Feel the fear, and do it anyway.

This adventure very nearly did not happen.

That’s kind of an overstatement. I had been smart enough to trap myself into it in advance. I chose a degree where overseas study was compulsory. I started the application process a year in advance, when the whole thing seemed too far away to be real. I booked one way flights to Santiago.

And then I freaked out and realised I was making a huge mistake and decided to drop out of my semester abroad and to just go to Hawaii the semester after.

(It was too late to apply for the semester after). (I had no semesters left to go on exchange after that). (Hawaii is significantly more expensive than South America).

When I was having a crisis in the Law Library, none of these things seemed to matter.All I knew was that I didn’t speak enough Spanish to pass a semester of writing essays and doing academic readings, and that I would be all alone, and that maybe the building, uncontrollable fear that was building inside of me was a sign that I was making a terrible, terrible mistake.

To be honest, a lot of these things are still true. I am studying an Arts degree in Spanish, and I don’t know anyone in Chile, and I am a co-dependent person who loves her friends a lot and will miss them like hell. And that overwhelming fear is definitely still there.

But I want to take on risks, and try out new adventures, and be brave. Not the type of brave that doesn’t get scared when there’s a daunting new task, but the type that feels the fear, and does it anyway.

This semester in Santiago scares the crap out of me. And a lot of it has gone wrong already, before I have even arrived in the city. But I think that’s ok. If it all goes wrong, then maybe the fear was a sign. But it will still be a learning experience. I will have stories to tell and advice to give – and a good reason to bitch and complain for a while, which I enjoy.

But with any luck, it won’t all go wrong. And I will have been right to do it anyway.

I hope.

 

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