Fly Away

flyFor this week’s Finish the Sentence Friday post, I’m supposed to talk about my greatest fear.

Well, that’s awkward. 

Guys, I’m a mess. I’m claustrophobic.  I’m afraid to drive after dark or go outside on windy days. Maple trees terrify me. Big dogs, little rodents, unidentifiable noises when I’m alone. Basements. Bridges over large bodies of water. Thunderstorms. Car washes.

But here’s the thing about fears:

We all have them.

If you want to tell me that you are fearless, that nothing frightens you, go ahead. I will look you in the eye and call you a liar. Then I will turn and run like hell, because I just happen to be really afraid of confrontations.

Fear makes people do stupid things. When I see a snake, fear makes me pee.

When my boss glides up silently behind me and starts talking just a few inches from my ear, fear makes me spin around and shout, “For the love of God, woman, would you PLEASE wear a bell or something?!”

There was a time in my life when I thought of myself as fearless. I went to scary movies and convinced a group of my friends to sneak into an empty “haunted” house in my neighborhood. I even spent a few nights in a local graveyard where it was rumored that Al Capone’s mistress was buried. Local legend said that Flora liked to rise from her grave and dance at midnight, but she never seemed to feel much like dancing on the nights I was there. I never saw anything but a few bats and some people who were as gullible as I was.

I was a bit of a risk-taker. I went to a college in another state where I knew no one; I tried parasailing and rock climbing. I went on blind dates and fix-ups, and I took chances that make me want to go back in time and slap my younger self.

But I wasn’t really fearless when it came right down to it. I had one big fear that I just couldn’t face.

As long as I talked about my book without ever writing it, I never had to face the fear that maybe I couldn’t write a book. If I never let anyone read my work, no one could tell me to give up because I lacked talent As long as I never actually finished writing anything, I never had to face the fear that maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t really a writer. 

I spent years talking about writing, learning to write, planning to write. I was dedicated to my dream, or so I told myself. I can look back now and see that the only thing I was dedicated to was my fear of failure.

And then life dropped a tree on my head.

So, now I’m afraid of maple trees and thunderstorms and sometimes the color blue if it’s the exact shade of the tarp they threw over my face during the rescue. I can have a panic attack every time I see a treetop bending in the wind. I’m terrified every time my kids leave the house because I understand now that all it takes is one second, one instant, one fluke of nature to take a life. I’m a neurotic mess who is pretty much afraid of everything.

And you know what all that fear has taught me over the last five years?

Life is short. There are no guarantees. “See you tomorrow” isn’t always a promise; sometimes, it’s a lie. All it takes is one mistake, one accident, one horrifying diagnosis, and guess what? Maybe you don’t get that tomorrow.

Do you have a dream that you’ve been putting off? Well, what are you waiting for? Whether you dream of writing a book or learning to paint or driving cross-country in a Winnebago, stop putting it off.

Try it.

Take a risk.

Don’t let fear tell you to put it off until tomorrow, because you never know when tomorrow just might drop a maple tree on your head. 

 

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
― Erin Hanson

 

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “One of my biggest fears I ever had to face…”

Hosts are Kristi from http://www.findingninee.com  and Michelle Grewe of  http://crumpetsandbollocks.com/

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8 thoughts on “Fly Away

    • Not douchy at all! It’s a terrifying thing to worry about weird and random things happening to the ones you love, like trees falling on them!

      And yeah . . . I was driving in a thunderstorm and a giant maple tree snapped off in the wind and landed on my van, directly on top of my head. It broke my spine in five places, including my neck, and it changed everything about my life from that point forward. But a lot of good came out of it, too — I have a whole different outlook on life now. Everything happens for a reason.

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  1. Ouch. I am bowing down before you. You get it. Life as we know it can vanish in a snap. The fact that you put yourself out there after such an horrific accident is, well, rather stellar in my books. Thanks also for the nudge to stop procrastinating.

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  2. ouch!
    I think your fears are justified AJ. But, then I also like how you reason out within. It does help introspect the situation and you are not blindfolded by certain situations.

    xoxo

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  3. I can’t believe the tree thing. It’s like the cosmic powers that be was like, “Eff this person in particular, no wait, she’s a good person, well then un-eff her.” But you are right. Life has no promises but death, and facing that fear can sometimes be traumatic. If it makes you feel better, I am so sick of the color blue. I was in the Air Force. Everything was blue. Then my husband made me turn my single years of obsessing over my love of sage green to blue. My living room was blue for years, and I’m trying to shift it to red. Blue needs to step. Now I’m probably going to think of you every time I eat maple syrup. I’ll eat it like a shot of vodka and toast my pancakes to you and your awesomeness. While, “I’ll see you tomorrow” can sometimes be a lie, well, like Rocky said, “It’s not how hard you can punch, but how hard you can take a punch and keep going.” Way to take a punch.

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  4. Oh great. Thanks for making me afraid. :-/

    Truth is: I’m like you. I already have fear. I’m afraid that one terrible accident will take my husband or family away forever. And don’t even get me started on not being able to accomplish all that I want to in life.

    On the other hand your post is kind of nice to see. It makes me feel a little bit better than the person who bungee jumps off a cliff isn’t some sort of superhuman. (Spiderman or woman perhaps?) That everyone has fears. We just have to face and/or work through them. (You can’t face the fear of someone dying on their way to work; you just have to let them go and hope for the best.)

    I’m glad that your life experiences encouraged you to write, even if you were worried your voice wasn’t worth listening to. It sounds like they worked out, since your favorite blogger liked your book! Best of luck on facing your next fear – no matter what it is! 🙂

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