As an immigrant living in America, I grow up under constant fear. Fear of not belonging, not fitting in. I felt undeserving and had an inferior complex for a long time from all the rejections I kept getting in life, for being an immigrant.
People however could not see my fears and insecurities because I learned at a very young age to suppress my emotions. At least vulnerability. What people saw was an “arrogant” foreigner who thought she was better than everyone else. That was so far from the truth. I found myself feeling the need to constantly apologize for being an immigrant.
I would meet people and they would think I was great until they find out my status. All of a sudden there’s distrust when I told them my background. During the early 2000’s around the time I was at an age to build a career, there was a lot of talk about Immigrants “taking our jobs”. That affected me mentally and emotionally. I was like a sponge absorbing all these different negative, toxic views and anger people had towards the idea of immigration. Some would brush off my concerns by saying, “oh you are not really an immigrant. You are practically an American.” Fear kept me from feeling like an American. Americans fear…
As I hit my late 20’s, my biggest fear became a reality and I hit rock bottom. However, the bottom ended up not being so bad after all. I was put in a situation where I had to shift my mental state. I had to wake up my consciousness so I could get through it. I slowly without realising it, gained more confidence. I became less meek and hostile. I learned to be ruder, by ignoring people who were negative or toxic. I was taught to always respond to people, no matter what. For your sanity, sometimes mentally blocking people is what makes you snore peacefully in bed at night.
Fear can stunt you, make you desperate. It can also slow you down while you observe your peers passing you, living life, making mistakes. Loving and being loved. Fear robs you of those joys but it can also shield you from pain. Sometimes, you have to say it’s worth the latter, because at least you were able to feel. That is what life is about. Being in the moment.
I’ve started using fear to my advantage, a couple of years ago. I was featured in two documentaries between 2015-2015, something I would have been afraid to do in the past. 2016, was my year of “Yes”. I read Shonda Rhimes book and it helped me alot. I’m still learning to say “Yes”. My biggest “No” has been in love. I’ve always said no to love because I never felt ready. Is anyone ever really ready to love and be loved? Or is it a fear of indifference, abuse, neglect or rejection that makes the idea of love scary for me? Love shouldn’t be a scary emotion or action. Only when it’s not real love but us seeking mere brief companionship. How can I fear something I’ve never had? How can I fear Something that’s supposed to bw grest for me?
From getting myself out of a very difficu situation, opening myself up twice on camera, learning to swim better, taking fencing, quitting the security of a nine to five career, getting my own apartment and working as a freelancer; I’m learning to tackle all my fears one by one. In hopes that one day I will be able to conquer my biggest fear. LOVE.