“Fear is the original sin,” wrote John Foster. “Almost all the evil in the world has its origin in the fact that some one is afraid of something. It is a cold, slimy serpent coiling about you. It is horrible to live with fear; and it is of all things degrading.”
~ Lucy Maude Montgomery, The Blue Castle
Sometimes I think my entire life — not just events, but everything people think of as me — is built around coping with fear.
This draft has been sitting around since, oh, the last time I updated here, and since then, I feel less like that. With the Symposium, I’m between falling axes, things are going smoothly with my mom’s house, and in general I feel less like I’m balancing on an ice floe at the edge of the world.
Either that, or I’m just to busy to acknowledge fear. The other night, I was sitting at the stoplight to get on Wade Avenue, when on NPR they were talking to the residents of a little town in (Serbia? Bosnia? one of those). One of the points of the story was that no one wanted to talk to them.
“Don’t ask me any questions,” an elderly woman told the reporter through the translator. “I’m very tired, and too much has happened here.”
My eyes welled up with tears, and I sobbed all the way to the I-40 merge. I knew exactly what she meant.
But while I feel the truth of that quote up there, I also can’t help thinking that fear, while unpleasant and constricting, can also be a powerful motivator. Fear of failure makes me conscientious and detail-oriented; fear of abandonment keeps me from taking my loved ones for granted; and impatience with fear makes me determined to live my life in defiance of it. I refuse to be that person who huddles inside her fear, wrapping it around her like a holey blanket, and whimpering, “but…what if…?”
Go boldly forth, and fear be damned.