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I haven't done the things most important or most interesting (basically, haven't dared to be truly happy) because I can hear my mother's voice saying, "What if you fail?" It's very, very hard to ignore it, but you have to.

Exactly. It's not like the world will end. It's not like Ishtar doesn't have Plans B, C, D, etc. in place. Many things will happen that she doesn't expect and some of those things will make the transition easier for her, while others will make it harder.

But "failure," per se, is not the big monster everyone sets it up to be. It would suck, granted, but there are so many steps in between "Hey, I want to try this" and "Oh, crap, it didn't work out" that it's not likely to matter.

At best, Ishtar finishes with a degree that helps her pursue personal life goals. At worst, she doesn't. And if that happens (and I don't think it will), she's back in a setup similar to her present employment. It's not like this is a black or white situation where it's either all success or all failure, and success is the mansion on the hill and failure is living in a car. And this is coming from someone who didn't finish her PhD work and thus, faced the worst case scenario.

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