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Today's Reflection-Wordbirds

“Deliberot (v.) duh-’lib-ur-rot To waste hours, days, or years mulling over a situation until it’s too late to amend it.

Should she give up acting and become a therapist? Nadia deliberotted for a decade, never getting around to applying to grad school, and never getting a part in a show that lasted longer than a few weeks.”

(From Wordbirds (2013), Liesl Schillinger)

We all have a tendency to “deliberot.” It may be ruminating over a failed relationship, beating yourself up over a missed career opportunity, or just that good ol’ fashioned fear of failure and the unknown that keeps so many of us from making positive change in our lives.

This is one of the main reasons why I keep a journal and (try) to write in it every day. When we keep our thoughts and concerns in our heads, we are building up the cabin pressure of our minds. Once something is written, it’s like letting out steam.

My most recent issue “deliberotting” came from that fear of failure. By keeping my thoughts inside my head with no outlet, I convinced myself that I had no chance to succeed in graduate school, let alone to be accepted. I spent three years after graduating with a bachelor’s degree working a minimum wage job at a restaurant. I didn’t particularly like my life at the time, but it was comfortable.

Finally, after giving myself an outlet for my fears through journaling, I validated myself. I wrote lists of my positive qualities and my reasons for wanting to get a master’s degree.

It wasn’t long before I found myself on SUNY Fredonia’s website requesting information on how to apply to the graduate English program. Jump forward a year and here I am, finishing my first semester and so grateful for the opportunity to sit in a classroom again. I’m grateful to the university for accepting me, but most importantly I’m grateful to myself for not allowing my fear to define me.

If you don’t yet use a journal, I hope that you can see the benefits from my experience. It defies logic that something so simple could actually change the path of your life, and of course that won’t necessarily be true for everyone, but in my opinion, the rewards are well worth the effort.


Justin Barnard is a graduate student at the State University of New York at Fredonia. He is studying for a Master of Arts in English as well as a Certificate of Advanced Study in Professional Writing. Justin has been published in The Times Union, The Daily Gazette, The Journal of Critical Thinking, and recently presented research at the What is Life? Conference held at the University of Oregon at Portland. Find him on Twitter @JustinBWrites.

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