By: Heather Boyd, Regular Contributor
When I initially decided to become a contributor to I AM THAT GIRL, I was overcome with excitement and ideas about what I thought I could contribute to this forum. I had all these ideas and words in my head on confidence, gratitude, respect, etc; but when I actually sat down to write my first blog post my mind went completely blank. All of the ideas in my head disappeared, and I had no idea what to write. I missed my first blog post deadline that I’d set for myself and every time after I sat down to write SOMETHING the anxiety I felt each time I started prevented me from writing a single word down.
I could not believe it. This was not something I expected to happen to myself especially when I love writing and seek out opportunities to write anytime I can. Then I realized what was preventing me from writing what I thought was a simple blog post: FEAR. Fear of failure, fear that my words would fall flat, fear of the unknown, and fear of how I AM THAT GIRL readers would respond to my thoughts. I mean, who was I to think that my voice could be used to inspire others? These were the thoughts running through my head, and once I realized it was fear holding me back, I knew what my first blog post needed to be about. Conquering my fear.
I started to think about all the moments in my life when I was about to embark on something new, knowing I was nervous to try it, but never letting those nerves stop me from doing what I knew in my heart I wanted to accomplish. When I was 18-years-old, I had the bright idea to move to Washington, DC and intern on Capitol Hill during the summer of 2003. This was the first time I had lived in a big city on my own, and I did not know a soul. I still think back to my 18-year-old self and ask “What were you THINKING!?” But it ended up being the best experience of my life. It was the catalyst to the life I have now. Those four months led me to decide that our nation’s capitol was where I wanted to move after graduation, and I graduated early so I could move to DC sooner. Eight years later here I am. I would not change a thing about everything that has happened since that first internship. I have had jobs I loved and jobs I hated, I went back to school to pursue my masters, something I knew I wanted after my undergraduate graduation, and as part of my master’s degree I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of Oxford, and travel to Europe, something I had spent half my life dreaming of doing.
And now I have decided to try something new again—blogging--and using my voice to hopefully inspire all of you to face any fears you may have and live the life you have dreamed of. What are we here for if not to live life to the fullest? So the next time I start to feel that anxiety that can be all too familiar (also known as fear), I will think back to my 18-year-old self, to all I accomplished that summer and everything I have accomplished since, and stare those fears straight in the face, push right through them. Please join me on this journey.
Heather recently finished her master’s degree in public policy and manages regulatory affairs for a health care association in Washington, DC. In her spare time, she volunteers with children with special needs, and loves traveling, reading, and writing.
Featured image via johnhembree.com