In my sophomore year of high school, I was invited by my band director to go to Class D Honors Band. It was an honor, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait, my mind raced with the excitement and the adrenaline; and in a split second my whole attitude crumbled. I was so joyous in knowing that my director recognized my hard work, that I pushed my anxiety to the back of my head.
All at once I became nauseated at the thought of sitting amongst complete strangers. My previous aura of enthusiasm was replaced with one of dread and affliction. My hands became clammy and my breathing increased rapidly. Tears threatened to spill because I knew, in my heart, that I just couldn’t do it. For days, I told myself that I could, that I wasn’t going to allow my anxiety to best me again. I had every intention of going until the day before the event. My director understood when I explained my situation, that I would not be able to handle it.
In backing out, I failed myself. I couldn’t take advantage of a marvelous opportunity because I was just too scared to overcome my fears. I still struggle, but that day I adopted a new mindset. I ask myself, “Do I want to be like this forever? Do I want to let this consume me? WILL I let this consume me?” Last year, I learned that if I let my obstacles, or myself, get in the way and hold me back, I’m not going anywhere, and I want to thrive.