On Thursday, I had a major epiphany: I finally realized what I most want to do with my life, and, unsurprisingly, it had very little (if anything…I mean, nothing, really) to do with French literature. What I want to do is get certified to teach yoga, and eventually get to the point where I can open up my own studio. Ultimately, I would like to get the highest level of certification available, which you obtain after 500 hours of training. At whatever point I can, I want to start teaching and just go forward from there.

I tend to have a pattern when it comes to things like this:

  1. Long period of wanting to do something (this desire usually just hangs out in the back of my mind), but not really letting myself admit that I want to do it because of a fear of failure, risk, cost, or the effort that it will take and the feeling that I will not be able to put forth that effort. I guess that technically qualifies as a more specific form of fear of failure. At any rate, you get my point. This phase consists of complete denial of what would actually make me happy and intense rationalization in the form of negative self-talk (go go psychobabble!)
  2. A moment when I realize that I can, in fact, do this thing that I have really, always wanted to do. In this moment, I realize that I can be that person who knows what they want and will go after it no matter what it takes because the reward will be so satisfying that everything that they endure to get to the end-point is worth it. This is like being on top of the world.
  3. A sudden fall, usually due to the voices in the back of my head that start quiet but usually get louder and louder, and remind me of the risks and inevitable failure that I will face. How could I possibly succeed at something like this, and why would I ever think I was even capable? What would lead me to even entertain the thought?
  4. A sort of quiet resignation: this is who you are, and who you always will be. You won’t be that person who goes after their dreams and accomplishes their goals. This feeling of defeat is what I am currently fighting.

After running a marathon, I (rightly) felt that I was capable of accomplishing goals that I set in front of me. All it really takes is a belief in the fact that you can do it, dogged perseverance even when you just want to give up, and a series of mini-goals that lead to the accomplishment of the major goal. However, now that I have my next big goal set out in front of me, I just feel like running and hiding. The same negativity that took me years to shake in order to run 26.2 miles is now making it difficult for me to believe that I can get certified to teach yoga and go after my dream of opening up my own studio.

Suffice it to say that this struggle is not made any easier by the fact that I have to go back to being a full-time graduate student on Tuesday. Every time I have a break from it, I realize that the only reason I make it through a semester is by putting my head down and soldiering on. This doesn’t make me happy, it makes me miserable. I just want to get away, but I feel so stuck. That feeling of being trapped contributes to my lack of belief in myself–I end up feeling like this is it, that I am just sort of stuck in this sort of Sisyphus-like existence that I cannot get away from and that I just have to tolerate.

I’m not really sure what to do. I don’t want to be Sisyphus, but I don’t feel brave enough to be Emilie.

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