Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Fear


I've been meaning to write this blog for about 2 weeks, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet-- tonight, I'm finally sitting down to write it and I feel like I've forgotten all the big things I wanted to say. No matter, though. I've got bits and pieces of what I want to say.

There's this great episode of Friends (maybe you've seen it recently now that they're all on Netflix) where Rachel is unhappy with her position in life (being a waitress & serving other people coffee), and the friends convince her that she has to quit in order to "get The Fear." That becomes her mantra-- "I've gotta get the fear, I've gotta get the fear!" And she quits-- and she gets the fear!

Now, I definitely know what kind of fear they're talking about--that 'holy crap, what am I going to do, I have to pay bills and survive, so I have to find a better position in life'! But, I kind of want to talk about a different kind of fear.  I've posted about fear before, but that was more tangible (if not irrational) fear (read it here) or phobia. Something more easily defined, at least. I see paper shreddings and I freak out. Pretty straightforward.

But fear in general-- this nebulous cloud hanging over me in a very Eeyore-esque way--I feel like I've been experiencing my whole life. I've always been scared-- I've been scared of people, places, things (especially new ones), of new experiences, of leaving my comfort zone. I've been like this for as long as I can remember-- I feel like I've always had The Fear.  I don't need to quit a job without a backup plan to get it.

...And that's not exactly what I did, but I did take a big step out of a comfort zone that I spent nearly three years creating.  I started a new job on Monday--and I am excited, nervous, happy, scared, sad--just a myriad of emotions have been washing over me since even before I made the decision.  And after I made the decision, I spent the time directly after wringing my hands and yammering about my myriad of emotions.  

There were so many reasons I didn't want to take this chance--but the biggest reason was fear, that little piggy that's been on my back for as long as I can remember.  Eventually, I decided that I didn't want to let The Fear make yet another decision for me.  As much as I like to deny it, or pretend it isn't true, the simple fact of the matter is that fear has ruled so many decisions in my life (I didn't go to law school because of fear; I didn't go to journalism school because of fear), and I finally took fear's power away-- at least for this particular decision.

I decided it's time to stop asking but what if it doesn't work out? And instead ask but what if it does?

So, that's where I am now.  I have had a big week--I started a new job, joined a soccer team, bought a new wardrobe.  I'll probably always have The Fear, if I'm totally honest with myself, but the decisions I made this past week have taught me that I can ignore The Fear.  I can relegate The Fear to the back of my mind--ignore the little voice that says you can't, and replace my decidedly Eeyore/Piglet like thoughts with a few Winnie the Pooh ones, instead.

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