You know how you can have referred pain in your body? You don’t? Okay, let me enlighten you. According to every student’s main source of knowledge, Wikipedia, “referred pain” a.k.a “reflective pain” is “pain perceived at a location other than the site of the painful stimulus”.. Get it? No…? Well, obviously, a doctor or someone who thinks they are a doctor gave that definition. Let me simplify it for us non-medical people. Referred pain is feeling pain in one place while the problem is actually somewhere else. For example, you might feel pain in your legs and the problem is in your kidneys. I have been having a similar problem this past week, except in my case I am having referred panic. And yes, I self-diagnosed… so deal with it.
Two nights this week I have panicked in my sleep, jumped out of bed and run to the door. And two times I have woken up to find myself at the door about to turn the handle. (I remember laughing when I heard about people who commit crimes in their sleep during Criminal Law class. Now…eh…. It’s not that funny.) The moment before I wake up is always pretty intense. I feel like something or someone is suffocating me. The first time it was rats. Yeah, that was a bad one. The second time was yesterday and it was by far the worst one yet. It was a man who was standing behind me at the bus stop and as nightmares would have it, there was no one else there. At some point he tried to push me in the way of the oncoming bus and I would not budge and when he tried it again, I turned and ran. And as nightmares go,he ran after me. Long nightmare short: in the end, it was just me, the door and my panic. So I talked to my mum about it and she helped me figure out something: I panic in my sleep but the real problem is somewhere else … and I know where.
I started a new job this week and I feel like I am in over my head. Everyone at work is understanding, they all know I am learning and are willing to teach me. The problem is me. I have never really been confused about anything, I usually figure it out. like knowing things. I like understanding what I’m doing. That’s why I didn’t go to med school, I slept during biology all through high school. What I wrote in the exam were things I overheard in my sleep.Regurgitation without understanding. History and language, well the English language at least, had my full attention.They made sense and I understood them, that’s why I was happy to join law school . No regrets. Or so I thought. This week though there are two things that left me running scared- quite literally. Things that had me thinking, maybe I should have just gone to med school.
- BEING THE DUMBEST ONE IN THE ROOM
Seriously, this scares me beyond belief. My close friends know that I value knowledge, intelligence and information. So it’s perfectly reasonable when I’m scared that I HAVE NO CLUE. To be honest, in my chosen profession people at my level are expected to know next to nothing about what really happens in legal practice. However, I am not comfortable,not even a bit, with knowing next to nothing, Next to nothing is not a good place to be. candidly though,the law is so wide that no one could possibly know it all and this week more than ever,I realized that I have not even began boarding the ship that will take me across the ocean to the tip of that iceberg.So it makes sense that it worries that maybe I will not know what I need to know by the time I need to know it. Which brings me to another one of my nightmares (What?? I have a lot of nightmares, it’s one of the ‘perks’ of an overactive imagination) where I found myself at my university graduation and I was called up to receive my honors and I turned to the person next to me and said, “ but.. sijui kitu!!!” which means, “ …I know nothing.” So, obviously, I am highly averse to not knowing anything and when I cannot avoid it, it really messes with me. Which brings me to the second thing.
- MY PORTENDING FUTURE
There has never been a time when I have felt so unsure about my success like this week. I no longer see the good grades. I definitely do not myself see myself being admitted to the bar. There goes the Audi A3 that was meant to be my first car. Goodbye big kitchen with a huge oven. Let me be honest, my dreams took a thorough beating this week. I drained myself of positivity and closed my mind to possibility. I worried myself sick over how hard my life was going to be. It has been bleak. Every ten minutes, I thought about giving up on my brains and going home to pray that my future husband would have more luck and take care of us both. Yes, it was that bad because I am not about the whole “being-taken-care-of” lifestyle. (But that’s a story for another day.) The number of times I have considered dropping out of law school this past week are uncountable on a billion people’s fingers. ( For that person who’s crazy enough to count how many that is… Just know this: It’s a lot.)
However, just when things got worse, something happened. I sat down this morning as I was going through another private challenge at work and I closed my eyes and said, “Really, God. This cannot be how it ends for me. Why can’t I understand what’s in front of me??If I can’t figure it out. I give up.” So, I took a deep breath and gave it one last look before I walked up to my supervisor and quit. Guess what….? I figured it out. It began to make sense. I have never been so relieved in my life. However, since life is not perfect, an hour later, another challenge came my way, but this time, I took it in stride. I have stopped comparing myself with people who have been at it for years. I have stopped turning my future into a disaster through my worries.
God knows the plans he has for me…and they include a hope and a future. I can’t give upon my dreams. I refuse to give up on my dreams. (And there’s the stubborn streak I’m famous for…) I have realized that everyone I look up to everyone I think is successful took time to learn to become who they are today. So, next week,I won’t be so hard on myself.
” Give yourself time to learn to be the person you want become.”-msichanawanairobi
So for anyone feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Deep breath, pray, deep breath, learn. That’s my motto. Every time you have to learn something new, face a problem, achieve a goal , turn a dream into reality, find a new way to approach a situation or feel like you are just about to give up: Deep breath, pray, deep breath, learn. I’m getting over the panic and learning to be the person I want to become.