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?
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?
“Picasso The Weeping Woman Tate identifier T05010 10” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.
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