Fear

My constant companion

“Well I’m still afraid
Like a kid in the sixties
Staring at the sky
Waiting for the bomb to fall.
And it’s all a lie
What they say about stability. ” –The Wonder Years

I am terrified.

For my next job, I will be required to move, leaving everyone and everything I love behind. I could be a couple hours away. I could be across the country.

There are several people in my life who I love with a fervor, but I don’t know what our future holds.

I have no idea when and if I will reach all of life’s typical milestones.

I’m convinced that I am going to make an impossible choice some day.

In the past 10 years of my life, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy avoiding these situations that scare me and convincing myself and everyone around me that I was not afraid.

Why is being scared so hard to admit to the world? To ourselves?

I thought my fears were something to hide, something shameful that I need to keep to myself.

Can you imagine how refreshing it would be to hear someone with the seemingly “perfect life” admit that they don’t always know their way, that they don’t have all the answers and that at the end of the day, they’re just as scared and broken as the rest of us?

In the last couple months, one saying has stuck with me: “Bravery isn’t about not being afraid; it’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.”

I’ve done a pretty solid job at avoiding fear by cushioning myself with false hopes and a perfectly sculpted, but incredibly fragile future that shielded me from making any tough decisions, because, let’s face it, being brave sucks. It’s tiring and obviously scary and sometimes, you just want easy, as opposed to what you deserve.

Fear was an unwelcome bedfellow that only found ways to slink in whenever there was a leak in my grand master plan.

Now, I’m thinking that I need my fear as much as it needs me. Instead of fighting it off every night, I can let it hold my hand and take me to the places where I was destined to go.

I’m afraid to move to a new city, but I would be a lot more fearful if I stayed in Hagerstown my whole life without knowing the world outside of the Washington County lines.

Sure, there’s a lot to be afraid of, but I’m thinking that maybe, this fear is what keeps us from wasting our lives.

Keep in mind, that it’s a prickly gift. There’s a thin line between letting fear guide you and letting fear destroy you.

I hope you know that you deserve the world, as scary as that sounds.

“History and experience tell us that moral progress comes not in comfortable and complacent times, but out of trial and confusion.” –Gerald Ford

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