Monday, October 31, 2011


A lot of kids love Halloween. They love the candy but some of them actually love being scared. As adults, looking at and living life, fear becomes ... well, something to fear. We have legitimate fears borne out of concerns and consequences, but sometimes we take it too far.

It makes sense to fear a dark alley in a bad neighborhood late at night. It makes sense to fear the repercussions of your boss when you find out the work you submitted was not the work he was looking for. Of course, it makes sense to fear for your kids and their well-being.

Yet, when we fear what others think, when we fear what might happen when the happening in question is way out of the realm of possibility, when we fear what we don't know just because we don't know it, we need to adopt a more fearless, dare I say, child-like approach.

In my early 20's I moved across the country to a city I'd never visited before. In a month, I managed to find work and an apartment. Over the next few months, I managed to make a few friends. About 6 months in, I was miserable. I hated it there. The job I took was supposed to be temporary until I found something else, but I wasn't finding anything. I wasn't close to any family, I wasn't making enough to afford a trip home, and my two new friends were planning moves back East. So after 9 months, I moved back.

Shortly after my arrival, an uncle told me that he and the rest of the family were disappointed because I didn't try hard enough. I asked him how long I would have had to stay there miserable before he would have felt better? I looked my fear of the unknown directly in the eye and stared him down. I had no regrets and I wasn't going to let his regrets hold me back.

I know people who avoid relationships, stay in relationships, and who refuse to even look for a job when there current job is making them miserable, because they fear what the unknown will look like. In there eyes, a little unhappiness beats the fear of stepping into the unknown.

Fear doesn't have to be enjoyed or reveled in, but it does need to be kept in perspective. Courage isn't moving forward with the lack of fear, it's moving forward in spite of it.

No comments: