Mar 15, 2012

One Batcrap-Crazy Girl, Looking Up. (UPDATED)

One year ago, I was just beginning to recover from depression.

I've alluded to it, lightheartedly, in my first real post. But I haven't talked about it.

My freshman year of university was the lowest point in my life. Left reeling for months after the abrupt end of a turbulent relationship, I lost my main emotional support and "core membership" in the group of friends who had anchored me for six years. I frequently felt left out, excluded, and forgotten: an afterthought, if I was thought of at all.

A growing uncertainty in everything I once believed in took its toll. Feelings of inadequacy and failure were the norm... I saw myself giving up on so much without trying, and I felt even worse.

My own depression was not the worst of it. At the same time, a close family member was suffering from delusional mental illness. My family life was fraught with fear and paranoia, and the colossal chaos of it all was overwhelming.

I am grateful for some things. I was never suicidal. I had two friends who I could always turn to. I somehow managed to make it through my classes.

And with time came healing. Unexpected people helped in unexpected ways. Counselling sessions were abandoned, first because I found a job and later because I didn't need them anymore.

Life was looking up.

Around this time, I started writing my Bucket List.

This List is rather eclectic. To date I have accomplished a whopping three and a half items. But sandwiched between "hold a Harry Potter movie marathon" and "make it through university debt-free" is this:
  1. Visit space and experience weightlessness
    (long shot, maybe, but I’d love to.)
I was fascinated by astronomy when I was younger (still am, in fact.) But this was ridiculous. Unrealistic. Just a crazy dream. Balderdash. Bullpoo. Batcrap. So why is it on my Bucket List?


It's there because if I could do absolutely anything, I'd want to do it.

So what do you do when you're presented with a chance... even the TINIEST SMALLEST chance... to make your craziest dreams come true? DUH. YOU TAKE IT.

Last week I discovered that Metro News International is holding a contest. The winner will be one of the first-ever civilians to experience spaceflight.

I nearly went into shock. I've been thinking about this almost constantly ever since, but I haven't told anyone.

I am paralyzed by fear of failure.

The regional finalists are determined by votes. If I had an enormous horde of loyal followers, maybe I'd stand a chance. But I'm not Allie Brosh. I'm not Jenny Lawson. I'm Ellen. Just Ellen, a girl who would rather give up without trying if I think I might fail.

It's sadly laughable. If this were some random iPad contest: "OMG-like-us-on-Facebook-for-a-one-in-a-million-chance-to-win!!1!!11!!!" I'd have entered, no problem.

When you are:
a) facing a contest for something that would really matter to you, and
b) sick to your stomach with anxiety whenever you think about entering

...sometimes you can't help but ask: "What is wrong with me?"

I have nothing to lose but my fear.

I've lost count of all the things I've been too shy, too scared, or too unsure to do. The worst of it was last year, but it's an ongoing trend. I'll get SUPER-excited about something, have second thoughts, doubts, and then decide to forget it entirely. I've had my fair share of times where I've tried something crazy and failed dismally, which doesn't help.

I want to change this, this view I have of myself and the limitations I continually self-impose. Why not now?

But I can't let myself pull off a half-arsed attempt and say: "Ha! There. I entered and no one voted for me; big surprise. So much for that crap!"

And that is why I am sharing this EVERYWHERE, starting now. Here on my blog, Facebook, twitter, and with all the friends and family I can reach. It will mean the world to me if you click here and vote for my submission.


UPDATED: You can actually vote TEN TIMES every day; please do! If you spread the word and tell other people to vote, that would be Even-MORE-Amazing.

(If you believe in me that much, well... I wish I could send you flowers!!! I'll think of something.)

The simplest things in the world are often the hardest to do.

Today's post is the toughest thing I have ever written. This sounds dumb, but it's true.

Will I publish it? There's still time. No one knows about this. I can forget it and move on with my practical life. That's what's comfortable, natural and perfectly reasonable... but empty.

Because sometimes it doesn't matter if your chances of success are one in seven hundred...

...or one in seven BILLION.

As cliché as is sounds, sometimes trying is the scariest part.

40 comments:

  1. Hey, this is great! I've voted and bookmarked the link so that I can keep voting. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So this is fun. I love promoting! I've posted your info on my blog - and now I've just emailed The Bloggess asking for her help. She probably won't even read my email - but you never know... and it's always worth trying!

      Delete
    2. HOLY COW you are amazing.

      That's funny actually, because I was planning to email the Bloggess myself... but mainly in order to thank her! She's a huge inspiration for me and I never would have entered this contest without what I've learned from her.

      Delete
    3. Oh wow, maybe I should have checked with you first! It didn't occur to me that you might be planning to email her - or that you even follow her (stupid, I know! lol)...

      I do tend to get carried away! Hope it doesn't make you feel awkward about emailing her yourself.

      Delete
    4. Not at all awkward! And like you said, it's always worth trying! :)

      Delete
    5. I just placed an award in front of you - hope you don't mind - some bloggers aren't so into them.

      http://abozosabbozzo.blogspot.in/2012/03/3-awarded-to-me.html

      Delete
    6. Yay I'm honored! I don't tend to write posts about awards and pass them on (since I post so infrequently), but look at this page I just made! :D

      I will put it there. =)

      Delete
  2. When does the contest end? I travel for a living, and can hit up business centers and libraries for every hotel/city I visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last day for the contest is Monday, March 26th... so not a whole lot of time. Thanks for your support. :)

      Delete
  3. Hey Ellen! Just wanted to wish you the best of luck! (And i voted for you ^^)

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  4. You sounds so similar to me it's not even funny, i totally voted for ya girl I hope you get your space trip :)

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  5. I voted, bookmarked the link, and tweeted. I hope you win.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, I had no idea this was one of your greatest dreams! (I share it with you...) If the website decides to actually let me vote, I'll throw in as many votes as I possibly can!!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks so much. Also, your blog is amazingly practical!

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  8. I voted for you! I hope you get to go to space! AND IF YOU DO, TELL US ALL ABOUT IT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bet your sweet astronaut ice cream I will! :D

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  9. Definitely voting for you. Good luck!!

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  10. You've got my vote! Way to go for it!

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  11. I will know someone who's gone to space when you win! I'll vote over and over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwwwwwe, thanks so much for believing in me. You're awesome! =)

      Delete
  12. Hey Ellen! My roommate Allison W. told me about your blog and the contest - way to go! It's a really neat idea and I really hope it works out for you. I'll see if I can pass on the word and will keep voting. :-)

    I was reading some of your other posts and love your illustrations and writing style. I also have a blog (for studying abroad) and it's really neat to see what other people do with theirs. Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words and support, M! A friend of a friend is a friend of mine. :)

      Delete
  13. I voted the crap out of your page, and will continue to vote the crap out of it until you go to space! I hope you win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wowww, my page is gonna be the LEAST CRAPPY PAGE in the ENTIRE INTERNET! Awesome! =D

      Seriously. You're amazing. =]

      Delete
  14. Good luck. You're all kinds of awesome.
    So I know it's super tacky and a little bit ridiculous, but when my wife went on a job interview last year, she got really nervous and thought she couldn't do it. Before she left I told her to just repeat "I am the shit up in this bitch" to herself before walking in and every time she started to doubt herself. Awkward? Yes. But she killed the interview, got the job, and still repeats it to herself every time she needs an ego boost.

    Next time you think about backing out of something just remind yourself that you are, in fact, the shit up in this bitch.
    Feel free to use less offensive language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a coincidence, I even have a job interview tomorrow! I'll have to try something like this and see how it goes! =D

      Delete
  15. I am going to vote like a crazy person and send your ass to space! Bravo to you for having the courage to post this. I know how terrifying it can be to put your dreams out there.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ah. I've been lost in space a long time. Was launched in the 60,s. It's not all it's cracked up to be. I like your blog and will be voting for you.

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