Do It Scared

My dad always used to say, "little Annie is a fraidy cat." I was not a brave child. This was not helped by his insistence that there were sinister elves living under the stairs!

I wasn't brave. That was my little sister. She would talk to bees to reassure me that they meant me no harm. She jumped off the highest diving boards and went on the roller coasters. I was scared.

I grew up sort of mentally viewing myself as lacking courage. I was bullied and while I stood my ground, I did live in dread of those encounters. I was scared of being hated and hurt. I was scared of being humiliated. And I was scared of my family finding out how scared I was.

I think I never realized my staunch refusal to fit in was in itself an act of courage. In an environment where people were indulging in sex and alcohol and drugs, I was up to my ears in sobriety and virginity! I was disciplined, focused - a total nerd. Even when it caused me humiliation or physical abuse by the "cooler" kids, I never changed who I was. 

I was who I was, and I did it even though I was scared. 

As an adult, every step I've taken toward realizing my vision of my life has caused me to take a somewhat difficult step. To veer off the beaten path. 

And often, I'm terrified. But I do it anyway.

Fear is often relative. Do I fear taking this step today that is daunting? Or do I fear the idea of dying with regret? 

I'd rather deal with facts than feelings, but when there are feelings to be addressed, I address them. I don't drown my anxiety in Netflix and snacks. Sometimes I literally sit in silence, and make notes about the things I'm scared of, and tackle them. I make decisions and take action. I don't hide, not even from myself. Especially not from myself.

I've said it best before in a poem. I'm bravest when my hands are shaking. I will do whatever I have to do, even if I do it scared.

Comments