39. Fear

She had just realised that there were two things that prevent us from achieving our dreams: believing them to be impossible or seeing those dreams possible by some sudden turn of the wheel of fortune, when you least expect it. For at that moment, all our fears suddenly surface: the fear of setting off along a road heading who knows where, the fear of a life full of new challenges, the fear of losing forever everything that is familiar.

People want to change everything and, at the same time, want it all to remain the same.

-The Devil and Miss Prym, Paulo Coelho

I too, am filled with fear of the unknown. But I’ve got to keep reminding myself that fear precedes growth. Having fear means I am going beyond what is reasonable and within my understanding and comfort. Having fear means I am walking (un)comfortably with uncertainty. Having fear means I am acknowledging the limits of my knowledge.

But there is no shame in having fear.

Everything is a little bit scary now. The things I’ve got to do and the decisions I need make. But this is the choice I made a year ago. This is the opportunity that I have been granted. This is the gift I have been blessed with.

So here I am, starting on the journaling of this journey. May I be blessed with the courage and wisdom to take on everything this has to offer and perhaps, share the little I know with everyone, ameen.

The Beginning

The journey started way back, well, a year ago to be exact, when I received the offer from NUS based on my application for the Student Exchange Programme. I had listed – on whim – the University of Manchester (UoM) as my first choice, followed by four other universities in Denmark and Sweden. To be quite honest, I wasn’t confident of getting UoM since it was highly competitive amongst NUS students but alhamdulillah! I was actually expecting to be thrown to a country whose first language isn’t English, the weather is freezing and I’ll get to witness the Aurora borealis, cos hey, that’ll be fun! 😛  Of course, needless to say, I was ecstatic to get into UoM because that essentially paved the way for my Europe trip dream to come true!! I’m a travel freak, fyi.

Anyway, after the excitement of being offered a place and such, it was then followed by a long period of no-news since I was scheduled to only leave in January 13 and well, these kinda processes are notoriously slow. Things started to pick up again sometime in October ’12 (yes, that’s ten whole months later) upon receiving the Letter of Acceptance from UoM.

I totally freaked out upon getting this email, just cos.. it’s been a while since I heard anything about it. The excitement was once again, shortlived, cos it was right smack in the middle of the semester and there were still a gazillion other things to settle, including group projects, assignments, presentations and finals. Also, I was supposed to wait for a hardcopy of the acceptance letter yada yada before anything concrete can actually be worked out…

It was only fairly recently, say about one week ago, after the craziness of finals and camp has died down that I finally gave more thought to this. (And the hardcopy of the letter has not even arrived yet! Whaaaaat!!) No suprises when I got slightly overwhelmed at the sheer amount of things to settle before flying off, hahaha. See lah Atikah, keep putting things off to the last minute! I’ve yet to settle  module-mapping (which is an utter pain in $@$!^#*!), flight arrangements (to Dubai or not to Dubai, that is the question) and a couple of other paperwork that has to be settled asap but you know… keeps getting pushed aside, erkkk.

And still, amidst all these things I need to do, I’ve still got time to revive this blog of mine. Way to go Atikah, woohoo. Then again, this is perhaps one of the most valuable thing I do in preparation for this journey anyway. What better way to have a clearer mind that to write things out, share it with others and well, create the opportunity to come back in years to come and reflect on the journey.

It’ll probably help me from going crazy with all the pent-up thoughts and emotions anyway, I seriously think. Yay to keeping my sanity! 😛 Oh and you know… maybe there’s a couple things here that you’ll find interesting too… 😉

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