I am scared.
This isn’t the cute kind of nervous. I am so scared that my pulse is racing and my armpits stink. And not just a little.
But, you know what happens every time on ‘The Bachelor’? Whichever girl is brave enough to admit her terror (of heights, or bungee jumping, or polar swimming), is THE one he picks. It’s human nature. We root for the underdog. The one who is most afraid. Because ‘The Bachelor’ is real life, right? Totally kidding. But, there are some great lessons to be learned, even if most of them are what not to do.
Like the contestants on ‘The Bachelor’, but hopefully in a much deeper way, today I’m choosing to face my fears. To admit what has me stinking up the place. I’m already married to my ‘happily ever after’, so it’s not about beating 24 other contestants for his attention. (Thank Heaven for that.) I read somewhere, and it resonates with me, that bravery is ‘Being afraid. But still willing to move forward’. So here goes.
I’m baring my soul here, ‘speaking’ my fear out loud, as I’m hoping to move on.
Because I’m terrified.
I am afraid I won’t get a job.
And, if I do, it won’t be THE job. (Or I won’t be able to create THE job). The one that is meaningful. The one that is my legacy. The one that is fun and challenging. The one that brings in money to replenish the coffers we’ve emptied during this great year of travel and adventure.
The one, that if I don’t do it now, it will be too late.
And I won’t have significance.
And I won’t change the world.
When I come to the end of my life, I want to be able to say that I’ve used up all the skills I was given. I want to challenge myself. I want to take risks. I want to be selfless with my time.
But I am afraid that I won’t do any of those things. That I will end up going back. Backwards. Back to doing what’s familiar. Boring. Easy.
I am afraid that this amazing year, as it relates to my career, will have been a waste.
(I know of course, that this year is not a waste. And that, although I’m at a crossroads, it’s not that desperate. But, regardless of what I know in my head, my fears aren’t always rational.)
And, there is an opportunity…
An opportunity that is in the forefront of my mind as I write this. THE one I want. The one that is equally exciting and terrifying. The one that would stretch me to a whole new level. The one that is EXACTLY what I’ve dreamed of for many, many, many years. The one I don’t feel qualified for. OK – not even remotely qualified for.
And that I don’t think I’ll get.
Just writing that down makes me realize I’m going to need to pick up some more antiperspirant. Lots more.
And now, here’s the even deeper truth. For a few months, I succumbed to the fear.
I could have, should have, written this post in Peru, before we arrived in the US. Because, I felt the fear growing then. It filled my dreams at night. It lurked in the corners of my mind as I explored the Amazon during the days.
That was three months ago.
Since then, I’ve been struggling to move my bravery to the front, to open up about the fear, before there were opportunities lined up.
But, until today, fear had won.
Well, today I’ve had two victories.
First, I’ve ‘fessed up about the underlying, unattractive current which has run through these three months of trailer-living and job-searching, as we drive from state-to-state.
And second, I’m admitting that I’ve been white-knuckling it through much of yesterday and today’s drive across-country. I’m writing this from the passenger seat of our vehicle, as we make the long drive from Colorado to Texas, via Kansas and Oklahoma, pulling our twenty-eight foot trailer. The drive was on a dirt road. Down an impossibly steep grade. With cliffs on both sides. With gale-force winds. As dishes, and my whiskey, flew out of the cupboards and rolled around together on the trailer floor. On a narrow road that occasionally saw our tires going off the road and a hair’s breadth from careening over the cliff. We skidded around corners, gravel flying.
OK, all of that may not have happened at the same time. And Dreamboat may have a different, less colorful, version of the events.
But, I was heart-racing, stomach-clenched, scared. Afraid. I would have gotten out and walked if it wouldn’t have meant leaving my babies. And Dreamboat.
But, I’m happy to say that even though you can smell the after-effects of my fear since my deodorant gave out early yesterday morning, for the last hour we’ve been on a wide, flat, paved, wind-free, highway. We all survived (Dreamboat never doubted it). I am finally and fully relaxed. I’m not sure that waiting until the fear has passed, is considered brave.
But, nonetheless, I think I should get a badge of honor for my, mostly, external calm.
I am moving on.