I had many iterations of two fears. One that I was unworthy as I was and the other that I would lose myself: engulfment. The way that they manifested themselves were interesting. Most recently I drove to the gym, I’d made an appointment to discuss a membership. I parked my car and then I froze. I watched the bodies getting in and out of cars headed to or from the direction of the gym. I was feeling my most vulnerable. My most unworthy and I knew I just KNEW that if I walked in, I would be annihilated by shame. Convinced that I could not stand the eyes, whispers, judgment I left. And I did not return.
Each time I return to a gym it takes months of prep. Mental preparation. It is the rock back and forth before you hop between the double Dutch ropes. It has less to do with my size and more to do with my abilities or rather my limited abilities. I remember what I used to be capable of; taking for granted so much in my foolish youth. I can’t run very far for very long and my strength is not anywhere near what it could be…what it was. So I play the shame tapes. And I let them create excuses. Outs. Down the shame spiral I fall until something happens and I start to climb upwards again. And the cycle continues.
In the same breath, I desperately miss being strong. Feeling strong. The hankering for it has been rolled around my tongue for a while now but this time I needed it to last. I needed to get rid of that story before it sabotaged me again.
1. Any attention you garner as a result of simply being who you are is no different than the way we all beam at sunshine. I had to learn not to hold it, not to make it about me. Not to allow attention to define me because if I lost it I still needed all of me.
2. You deserve your dreams. It seems kind of funny to write or tell myself but it’s what I needed. These dreams were put here as blueprints. I had every right to dare. To work and to achieve all the things that I could dream. I think about my writing. And how every time I tell someone I want to be a writer full-time they suggest I find a back up plan. So I’ve begun preemptively bracing myself for their discomfort about MY decision. But then best part is, every time I have to answer that question I get a bit more confident about sharing the answer.
3. Fear is a huge fucking liar. You, I, canNOT trust fear. Fear does not evolve you, grow you, challenge you, push you, shape you. Fear does not like imagination because it requires the abandonment of the known and an affinity for possibility. Possibility often in the absence of probability. The guesswork makes fear nervous. So fear fights to keep you contained in the world it can make sense of. I don’t want that life anymore.
I’m ready to be afraid but living.