Anyone who knows me will tell you I like to have a sunny outlook on circumstances. You ask me how my day is going, chances are I’ll tell you it’s great, even if I spilled hot cocoa on my favorite jeans and showed up an hour late for work.
However, behind that exterior of sunshine is a heart that seems conditioned to one response: worry.
If I were talking about just the kind of anxiety you might encounter when flying on an airplane for the first time, I might tell myself that it’s only natural. Unfortunately, I’m talking about the kind of anxiety that wakes you up at 3 AM thinking you heard your alarm going off.
So I read all those comments about changing in funding and federal grants, even cutbacks in the National Endowment for the Arts, and I think PANIC.
For someone who hopes to pursue advanced education, this is bad news.
Why couldn’t this be happening to some other field?
Learning is important, people!
As soon as I stop listening to the voice of unbridled terror, I realize that my view on most things is very selfish.
It is the luxury of Western culture to consider the movement of the economy or the guarantee of my “perfect job” to be more important than the fact that I have never gone without food, water, shelter, or the love and support of community.
I believe that one of these days I will discover that panic isn’t enough. It leaves a person cold, lonely, and dissatisfied.
Instead, I’d like to actually trust in that hope that makes me tell you I’m having a great day. Despite the fact that life might not always go how I thought they would.
And maybe my dream of being a French professor, just like my hopes of becoming a published writer, will one day seem like a distant memory…
But I prefer to fight against that panic every moment of every day, knowing that my own fear is more of my enemy than the economy or even the end of the world.