With the beginning of my senior year at UCLA, I have been reflecting on many aspects of my life as I typically do at the beginning of each school year. After a tough first year, I have been wondering what had me feeling off all of last year. I never felt like I was at my 100%. Back at home people saw me as a role model. I had both brains and beauty for those around me. I worked hard and it always paid off. It was nothing like that once I got here. I worked hard and I still fell short. I didn’t know anybody coming into UCLA. Nobody knew who I was. Everybody here was smart already. I stood out drastically from the pool of other women and I just didn’t fit their mold. Nothing felt right and it scared the hell out of me. I still feel that feeling a bit till this day. The realization I’m scared was huge. I always held tightly to my identity as a fearless young women that always spoke her mind. I always went for what I wanted and people knew me for that. The fact that I was losing that, made me so scare and yet I haven’t found anything that could cure this fear. I’m scared of anything that means me trying something new or getting out of my comfort zone. I’m scared of going for things that I truly want. I’m scared I’m going to fail. I’m scared that I’ve lost my voice. I’m scared of just writing this in general because that means confronting my fear and sharing this with others.
It’s really easy for me to keep myself inside my bubble. I feel like I did that most of my first year and probably most of my life. I stay silent in class even when I know the answer. I hang out with the same people and freeze up when I meet new people. I haven’t pursued creative things that I have been dying to try such as venturing into the fashion world. I haven’t written a poem or performed in about a year. I haven’t ventured out of Westwood as much as my soul wants to because I know there’s so much more to LA than boring ass Westwood. I spent most of my time frustrated with myself for being able to identify my fear but yet I did not do much to change it. I spent more of my time beating myself for it than actually doing anything. I spent more of my time dreaming of doing all these things than jumping on the bus and getting away or sitting at a table with a new person or talking to my professor. This fear has stopped me from so many opportunities and experiences yet the cycle would just keep going.
This year I’m trying to change this fear within me. Instead of beating myself up, I need to be patient with myself. I need to understand that I’ll always be somewhat afraid and it’s perfectly fine but what matters is what I do. I need to be that fearless woman I once claimed I was when I was 18. I need to speak up once again. I need to keep myself accountable. Not everybody is going to care about what I think or I believe in. This is such a crucial time in my growth process. I knew that moving away from Oakland to LA was going to be the biggest challenge to date. I need this though, I need this so I know that I can be a fearless and creative woman not just in Oakland or LA but anywhere life takes me.