“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” said Franklin D. Roosevelt in his inaugural address in 1933. In theory that’s true, but when Camille suggested on our weekly conference call that we make October the month about exploring our fears, I thought “Fear? Puhleeze, I’m not a ‘fraidy cat, so how am I going to write about this?!”
Though not an adrenaline junky per-se, I’ve sky-dived, moved to a new city with no job and without knowing pretty much anyone and traveled alone. I’m usually the first person on the dance floor (I draw the line at dancing on the bar or tables), attend events alone, and been gorilla trekking in the Rwandan mountains. I’m not claiming to be Bear Grylls, but I’m also not a shrinking violet. I love the physicality of what Bear Grylls does, but I draw the line at the weird food he eats on his expeditions. I’m the person who brings Luna bars when I travel abroad, so I won’t have to eat any strange local fare. All that aside, I have also done enough therapy to know what my fears and emotional barriers are and what to do about them. I think I’ve confronted some pretty scary stuff.
Yet, after giving myself some time to reflect and really sit with the task at hand, I realized I’m actually afraid of a whole bunch of quite a few things. Public speaking, red lipstick, frogs, being seen on social media in a swimsuit and with my ‘fro askew sends me into a mild panic. I’m afraid of large bodies of water and deep sea diving – I mean did you see the movie Open Water? I tried diving twice and though my Cancer zodiac sign says I’m a water baby, I’m terrified of the black, murky and mysterious ocean. I’m afraid of selfies, clowns, white shoes, and dying alone and never knowing my purpose. Matters of the heart deserve a special place in my fear packed heart and head. I’m paralyzed with fear when I think about telling a certain awesome guy, who I met a few years in a work capacity and presumed that due to his perceptually glamorous job that he had his pick of women. He was totally out of my league, but I’ve been smitten with him since. I discovered him recently on a dating website, and I thought wow, it’s tough for him to meet people that he vibes with too – so maybe this is my chance! Then I realized that his profile includes that he definitely wants to be a father and his desired age range was a full ten years younger than me and nearly him. When I mentioned this to a friend who knows him too, she said “Who cares about his age requirements?! You should message him! Plus, you can still have kids and I’m sure he shaved off a few years from his own age.” While I am not so sure about my fertility or his real age, I do know that I’d rather wear red lipstick every day for a year and pet a frog than reveal my crush to him.
So, what’s a fraidy cat like me to do? If you’re thinking that I should message the guy, you’re probably right but instead I’ll tackle a few of the other fears that I mentioned. But not the clowns, everybody knows that clowns are scary. Be sure to keep reading the blog this month to find out which fears I attempt to overcome.