As I grew up, though, I stopped conquering my fears by means of facing them. In fact, I steadfastly avoided them at all costs. When I was in school, and I had a crush, I would avoid that crush and hope to God he didn't find out liked him. When I was afraid that my father would disappoint me I'd mask it with a smile and pretend to not be bothered by it. When I was afraid I wouldn't be able to lose weight, I wouldn't even try.
Now as an adult I've come to realize I'm ruled by fear. And, admitting that is scary business. Admitting fear is admitting weakness. It's leaving myself exposed and vulnerable... and that alone is a huge fear of mine.
So why am I doing it? I recently realized that when I'm afraid of something, it seems to come true.
For instance, a couple of years ago I was afraid that the man I was falling for wouldn't ever return my feelings. That fear came true. Then I was afraid he'd find somebody else. That fear came true. Then I was afraid he'd fall in love with her and take a serious step of commitment with her (like moving in together)... that fear also came true. Now, I fear he'll marry her (something he said he had no interest of ever doing). And, I fear that because I fear it... it will come true as well.
I know logically that just because I'm afraid of something happening doesn't mean it's actually going to happen. But I also wonder if being afraid of it isn't the same as knowing it's going to happen but secretly hoping it doesn't. Am I just really bad at accepting things as they are, or am I really, really unlucky?
For a long long time I was afraid of the number 13. My childhood dog died on a Friday the Thirteenth. My grandfather died on November 13. I took a date to a party once, on June 13 (many years ago), and he had sex with somebody else in the bathroom. On another Friday the Thirteenth, my boyfriend showed up to a girls' night out drunk off his ass and embarrassed the hell out of me. The more and more I was afraid of the number, the more bad things started to happen in and around that number. It was as if my negative energy brought on the negative activities.
So, I faced the fear. For the first time since childhood I took an irrational fear and head butted it. I, Destiny Fritz, got the number 13 tattooed onto my body. There's no escaping it now. I even got the tattoo on FRIDAY THE 13TH! I'm surprised I didn't contract a communicable disease, given my fear of the number. So far, it hasn't brought me bad luck. In fact it feels freeing to say "I had this fear... and now I don't. See? I can't be afraid of something tattooed on me." Because no matter what, that number is in my life every day now.
I want to be fearless. I want to love fearlessly. I want to go through my life knowing there's fear, but saying, "Fear... you don't scare me anymore." Because what kind of life is one ruled by fear? How will I ever accomplish anything if I'm afraid of what people will think, what people will say or how it will look? I've come a long way in being a confident, self assured person... but I still have a long way to go.
I think admitting the fear is the first step. When you say you're afraid of something, then you have it out of the way. You've expelled part of the fear and you now have the opportunity to come up with a solution against it, move past it, and just maybe... conquer it.
So what am I afraid of? So many things. I'm afraid I'll never finish a book. I'm afraid I'll never get that book published. I'm afraid I'll never find somebody to fully love me for who and what I actually am. I'm afraid I'll never lose this weight. I'm afraid I'll always be distracted from accomplishing my goals.
Now that I've said all of that out loud, I'm going to work on ways to solve those fears. I'm going to take them, crush them, and prove them wrong. Who's with me? Who wants to get rid of the fear?