Friday, May 17, 2013

Struck Mute by Fear

Bill says he knows I was scared because I was so quiet. 

As an extreme extrovert, I hardly ever am noticed for my quiet demeanor. When he pointed this out, I knew it was true.

My otherwise bubbly, verbal chatter languished while an internal dialogue of fear raced inside my head, from the "what ifs" and "is this really designed properly?" to the self-soothing words to squelch the distress.

I've been zip lining twice and each time it takes more zips than not to overcome my fear. I stand on the platform, knees literally knocking (on this last trip, I suspect it was the persistent cool wind that fueled it most), before jumping off into the air, trusting the harness, my guides, and my own skill to remember to stop using my right, leather-clad palm behind me on the wire.

My friend Desiree posted on her Facebook page this morning, "Everyone's scared.
Few carry on. Keep calm, The Universe." She also posted this: "
Your fears won't keep you safe. They will keep you small." 

She's a wise friend, and while I suspect she'd talk slightly differently about the fear that eclipses a soul on a treetop platform of a zipline course, I will still apply them here. They're relevant metaphors for this life experience. Zip lining, like hang gliding, like backpacking, life, or running one's own business has inherent things we perceive as dangers, places to slip, and points for failure.  But, if we never step off the platform we won't know what we can accomplish. And, once we're off, the rewards, the adrenaline, the celebration when we succeed what we set out to do absolutely rock!

Bill has lost more than 160 lbs. He knows. Hard work. Trust. Attitude. These things matter for any obstacle. Daily, he's forging new territory: zip lining, dance classes, dating, seeking out challenging and new life experiences.
Scott, me, Laura, Bill

Right now I'm facing fear of the unknown. I'm standing between the ever present challenges of self-employment and the equally challenging commitment to full-time work with an organization that is as close to my own heart as the blood in my veins. While the path ahead of me isn't quite clear, I know that I must trust and step boldly off the platform, so that I can land somewhere new. It's growth. It's evolution. It's life.


Wilderness Escapades said...

Looks like you had a blast! Did the company take your photos?

Leanna said...

It was a mix. Some photos were taken on Bill's camera that we all took turns using. Other photos were taken by the company's photographer.