I wasn’t sure how I wanted to write this post. I originally wanted to publish a year in review but when looking back on 2015 80% of it was conquering something that scares me the most, fear. Not even two weeks into 2015 and I began one of the toughest things I’ve had to do in my life. It’s been a year of growth and strength, I’ve learned so much about myself, who I am, what I need to work on, things I need in my life and things I need to eliminate. So instead of writing a generic year in review post I’ve decided to share a more personal look into my 2015, focusing on one thing that has challenged me the most, fear.
As I mentioned above, not even two weeks into 2015 I found a lump on my neck. It was the night before my boyfriend was leaving for a work trip and I was going to be alone with this thing for 4 days. I spent so much time on Google trying to find out what it could be, although it was pretty obvious it was a thyroid nodule. I spent two days learning everything about thyroids and even thyroid cancer. I googled myself sick. Finally I decided it was time to go to the doctors.
The thought of going alone to a clinic was scary enough. I hated hospitals, doctors, waiting rooms, the whole vibe. The doctor looked at it and told me it was a thyroid nodule, then she told me I needed to get a blood test and an ultrasound. I don’t think I’ve ever had a blood test done and I couldn’t remember the last time I got a needle in my arm. I went home and cried because the thought of having to get blood taken, at the time, scared the crap out of me. As you can imagine I went on Google and watched Youtube videos of people getting their blood taken and thought I felt pretty confident knowing it wasn’t going to kill me.
The big day arrived, I sat in the waiting room for probably an hour before getting the courage to go up and get it over with. To my surprise it didn’t hurt half as bad as I thought it would and it was over before I knew it. I worried myself for absolutely no reason and just like that my fear of needles and blood work went out the door.
When I went to the doctors to get my blood results she told me I would need to get a biopsy on my nodule. It felt like all those unnecessary emotions and fear I had with the blood work came pouring back. I left the doctors and cried in an alley way. Long story short, I had the biopsy, which actually hurt way less than blood work and I left perfectly fine and angry at myself for stressing out so much.
When the biopsy showed I had thyroid cancer my ultimate fear of having surgery came to haunt me for months leading up to it. I barely slept, it was all I thought about, it consumed so much of my life. Once it was over it felt like a thousand pounds had been lifted from my shoulders and I was proud of myself for getting through such a difficult time.
From January when I found the lump to April when I had the surgery I was forced to conquer a lot of my fears and became so much stronger as a person. I can now go get blood work done by myself like it’s no thing, hospitals, and doctors don’t scare me anymore and I’m no longer afraid to get regular check-ups and ask important questions.
FEAR OF FLYING
Back in July a few of us flew to Vancouver to start our west coast road trip. It was my first time flying in over 5 years. I remember being scared the first time I flew but for whatever reason I was way more terrified this time around and had multiple panic attacks while in the air. After that trip I told myself I wasn’t going to attend the design conference I had coming up in October, that would mean flying by myself and I was convinced it wasn’t going to happen.
After spending some time thinking about what I would be missing if I let this fear take over and how much I would regret not going I decided to just go for it. As usual I went on Google (my best friend when it comes to life problems) and searched fear of flying and watched many videos on turbulence. After seeing some of the worst of the worst turbulence videos I prepared myself and understood that it wouldn’t bring the plane down to my ultimate death.
The morning of, I went to the airport, realized I was getting on the smallest plane ever, took 3 Gravol, had a mini panic attack and realized there was no turning back. I had connecting flights both ways, which meant taking off four times (the part I hate most), dealing with every bump, and praying the plane wouldn’t come crashing down. I probably have the Gravol to thank but flying alone was not at all terrible and I’m so happy I didn’t back out on this amazing trip.
ATTENDING A DESIGN CONFERENCE ALONE
I went to Designer Vaca alone, not knowing a single person, in a city that I didn’t know well. I was there for 4 days and left meeting some amazing ladies that I can call friends. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone was one of my biggest achievements this year.
A few months after my thyroid surgery I decided to sign up for my first 5k in support of thyroid cancer. While running isn’t a fear for me, running my first 5k, alone and not being able to finish it was something I feared. Despite jello legs at the end, I completed it and in a decent amount of time.
This was my first full year freelancing. I’ve learned a lot from it. I’m not 100% sure if it’s something I want to keep doing but I have some ideas planned for 2016 so time will tell. I’ve made mistakes, failed at things, but this experience has taught me so much and I don’t regret any of it.
2015 flew by but it was a year of growth and accomplishments. I still can’t believe how much happened in just one year. If I could show my 2014 self this blog post and what was in store I probably would’ve had a meltdown, because back then there was no way I would have been able to get through one of these things let alone all of them. It’s amazing how a person can change in just a short time, I’m so excited for 2016 and determined to make it an even better year.
If you are stopping yourself from doing something you love or that you need to do but have been holding off on it because of fear, don’t. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared but once you are forced into an uncomfortable situation it’s amazing what you can accomplish and how much you grow from that experience. You got this!
What were some of your biggest accomplishments of 2015?