Growing up I was quite a fearful child. I was very shy and sensitive. However, although a fearful child, as I grew older my confidence grew as well. I was very good at sports, I was popular at school and at some point in my life I developed a very healthy, ‘I can do whatever I set my mind to attitude.’ Otherwise known as a bit of a ‘fuck you’ attitude. And by you, I refer to my dear old companion…FEAR.
Maybe it was just youth, who knows, but that attitude has become part of who I am and is one of the reasons why I am able to do what I do now. Write my blog, put myself out there, expose myself, show my vulnerabilities and imperfections. Every single time I hit ‘publish’ I have fear that surfaces but that little ‘fuck you’ attitude sorts that right out and parks the fear neatly in its parking bay where, in this circumstance, it belongs. However, the older I get, the more that attitude seems to feel harder to hold onto and the more FEAR seems to be seeping into me and holding me firmly in its grip.
I think when my dad died some of my ‘fuck you’ attitude died with him. The death of someone close to you can do that I think. Because all of a sudden, life becomes a bit too real. The idea of death becomes all too real. That cocky youth who strutted around with a ‘this can’t happen to me’ attitude skulks away rather embarrassedly as you realise, all too suddenly, and all too realistically, that this indeed can happen to me. And if this can happen to me, what else can happen to me? To the people I love? All of a sudden, life, and the fragility of it, takes on a whole new meaning.
It was when I was talking to a friend the other day, that I realised that the things that scare me the most now are the ones, like death, that are beyond my control. You see, my husband is wanting to go overseas at the end of the year and quite honestly, the fear of leaving the ‘safety’ of my home scares me. Rather ironic actually as we have beams, security gates, alarms, locks so I wouldn’t exactly say we live in a ‘safe’ environment, however it’s familiarity feels safe to me. I know it. The things that scare me about going away are flying, tsunamis, terrorist attacks, all the crazy shit that’s out there. The unknown. The stuff that’s completely out of my control. However, I don’t want to let these things stand in the way of me living my life. I can’t be too scared to live life that I end up having no life right? So, in trying to reclaim some of that attitude that I once had, I have put together these pictures of just a few of the many moments in my life where I’ve been scared. Things that I never thought I would do, I’ve done them. Some of them, I have been so shit scared but I did them anyway. And that’s what I need to remember. Because that’s the kind of life I want to live.
My husband used to rock climb so it was inevitable that I give it a try. While I loved the sport and the actual climbing part, my fear of heights would get in the way. The aim of rock climbing, of course, is to get to the top but this was the part that would freak me out the most! You really have to trust the ropes and the person underneath holding them. Although I was scared I always trusted my husband completely which definitely helped.
Shaving My Hair Off
I have always wanted to shave my hair off just to see what it’s like and as a little statement to myself about what being a woman really means. As women, we can get very caught up in our looks and at the time, I felt like letting go of that in order to experience a feeling of freedom in going against the ‘norm’ of what kind of hair a woman should have. Of course, I was still nervous as to how it was going to look but I knew I just had to let go of that fear and do it! And I did!
This is me with fear setting in. My husband and I were travelling in Cambodia. We had climbed these very steep stairs and I was already freaking out about climbing back down as they were really high! This is when that fear of heights paralyses me and makes me want to curl up in a ball and not have to face what I need to do which is to go back down! But I did it and as is often the case, the fear in my head was way worse.
While this might not be scary to some, for me getting married was filled with a lot of fear. I was never one of those girls who dreamt of their wedding day and had it all planned out before it even happened. Coming from divorced parents since the age of 2 years old, marriage, love and commitment was always pretty scary for me and I was always quite guarded with my love and being vulnerable. That all changed when I met my husband, of course, and although I knew I wanted to marry and be with him, it still didn’t stop me from having a small panic attack just before walking down the aisle! Thankfully, my dad was with me to calm me down 🙂
Travelling On my Own
This is from the same time I shaved my hair. I went travelling on my own for 6 weeks in Thailand. I was meant to go with a friend and when she couldn’t make it, I decided I was going to go on my own anyway. I had the best time! That’s not my usual attire, I had to dress modestly before going into the temples 😉
Leaving My Girls For The First Time
I had the opportunity to go away with my sister and uncles to stay at Leopard Creek in the Kruger National Park and while I wanted to go, I was really nervous about leaving my girls for the first time. I have basically been a stay at home mom with both my girls so leaving them for 4 days was a huge tug on that invisible umbilical cord which never really gets cut at birth. I knew they would be totally fine with my husband but it brought up a lot of anxiety and fear for me.
This was huge for me! If you had asked me one thing I would never do in my life, I would say bungee jump! I went on an overland truck tour to Botswana, Namibia, and Vic Falls and it was such an adrenaline filled trip. We went sand boarding, quad biking, white water river rafting (which I don’t have a pic of but is another thing that I find really scary!) I got so caught up in the moment of this trip and I just knew that if ever there was a time in my life that I was going to bungee jump, it was then! So, yes, with complete fear and with my stomach feeling like it was in my toes, I bungee jumped 111 metres in Vic Falls! I think about this often because this is really one of those moments in my life when I think if I did that, the thing that scared me the most, I can do anything. I tell my girls this story often 🙂
So, does fear hold me back? Yes, it does. But will I let it? No, I won’t! Because at the end of the day, my ‘fuck you’ attitude is still inside me and I want to live my life to the best that I can. I want to show my kids that while fear is useful and helpful and needed, it is up to you to decide whether it is friend or foe. Is it going to walk beside you in life, respectfully and supportingly there in case you need it, or is it going to lead you, control you and limit you in what you can be and do. There have been many times in my life where I have chosen fear to be my friendly companion when I could have gone with the unfriendly foe option. And not once have I regretted those decisions. If anything, those moments are the ones that stand out in my mind as me being the best version of myself. My happiest moments of my life. A feeling of living life in its entirety. It’s at times like these in my life where I can feel its strong hold over me that I think of all those times that I had fear. Anxiety inducing, paralysing, cold sweats, heart palpitating FEAR and yet I looked it in the eye, said ‘Fuck You!’ and gently held its hand as it walked by my side. And every.single.time…I’m so happy I did.
Is there something you’re currently wanting to do but fear is getting the better of you and holding you back from doing it? Let me know by commenting below.
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Remember small things have big impact. Life is in the details. Appreciate each other. Love each other. Nurture yourself. Nurture your relationship. Do the work!