Thursday, October 25, 2012

Be Afraid.

We always tell ourselves “don’t be afraid.” Don’t be afraid to mess up. Don’t be afraid to go out on a date in the quaint coffee shop in the part of town you never visit because you’ve heard the homeless guy will hit on you. Don’t be scared to move across the country when the only interaction you’re guaranteed is the cat in the alley. And he only visits you because you feed him. Don’t be afraid to move on. Don’t be afraid to love again. Don’t be afraid to tell anything or anyone goodbye that doesn’t aid in your wellbeing or happiness. Don’t be afraid to tell someone to shut the hell up at a football game if they’re getting on your nerves. Don’t be afraid to defend yourself if they get pissed.

“Don’t be afraid” is bullshit, really. I’m freakin’ terrified. I’m scared and you’re scared and everybody is scared. I'm scared of love. I'm scared of not being liked. I'm scared of spitting food on a first date and tripping out of the door. So, you wanna go on date number two? I'll try to keep my food in my mouth and maybe wear lower heels. Oopsy! You’re human. In some perfect world, we would be invincible, not impacted by these things or what others thought of us. The rumors your “friend” is spreading, the taunting of a girl who really is insecure herself, the sick feeling in your stomach when you are making a radical life decision – all of these things are supposed to be terrifying. Sweaty palms before a dream job interview, the rush of a first kiss, or even the vulnerability of falling in love again. I could go on and on and on. It will scare you. Let it. We’re not invincible – we’re actually pretty delicate. In a moment, the world can change. You can get a phone call that would bring you to your knees. You could one day decide to leave everything and everyone you’ve ever known to start completely over. Closing of the door. The unknown.

If you say you’re not afraid of life’s unknowns, you’re kidding yourself. The excitement, adrenaline and rush of a feeling is what we strive for – whether or not this decision to date a guy you met in a bar could end in total bliss, or you're crying yourself to sleep. Breakup with the guy then. Whether you make a wrong decision and end up in city you hate. Move somewhere else. The sun always comes up tomorrow. Fall apart. Completely destroying who you are is actually a blessing. It’s a change to rebuild yourself the way you’ve wanted all along. I know this because I've done it.

Being afraid is human. Be afraid. Scare the shit out of yourself. Quit this mediocre nonsense of “don’t be afraid.” Your heart is going to beat out of your chest – that is the point. Start doing more, taking more risks. Tell yourself “I am afraid of this. But, dammit I’m going to do it anyway.”

Live anyway.


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