My dear friend was showering me with praise as to my courage for exploration and adventure. She called me brave. I thought about this for a moment. Of all things in life, I never really think of myself as brave. After all, I was scared of fear itself. Yet in that moment of pause, I had a flashback to the young girl.
I was so scared to say no, to speak in public (I would blush profusely), to stop alongside country roads, to talk to strangers was a big no-no, even to be seen- frightened me.
My anxiety was so subtle, yet ever present. I did somehow manage to function and come across as a fairly intelligent TV sound operator. Yet under the seemingly calm surface, the dark, murky mud of fear threatened to overpower me at any given moment, (plus I am scared of the dark, and dark water- even now!)
So I wondered what happened to make me appear brave now? Somewhere along those 18 years, I made friends with my fear. It is still present but no longer all encompassing nor in charge. It is simply another aspect of me. Along with curiosity, excitement, anticipation and wonder- which I think may have been there all along but just drowned out by the noise of fear.
In many ways the reason why I am so public with my life on social media, may be because a part of me still can’t believe I am doing something. I need evidence, an audience and a future reference for past reflection.
I recently attended a lovely talk by Kate Turkington and I marveled at her attitude towards life. She travels, speaks, lives, loves and all with a sense of magic and wonder. I asked her if she has any sense of fear. She paused and answered ‘no’. I think she trusts life in all it’s unpredictable glory and possible pain and I think I may have started to do the same.
It’s not courage that makes me do things, it’s curiosity.
And that takes me to places I have never thought possible. If I can help one person step out of their comfortable, safe, fearful space -just once- then it is even more rewarding. But I am not doing life for anyone else- I am simply doing it for me. Because…