Almost two months into the Fellows program, and I do not feel like myself. Pre-Fellows program Calley did not communicate well at all. If she sensed conflict, she ran from it. She’d rather lie than face the often awkwardness of honesty. That is me. That is who I am and that is what I do.

Or it was. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a switch has been flipped somewhere. I find myself speaking my mind, verbally articulating my feelings. If I sense even the slightest hint of conflict with another Fellow, I try to talk it out as soon as possible. Granted, when having to have such confrontations, I feel sick to my stomach and my pulse is racing. I speak my mind and instantly fear the reaction my statements will cause. Will I lose a friend? Am I pushing too hard? Will they resent me or judge me? But I know it is necessary. This group is to be my family for the next seven months, and a well-differentiated family (as we learned in our Family Systems class) has open communication, even if it leads to conflict. Two months in, and I already love my new family so much, and with every roundtable, every class, every Monday lunch, I love them more. It would be unfair, then, for me to still be old Calley, someone who lets fear and anxiety keep her from being honest about how she feels. So, in the spirit of honesty, there are days I wake up and have to talk myself into going to work, even though I love my job. There are days I sit in class and spend the whole three hours daydreaming. There are days I feel distant from the other Fellows, and days some of the other Fellows feel distant from me. How’s that for honesty?

Almost two months into the Fellows program, and I do not feel like myself. I feel better.

~ Calley