On Living… Fearlessly? The Complexities…

All my life,
I have just been waiting for this moment to be free…

This post has little to do with Alicia, although as I sit here with my iPhone right above my keyboard, the juxtaposition of the creative process seems so similar, and the image seems that more fitting. The beauty of having a blog is that I can comment on any feeling that may arise, without having to worry about tone or the approval of an editor. And it’s my only hope that by writing from an honest place, I might be able to reach out to anyone who’s feeling similarly.

Earlier this week, I read a piece in the August issue of Essence, on living fearlessly. It’s one of those concepts that people throw around, a sort of New Year’s resolution some aspire to after a bad breakup, when they resolve to dust off old dreams to heal new scars. It’s one I never reference, because the concept is one I’ve never felt possible for myself.

I’m the most cautious person I know. Ever since I was a kid, I weigh every option, and if one side seems even slightly uncertain, I retract my hesitant footsteps. The water’s too deep. That rollercoaster is too fast. One of the reasons airplanes freak me out is that I feel suspended in uncertainty over a long period of time, with no ground under me to fall back on when things get scary.

Lately I feel like I’m sitting on the edge of a pool. My bathing suit is on, my feet are splashing in the water, and I’m sitting alongside friends. I’m watching some dive right in, trying laps and soaring. Each friend eases into the water, and lets go. Some team up and help each other into the water, and they swim along together. I ease in slowly, one leg after the other, but I pull myself out when the water feels too cold. Sometimes frustrated and willful, I jump right in, determined to swim, to just fight through the fear, but when I feel my body letting go, I race back to the ledge, feeling safe, secure, and defeated.

Ironically, for the part of me that is cautious, there’s another part that is crazy bold. The part that chose journalism over medical school. The writer part that conveys all the ideas I struggle to say in person. The part that survived three corporate layoffs by getting right back in the ring swinging. Being an idealist is probably my boldest trait, because it’s based on hope and courage.

Well, in my life, if there ever was a time for hope and courage, it’s now. In every aspect of my life, all roads are leading to a leap. And I’m scared.

I could cut my losses, write off the unfamiliar, and reach for the ledge. Even though my heart wants so much more. Even though I’m capable of so much more than I probably know.

Living fearlessly may be something I’ll figure out eventually. Odds are I’ll always be a little hesitant, and that’s ok. But the courageous part is ready to let go of the ledge. A little.

I could close my eyes, kiss deeply, risk a broken heart and experience a lifetime of love or a whirlwind romance, instead of just reading about them. I could let go of the familiar path, and influence others far beyond my Facebook page.

If I could just string the glimmering moments of courage together, I could form a steady glow. Fingertip by fingertip, I’m starting to believe.

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