say to him.

And it’s all true for me, too.

“It’s bad/hard right now, but in a few years, it will be better.”

“Yes, you can do that, I’m certain you can. Here, let me help you.”

“People care about you.”

“You are creative, and you can totally reach your creative goals. How can I help?”

The things I’m saying to him, to inspire him, are things I need to hear.

That’s interesting, I think. How often do we do that? Give advice to someone that is just what we need to hear?

I was researching something on optimism/pessimism, and came across this fantastic piece by Ira Glass (of This American Life on NPR). Watch it. . . Listen to it. . .


Ira Glass on Storytelling from David Shiyang Liu on Vimeo.

“Everybody who does interesting, creative work went through a phase of years where they had really good taste but they could tell what they were making wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. They knew it fell short. It didn’t have this . . . special thing. . . that we want it to have. Everybody goes through that; it’s totally normal. The most important thing you can do is a lot of work.”

 For some reason, this just really resonates with me.

I’ve told myself for years that if I was really a writer, then I would write more. But it all always sounds so stupid when I read stuff back later. It never feels “good enough” to share with others.

For years there are things I’ve wanted to do, started to outline to do, and just ended up saying, “I’m not as smart as dy/dan” or “I’m not as quirky as Havi Brooks (and her duck)” or “I’m not quite as upbeat as Leonie Dawson” or “I’m not as gutsy as Naomi Dumford.”

I’m not organized enough.

I’m not brave enough.

I’m not good enough.

I bought Havi Brooks’ Monster Manual (that’s a link to the description of the manual and coloring book, but if you’d like to buy it, please buy it through here. I just checked and the price has gone up quite a bit – it is now $60 for the basic kit, but I’m pretty sure I only paid $25) a couple of years ago to try to work through this particular Monster.

my coloring and notes

Havi calls this the:  

PUHleeeeeeze,everyone else is doing the thing you want to do better than you ever could so why even bother – really why are you still even thinking about this

Monster.

Obviously, since I haven’t done much with it in almost three years, just looking at it and coloring it didn’t help me much.

But maybe I can do something now.

The recommended method of dealing with it is to say, “Ok, so what? What if that’s true?” and go from there. . . I think I need to meditate on that for awhile.

What holds you back from doing what you want to do?