Just like everyone my age, I too had many dreams as a child–become a pilot and fly a plane, travel the world, become an astronaut, a superhero, learn at least three musical instruments and perform in front of a big crowd, publish my own book and a lot more. I built my own castles in the air, believing I was strong and smart enough to achieve them. As I grew up though, I began to realize that not all the castles that I built as a child were actually attainable. I recognized the fact that I was born with my own share of weaknesses, and these weaknesses would prevent me from doing all the things that I wanted to do and pursue.
Of all the dreams I had as a child, only two have remained with me–to learn how to play musical instruments and perform in front of a huge crowd. My mom knew I was so passionate about music, so she enrolled me in a music school and had me learn how to play different musical instruments. But some horrible demon got the better of me and kept me from learning. I have not even started my journey yet when anxiety filled me like a monster trying to make me lose my faith in myself.
It was quite difficult for me to get along with my classmates in music school, worried that they might judge me for not being as good as them. Most of the time, I also felt inadequate. I felt that I was not fit for the skill that I was trying to learn and that I was never good enough. But after having a strong resolve to change my mind set and fight the anxiety, I was lucky to have gone through that stage. I told myself that I had to do better and that I could do better and I fortunately succeeded. I learned a few songs and the feeling of satisfaction kept me going.
I was one step closer to achieving my ultimate dream–to perform in front of a big crowd.
On the day of the recital, I knew that the day for me to realize that dream has come. But just when I was about to play the song that I rehearsed for months, my palms began to sweat and my fingers began to shake. My heart started to beat faster and I ran away. When I did that, a hodgepodge of thoughts was in my head and I could not think of any reason why I had to ruin everything just like that. Perhaps it’s because I was aiming for perfection when I knew it wasn’t possible. Or perhaps, the fear of being judged by such a huge crowd was just too overwhelming.
After that day, I dropped out of music school and focused on my studies. I have managed to keep my grades high, but I knew deep down that there’s something that’s missing. That moment, I was only one step away from reaching that castle which I built as a child, but I let it topple just like that because of my anxiety.
I will do it all over again. And this time, I will push through the anxiety by hook or by crook.