I’m scared. Terrified actually of quite a lot of things. It used to be flying. The summer I graduated from high school, which coincidentally was the same summer my mother was first diagnosed with cancer; I developed a crippling fear of flying. This came out of nowhere. I’d been flying at least twice a year from before I could even walk. And yet there I was, frantically praying to God and gripping my armrest as my stomach turned over and over during take-off and decent; even worse during turbulence. And suddenly just as quickly as that fear had gripped me, leaving me sweaty and exhausted at airport gates, it dissipated. It evaporated and I soon discovered that there are far worse things than flying.
My mother was a bit overly cautious, which if I’m honest with myself is probably where I get my apprehension. Our safety was her highest priority (as it should be for any mother). However it often seemed ridiculous, like when she would sit in the car observing the street before getting out to enter the house. Once, during my teen years she forbade me from going into a certain neighborhood (there was a boy involved obviously.) I didn’t much think of these things at the time other than to shake my head, or sigh in exasperation. And yet despite of everything, all of my rejections and eye rolls, my Mama’s cautious nature has weaseled itself into my DNA. I thought about it the other evening as I walked home alone in the dark, keys in hand, eyes darting back and forth, iPod muted. Nonetheless, fear of the “boogieman” isn’t what keeps me awake at night. Instead, its fear of judgement, fear of what other people think of me. I fear so deeply that I’ve made a wrong turn, that my thoughts and my decisions are poor choices or worse still, invalid.
Let me clarify. I’d like to think that I’m a very secure individual (def waaaayyy more than I was just a few years ago.) But then again, there is no manual to adulthood. Our world looks very different than it did even ten years ago. I suppose I’m always looking for someone else to validate my choices, to say that’s a good move, or that’s a smart plan. Instead, all I hear are the insecurities spinning around in my head. Admittedly, sometimes I give into those voices, telling me I have no clue what I’m doing (which I don ‘t), making me believe that I’ll always be in this same spot because I lack the tools for growth. Those feelings that tell me that I am insignificant are what keep me awake at night. Some days it screams louder than others as I pace back in forth in my dark apartment in the middle of the night. Other times, its like a soft whisper in the wind as I move through my day.
Fear can cripple you if you give in to it. However, if you continue to press forward despite your trepidation, magic just may be within your reach.
xoxoxox Chocolate Girl in the City xoxoxoxoxo