2016 was a weird year- I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. I don’t know one person who this part year hasn’t tested, anyone who hasn’t been made better for it. For me, 2016 was the hardest year of my life. It was a year of hardship and sadness, and toughening up. But 2016 brought me my best friend, and soulmate in the form of a speckled, dorky puppy. This puppy fixed me, she mended my heart and continues to fill it up with love every single day. It’s odd to think I’ve had her close to a year- she just came home, but yet it feels like she’s been here all along.
As a kid, I had pretty generalized anxiety, about almost everything. This took the form of holding my breath at the gas station in fear of the chemical and thinking every lost bobby pin was inside my ear. Are these things completely irrational? Yes. Did that stop me from believing them? No. As I grew up I realized what that anxiety was and I have been able to get a better grip on it. Hiking, snuggles, music and writing have all been a part of that process. That doesn’t mean the anxiety is no longer there, I am just able to handle it better. Applying to colleges was simply the scariest thing I have ever done. The fear of rejection, of being told I’m not good enough was paralyzing– so much so that applications went in just days before deadlines. I could not muster up the strength to hit the send button because of those fears, and the second I did, I wanted to take it back. At that point you can’t, and that is a surprisingly good thing. Now, there is nothing to do but wait. There are no more essays to write, no more forms to fill out, just simply waiting. It’s scary to no longer have control of the situation, to not be able to convince someone why I deserve to go to their school, to make sure that I am good enough. These next few months, waiting for those letters will be an incredible lesson in patience- one I greatly need.
I am thankful for Wave each and everyday. She has taught me more than I could have ever imagined possible. Her agility is coming along wonderfully, and she is maturing into the sweetest, most loving dog in the universe. The same anxiety that was with me when applying to colleges, follows me to training. Oddly enough, the anxiety there pushes me. It forces me to be more thoughtful and precise. In training, I relish in those nerves. Training has and always will be a happy place for me. It is something I know I am good at, something I can see growth in. I think that is part of what makes agility so addicting- the constant, tangible growth.
So for the next few months there will be lots of waiting and lots of nerves. I’m learning to be okay with that. This waiting means there is more time for trees and tricks and contacts. More head space to fill with goals and plans outside and inside of agility. More drive to start trying new things, because learning to be okay outside of your comfort zone is an important skill for college I’m told. This waiting game will come with a lot of growing. These nerves aren’t such a bad thing after all.