Taking chances isn’t my strong suit, or at least not anymore. When I was drinking I never seemed to care about the possible consequences of ill-formed decisions; I’d just get blotto if they turned out untenable (or, worse, dangerous). But that’s not the case anymore, and instead of my highest priority being engaging in damage control, it’s now facing reality and taking responsibility. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect — far from it — but it does mean that my actions and choices have deeper and more spiritual consequences than they used to have. And for a long time now, that’s scared me — what if I make the wrong decision? What if I’m more unhappy afterwards instead of more joyful?
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be dropping off the final elements of my application for a PhD program, a program that has a mere 3% acceptance rate. This means, of course, that chances are slim I’ll get in. The Old Me likely would have been defeated by that, but today I’m able to do the best I can and let things take their course. Everything’s been proofed and edited to an inch of my sanity, and all that’s left for me to do is be patient and wait to find out whether I’m one of the 3% or I’ll be going back to the salt mines of unemployment, job-hunting, and menial labor.
Sometimes the hard work doesn’t lie in the preparation but in taking the actual leap, knowing I’ve done my best and acknowledging that, from here on out, things are out of my control. Today, I’m grateful leaping doesn’t terrify me anymore.