It seems that a big theme for my 2018 is fear. I’ll be the first to tell you that I am a fearful person. I am a lot of amazing things – headstrong, ambitious, empathetic, and passionate – but “brave” appears nowhere on the list.
I get so anxious that I’ll catch myself pulling out my eyebrows. I’m 25 years old and too afraid to drive a car. I’ve thrown out entire journals of my own work in fear that it isn’t good enough to share. And I’ve been known to occasionally drop to the floor when someone I don’t know knocks at my front door.
I think that a big part of me learned to accept this fear rather than question it. It was my normal and I sort of just thought I’d always be that way. It’s something I started to really think over during the holidays, though. This was likely prompted by the fact that I (finally) graduated with my BA and – like all recent grads – got slapped in the face with a big WHAT NOW?.
Not knowing what was next for me, I decided that I would use my newfound time and freedom to do the impossible. I was going to conquer my fear in 2018.
I started driving my girlfriend’s car home from the grocery store in town. I finally got the ball rolling on projects I’d been too self-conscious to start. And – get this – I even started making my own important phone calls. (Are you impressed yet?)
I’m sharing this with you because of this: I have never, ever, ever done something I was proud of that didn’t require a conquering of fear. Everything I have achieved for myself and everything I love about my life right now came as a result of coming face to face with something that terrified me. I was scared to “come out,” but now I am about to celebrate a 4th anniversary with a beautiful woman. I was scared to go to school for creative writing instead of something “practical,” but now I actually use my degree and my skills to work full-time as a writer.
I am an easily overwhelmed person, so I’ve accomplished things at a slower pace than others might. I came out of the closet late, I graduated college late, I’m learning to drive late, and I am pursuing my passions late. But, I am learning to celebrate the fact that I’ve accomplished these things at all.
I’m throwing my fear of fear aside this year and focusing instead on the possibilities waiting on the other side of it. Let me know what you’re afraid of and how you’re taking it head-on this year.