Thursday, March 3, 2016


In the last two days, three of my closest friends have had to deal with the F word.  I don't think any of them knew at the time that is what they were dealing with, but since fear is an old friend of mine, I recognized it's presence immediately.

I experience different types of fear on a daily basis. There is the fear when one of the boys jumps out and startles me. There is also the super creepy fear when Oscar stands in my bedroom doorway at 3 in the morning with his deep voice slowly whispering "Mooooommmmyyyyy" and when I answer him he doesn't answer because he is sleep walking.  The constant fear of sounding stupid.  Which I already know, sounds stupid.

But the fear I'm referring to is a little different.

One of my friends had a job interview that could have changed their life.  Another friend had to face the reality that a close friend of hers might by dying.  Another friend is moving to a different state.

Anything that takes us out of our comfort zone is scary.

While some of those things sound amazing, there is a tremendous amount of fear that runs as an undercurrent to anything new.

As much as I hate fear, it has always been present in some of the most important moments of my life.

Fear of telling someone I loved them.

Fear of watching someone die.

When Don asked me to marry him....well, I was mostly fearful for him. I know my family is a bit crazy, but did he really know? And yes he did, and still asked and they love him.

When I found out, I was pregnant with my first son.  I told Don, and we both just stared at each other speechless in shock. Fear was certainly there.

When I submitted my first piece of writing.

Anytime I have stepped on stage.

Fear of saying something hurtful out of pain and losing someone I love.

But sometimes you just have to jump into it, even though it feels paralyzing.

My ability to generate fear is somewhat of a love/hate relationship I have with myself.  I love it because whenever I'm scared about something, it almost always means I'm on the brink of something amazing.  Hate, that it makes me hesitant.  Love, that it protects me from certain dangers. Hate, that it shines a bright spotlight on my insecurities.

I'm going to France tomorrow.  I didn't know I was going to France two days ago, but the opportunity has presented itself.  When I got the invitation, I immediately started typing out my excuses. As I began to do this, I realized that not one of them was valid.  But I usually don't  decline invitations with complete honesty because you guessed it, fear.

I'm sorry I can't come to France for this amazing opportunity because I have to make my son's lunches.  Or, I'm sorry I can't come to France because I'm afraid that the plane is going to crash.  

Which brings me to my absolute biggest most humongous fear in the entire world.  Flying.

I'm the girl on the plane that doesn't sleep. I have the look of panic almost the entire time.  In college, I had a panic attack in turbulence and cried. People thought it was a baby, nope it was a 21 year old woman in the back row with flight attendants holding ice packs to her neck.  The last trip I was on with the family I was convinced there was a terrorist on it and begged Don to let us leave the plane immediately.  Obviously, we arrived in Tucson just fine and were enjoying margaritas soon after we touched down.

So I was explaining this to a friend this morning, and he asked me what I was afraid of. I honestly thought it was kind of a dumb question. But he isn't a dumb person, so I told him that it was because I didn't want to die.  "Why?" he asked.  I had to think about it. I mean, I do believe in God,  but more of the actual terror right before it happened.  "If it is going to happen, you won't be able to do anything about it, so why have fear be the last thing you feel?"

I just love it when someone says something so brutally honest like that. It hits me in the face. I'm a thinker.  I love it when someone challenges me to dig deep for an answer.

I paused and let that thought resonate and, I said without thinking, I'm afraid that my boys would be mad at me.

And with that answer, I pretty much summed up every fear I have ever had.  Underneath it all, I'm afraid to disappoint the people I love the most.

Unless I was doing something really stupid, like playing in traffic, or jumping off a bridge, why would anyone be mad at me for dying?

So I'm facing fear in the face and going to France, to unplug, write,  have fun and take a step outside my normal roles in a beautiful and safe setting.

But before I go,  I have been texting and telling people I love them.  Yes, I know, it's almost as creepy as Oscar standing in my doorway, to get a text from me, or even worse, tell you in person that I love you and that if I die, I am grateful for the time we spent together on this Earth. Or to get a hug from me that lasts just a little too long.

The truth is, that if you are reading this, I want to tell you anyway, I have just been too afraid.

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