I didn’t need to spend two years or tens of thousands of dollars for an MFA. I already possessed a Mind Filled with Anxiety before I attended graduate school. My fears are numerous enough to fuel every moment of my day, and range from the rational, e.g., fear of water (I’m a terrible swimmer), to the not-so-rational, e.g., fear of the alligators that live in urban sewer systems. The Master of Fine Arts that I will receive in May adds to my daily terrors.
The anxiety management I learned from a very wise woman is helping me cope with my post-MFA fears. My anxiety results from fear of the unknown and the accompanying lack of control. Managing the anxiety is a step-by-step process:
1. Identify the fear.
2. Determine if it’s real or unfounded.
3. Take action on the things I can influence.
4. Accept the things that I cannot control.
As May commencement approaches, my anxiety feels paralyzing, but I don’t want to be frozen by fear at the moment my name is called to receive my MFA. My next posts will focus on how I’m taming my fears using my wise woman’s management process. Next scheduled post: Friday, March 16, 2012.
Many of my MFA classmates are plagued by the same agonies. I encourage you to comment and share how you are confronting and conquering your own anxieties, post-MFA and otherwise.