When Fear Becomes All That You Are

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Carolina Heza / Unsplash

I am so afraid.

Not of one specific thing or event or time.

Not of a certain person or feeling.

This kind of fear can’t be so easily compartmentalized.

It’s a fear that rides along with you, tucked neatly behind your ear.

Always present, always there to slip in and remind you that things are not okay.

You are not okay.

Let’s stop for a second and try to rationalize all of this.

I’ve always joked with people that I’m afraid of anything that can hurt me.

Fire, bugs, boys etc, etc.

And I’m always met with a round of laughs as we move on to the next subject.

But here’s the thing,

I’m not so sure how much any of that is really a joke.

I often find myself stuck between where I know is safe and comfortable and a new experience teeming with possibility and danger.

There’s usually a small part of me which wants so badly to embark on that new adventure, but the overwhelming majority of my brain is begging me to do anything but go there.

If you stay in the same place, in the same routine with the same people, you always know what to expect.

Knowing what to expect means being able to be prepared.

And being prepared means being able to get through it all.

I feel like that’s all I’m ever doing—just trying to get through it all.

But then there is always that tiny part of me wondering if this is all just some big mistake.

That maybe each passed up opportunity is another nail in the coffin of the life I’ll never have.

Maybe I should travel more instead of being so afraid of being alone someplace new.

Maybe I should try to meet more people instead of keeping them at a polite distance until they eventually all just leave.

But that’s what you want, isn’t it?

For anything new and exciting to just leave?

If nothing new and exciting gets in, then the comfortable old ways can never get out.

Worn out.

That’s how you’ll feel when you are constantly working to keep things the same.

Each day is a new battle, a resistance against anything that could possibly damage the perfect little world you’ve built.

But is it perfect?

You’ve got to be so tired trying to keep this all up.

The appearances, the grandeur, the “isn’t this just so quaint?”

Stop.

Stop pretending that change is the enemy and new is synonymous with pain.

Fear of the unknown will stop you in your tracks, but it’s the decision to turn around that will hurt you most.

Things we don’t yet know are scary because their possibilities are endless.

But with these potentially scary possibilities comes the probability that some of them will be truly amazing.

The only thing fear can guarantee is that you will never have more than what you allow yourself right now if you don’t take that first shaky step forward.

If you don’t open the door, how can you ever expect to get anywhere?

Fear can either break you or build you.

It is entirely up to you to decide which path you take. TC mark

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