Trading Fears


I leave home this Friday for my first residency at Graduate school. As if starting a new job wasn’t enough change for my husband and kids to adjust to, I’m also beginning a two-year MFA program at the same time. Friends and family ask if I’m excited and I always reply yes, if excited means the same thing as stomach-churningly nervous. Excuse me while I hyperventilate in a corner. Sometimes excitement and nervousness feel like a similar emotion. This is not one of those times.

Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace change. I genuinely look forward to something new and novel in my life. If you scratch the surface hard enough, right beneath my suburban mama exterior, you’ll find someone terribly afraid of living an ordinary life. I often wonder if I’m simply trade one fear for another.

Here’s the thing about grad school. I’m dubious about whether or not I belong there. I still wonder if the acceptance letter was a hoax, if the scholarship money they awarded me was intended for someone else, if somehow this is one giant mix-up. I began reading one of the poetry books assigned for our required reading, and I literally had to google one obscure reference, if not three, in each ten line poem. What the what? What is this man saying to me? What the heck is “unteachable rain”?

Friends, I’m in trouble.

There will be more to say on this topic, but I’ll sign off with this for now–I don’t think I belong, but that’s kind of the point. Trying new things, stepping out into the unknown, trading normal for nervous pleasure–this is what makes change so appealing and why  it’s important to add a little into your life every now and again. The search for “unteachable rain” makes life more interesting.


  • Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk

    Exciting! I have three weeks to read about six books for a brief class I’m taking this summer (to maintain my pastoral license). What I’m learning is that I have much less tolerance now for reading things I wouldn’t otherwise read on my own than I did in the past (say, in graduate school). I look forward to hearing more about the adventure!

    • I know! As I’m reading, I keep thinking how I wish I had this much time to read something of my own choosing. But it’s good to stretch my boundaries, and I’m sure you’d agree:) Enjoy your class, Kelly!

  • So excited for you! I’ll be praying for you Kimberly.

  • May I come to school with you? We could google obscure references together. It’s going to be so enriching; I really do believe that. As always, I’m cheering for you!