Maybe I Was Too Hasty? I Do Get Scared.

Maybe I Was Too Hasty? I Do Get Scared.

When I sarcastically snapped at the man in my imaginary response to him asking “aren’t you scared? Riding that motorcycle?” perhaps I was too hasty in my mind. No, I’m not scared of riding a motorcycle. But I do get scared by things peripherally surrounding them.

Many of my fears relate to traveling on my own and not knowing how to help myself if I get in to trouble. I’m scared of being scared. And of being too afraid to take a leap of faith and follow my heart. Oh, and the big one – the fear of regret from inaction. There are times when I catch a whiff of talking myself out of doing something because… what if?

What If?

Why does what if always signal something bad in my mind? What if it turns out to be the greatest fucking thing ever?! I never say that to myself, though.

When I pick apart the times when I feel scared, more often the fear of missing an opportunity will trump the fear of something bad that might happen along the way.

When I was getting ready to leave for my road trip in early October, there were a few times that I thought maybe I shouldn’t go. The reasons weren’t anything concrete or specific. There was also the weight of guilt for being selfish that colored my feelings. That is always there, even when I have the full support of my family behind me.

But beyond the typical feelings of guilt, there were moments of something more. Things like – well, what if I get lonely? What if the weather is terrible? What if I don’t have any fun? What if I drop my bike on some lonely road? What if I can’t find a hotel room anywhere ever on the entire planet?

Doesn’t that sound ridiculous? When I read it back now it just sounds stupid, really. But those were the things that would come filtering in to my mind before leaving.

I read a quote from Picasso last week about one of his muses and lovers, Dora Maar. He said:

“Dora, for me, was always a weeping woman….And it’s important, because women are suffering machines.”

Oh, God. Is that me? Am I my own suffering machine?

 

But then, with a parting of the clouds I can happily remind myself that even though nagging fears and what-ifs were clawing at my ankles, I went anyway. And you know, I found ways to make it through my days and came out the other side of my trip enriched from having done it.

Did bad things happen? No. Did I get lonely? No, not really. There were moments at night when I wished my family were with me but, FaceTime can really work wonders. Was the weather terrible? No, it was actually quite lovely. And as it turns out, there are hotels rooms all across the US just waiting for your money. My fears were unfounded. If I would’ve succumbed to them, I would have missed some incredible moments that stay with me still. That would have been a shame.

Fuzzy: 1  | Fear: 0

 

7 Replies to “Maybe I Was Too Hasty? I Do Get Scared.”

  1. β€œDon’t be afraid of your fears. They’re not there to scare you. They’re there to let you know that something is worth it.”
    ― C. JoyBell C.

  2. Fuzzy

    I think these feelings you are talking about are just putting you in touch with your inner self, its your safeguard, and not insecurity or being scared. Its the part of us that keeps us safe and in the moment. Yup there is a certain amount of ‘leap of faith’ required in our daily lives and even adventures, I think I’d be more worried if I didn’t have those moments of fear or reality checks. They just make you more open to all possibilities and probably make you take a little more care. And yes women are suffering machines, we worry about worrying. Adventure on my friend!

    1. You may be right, Dar. My husband Kenny says that I use the word ‘scared’ incorrectly in cases like this. Maybe it’s just a dose of self-preservation and a reality check. Otherwise I’d go blindly skipping off without a care in the world πŸ™‚

  3. “Suffering Machines” is a perfect descriptor for women. In my experience, women worry and experience feelings of guilt far more than men. It can be crippling at times. I am glad you push aside those fears because I really enjoy your adventures.

    I’m not afraid of riding my motorcycle either, and often tell people that, if I get killed while riding my bike, at least people will know I died happy. But I worry about stupid shit like getting hit by a walnut falling from a tree (I KNOW it’ll happen one day), getting bonked on the head by a tree branch during a windstorm, getting hepatitis, salmonella, etc. from contaminated food, my kids hating me because I was an awful parent, etc.

    Sadly, more often than not it’s guilt, not fear, that keeps me from doing the things I want to do.

  4. We all face fear. And anxiety. Like Dar says, it’s our brains way of keeping us alert. The trick is to keep moving forward despite it. And than savor the delights of being in the world. As you note, travel in the first world isn’t that risky: there are businesses eager to take our money and fewer bands of roving kidnappers than in other parts of the world.

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