Dorm Room Mattresses, Fear, and Finding Purpose

What does a dorm room have to do with overcoming fear and finding your life purpose? Apparently, a lot. If you let it.

When is it fun to stay in a dorm room? 

When you are 18 and just out of high school.  THEN dorm rooms are fun.  Or at least they SEEM fun. 

When you are 53, they are NOT so fun. 

Let me paint a picture here. 

A room that is about as big as two “dorm size” twin beds, 2 desks, 2 dressers.  And room to turn around.  If you’re lucky, there MAY be a small closet – for two people to share.  The mattresses on the bed are about an inch thick and you are pretty much guaranteed that they will cave in to the middle of the bed.  You might even get a spring or two popping up to massage your legs and back in the middle of the night.  And these superior mattresses have a sort of plastic-like cover that sounds like potato chip bags when you turn over and try to get comfortable – which, let’s be honest, isn’t happening.  

Add to the room situation is the bathroom.  ONE bathroom.  For LOTS of women.  When I was in college, we didn’t think twice about a dorm-mate shuffling in and brushing her teeth while someone else was showering.  Usually there was a third doing makeup.  And a fourth doing her hair.   It was dorm life; it just was what it was.  We were 18 or 19.  It was fun.  Like I said.  A grand adventure.  We were being independent.  Grown up.   This was LIVING. 

It’s a different situation when you’re 53.  Or there about in age.  By this time, we have gotten used to using the bathroom in private (pretty sure it’s SUPPOSED to be that way).  We have bigger beds.   And we haven’t shared a closet with another woman in quite some time – maybe a husband, but they are used to us taking most of the room.  Stop laughing.  You know it’s true.

Yet recently I found myself housed in a dorm suite with 5 other women – and one bathroom.   We were all there for a ladies event and we were all looking forward to the music and meetings.  But the dorm life…..that was going to take some getting used to.  Or at least some convincing that it was still FUN.  Unlike dorm life at 18, we set a schedule for bathroom time in the morning so that everyone was guaranteed a time of uninterrupted showering.  At least there was THAT.  My time was 5:30 AM.

But staying in that dorm brought back memories.  Lots of them.  Some good; college life was fun.  It was a privilege to be there.  I knew that.  I knew that many young women would have loved to have been given that opportunity.   I learned a lot in college – some academic – but mostly I learned about life.  

Paralyzed with Fear

The overwhelming memory, though, were the dreams that started in college.  Dreams that were fear-based where I was literally paralyzed with fear. 

Have you ever had had fear that literally paralyzes you. In your sleep? You’re dreaming. And the dream is revolving around a fear. A fear you are fighting. And you try to run. To move. Scream. But you can’t. You are paralyzed. And then you are semi conscious. And you still can’t move. You are telling your body to move. Your eyes to open. Your head to lift. But nothing is responding.

You.  Are.  Paralyzed. In. FEAR. 

That was college for me. And even after. Many years after.

Terrified that life was passing me by and I had yet to live the life God had called me to.  I felt like I was missing the mark on my life’s purposes but I was too afraid to speak up and say what I REALLY wanted to study.   My major was in a field that I was GOOD at – but I knew there was another path I was supposed to be on.  But I stayed silent.  And the dreams continued.    Even later in life, when I earned my MBA and stayed in the corporate world, I was too afraid to speak up and say, ‘THIS IS NOT MY PURPOSE.   I KNOW I WAS MADE FOR MORE THAN THIS.” 

And then life shifted. 

My brother died. And with his death a promise was made. And bravery was born.

And fear had to leave. Oh he still tries to rear his ugly head. Paralyze me. But now I know I have the power to kick fear to the curb.

Is it scary to do the thing?


Is it scary to spend the money and invest in yourself and your dreams.


And does it feel scary to jump into your path.


But guess what. If you don’t -you’ll never know.


And that is more scary than fear.

Do the hard thing. Invest in you. Trust the desires God has placed in your heart. 

And shine, girlfriend, shine!

I promise you won’t regret it!

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