What were you when you found your strength in the first place?

My friend Gabriel over at A Little Me, Apparently, wrote me a comment on my previous post that I think a lot of you would benefit from. I found it so inspiring and even teared up a bit. It helped me gather strength for my second interview, the one at the top program. I feel it pertains to any difficult situation you could possibly face where you feel scared and weak. So here goes….thanks Gabriel!

“I am scared shitless and unprepared.”

Whenever I hear those words in my mind, I usually like to answer, “Well, when am I not?” And then I laugh at myself and think about all of the things I’ve done to get myself to this point, all of the things I was scared shitless about and completely unprepared for. And then I realize that “scared shitless” and “unprepared” is the natural way I approach a situation, and somehow it works. I just stumble into getting things done while scared shitless and unprepared.

“They tell you to just be yourself, but is “myself” really enough for these people?”

The only thing you need to concern yourself with is that first part. Be yourself. As to the question of whether it’ll be enough for them, you can’t control that anyway, you can’t control them. Realistically, all you can do is be yourself and not give a shit, and things will happen the way they happen. (Oh yeah, I’m getting real here. So real. Like, really real. You can tell by how many times I’ve used the word “real.”)

Also, I wish I could give you relationship advice, but I am so unqualified for that. I’ve never been in a relationship. All I can maybe gather is that he needs time to process things, which is why he wants to be alone and busy with work. Again, you can’t control him, only you. All you can do is allow him to decide on doing whatever he ends up deciding on doing, and be okay with it, whatever way it ends up going.

“And I need that strength back you guys. The interview at the top program is on Monday, the pre-interview dinner is on Sunday….I mean, how the hell am I going to convince them I’m a good candidate if I can’t get that strength back?”

Tell me, what were you when you found your strength in the first place? You were weak. You were depressed. You were alone. You were worried. And yet you found your strength. Someone else didn’t give you strength; you found it within yourself. You came to realize that even though you were weak, you could gain strength, a little at a time. You came to realize that even though you were depressed, you could gain strength, a little at a time. You came to realize that even though you were alone, you could gain strength, a little at a time. You came to realize that even through your worries and fears, you could gain strength, a little at a time.

And since someone didn’t give you strength, then someone can’t take it away from you, meaning that it’s still there, inside you. Maybe you think you’ve lost it, but you haven’t; you’ve simply turned away from it, been distracted from it, and forgotten that it’s there. But I assure you that it is there. It’s been there all along. And even if you don’t feel it now, I promise you that it will be there for you when you need it.

When Sunday comes, when you go to that pre-interview dinner, that strength inside will rise up from within you and say, “Remember me? I’m still here. I’m you, still strong.” When Monday comes, when you go to that interview, that strength inside will rise up from within you and say, “Remember me? Yeah, I was here yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. In fact, I’ve always been here, I’m with you now, and I’ll always be with you. I’m you, always strong.”

There’s nothing that you have to try to get back because there’s nothing that you’ve lost. All you have to do is close your eyes, take a breath, and listen for those words that will bring a smile to your face: “Remember me? I’m still here. I’ll always be with you. I’m you. I’m your strength. You are your own strength.”

Look back and you’ll see that every moment of weakness, every moment of depression, every moment of loneliness, every moment of worry and fear, those moments challenged you to be strong, and you were. You always were and you always will be, no matter what the challenge is this time. A dinner is just a dinner. An interview is just an interview. You’ve survived much worse, through the strength that rose up within you exactly when you needed it.

When you need that strength, it will be there. I promise you.

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