“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.” — Thucydide

I’m very much a person who lets her fear rule the course of her life, for better or for worse.  Fear is a very natural emotion, and it’s one that warns us we’re heading for danger before we get in too deep to save ourselves, but as someone who lives with an anxiety disorder, I have to be very careful about knowing whether  my fears are justified or whether they’re anxiety disorder induced fears which also seem very, very real when I’m worrying about them.

My most recent encounter with this has to do with university applications.  I’ve applied for a variety of courses, some ‘safe’ and some that are ‘not-so-safe’, and I’m struggling to make my decisions about what to do with my future.

Let’s start from the beginning.  Last October, I was about to only apply to three vet schools, but my favourite teacher suggested I add Cambridge to my application because since I was able to see the advantages of other universities and wouldn’t be heartbroken if I didn’t get into Cambridge, I might as well apply because it wouldn’t do me any harm.  I recently got an offer, and my teacher admitted to me that he’d all along felt that I was not applying to Cambridge because I was afraid of rejection (and I could write a whole post on just that…maybe I will).  Now that I have the offer, I have pressure on one hand from my parents who don’t want me to go to the UK, and pressure from my teacher who has supported my UK university application along every step of the way and who thinks that Cambridge would be a very good fit for my personality, and I’m stuck in the middle.

In my previous post, I talked about my struggles with needing approval from others, so the pressures on me to make a certain choice are especially difficult to deal with.  I know that no matter what I decide, whether it’s with my university applications or anything else in life, I will most likely have to disappoint some people, and that is a very, very hard thing to accept but something I’m going to have to work on.  But now I need to realise that the only person I truly need to avoid disappointing is myself, because this is my life and I am going to be the one most affected by the decisions I make.  I also need to look on the bright side of things, no matter what choice I make, there will be someone who supports my choice and agrees with me.

The secret of happiness is freedom.  The secret of freedom is courage.  If I have the courage to make my own choices, I will have the freedom to live my own dreams.  If I have the freedom to live my own dreams, I can find fulfilment in my life.