Feeling Fearless

I’m not brave. I worry, I fret, and I panic. (Or at least I used to, I was hypnotised to nip that hyperventilating little freak out in the bud). I overthink things; I dwell and imagine the worst case scenario. If I envisage the worst, then when (alright, if) it happens, I’m prepared. Not only is it really not healthy, it makes my shoulders ache and I’ll probably get wrinkles. I wish I didn’t worry so much, my family wish I didn’t worry so much, my positive glass half full boyfriend doesn’t understand how one person can worry so much, but it’s just the way I am. I was wired to worry and when I don’t have anything specific to worry about, well, that’s a worry in itself.

My worries are wide and all encompassing, I’m not fussy. I worry about my family, my friends, my job, my health, my hips… Everything is a concern, from the mundane ‘my left eye is definitely smaller than my right’ furrow on the brow to the ‘have I set my alarm?’ restless nights to the ‘holy crap, I’ve found a lump’ teeth grinding fear. It’s actually quite surprisingly I’m not a quivering jelly of a woman, wrapped in bubble wrap and frozen by trepidation. No, as a friend of mine so aptly described it, I’m a swan. Utterly serene on the surface yet kicking like a bugger under the surface. See whilst I’m a worrier, my biggest concern would be that I let it beat me. Whilst I’m a clear contender for world championship worrying, this comes second only to my stubbornness. I dig my heels in, grit my teeth and my determination will not waver, which when it comes to apprehension, is bloody useful. I am far too stubborn to let any nervousness stop me doing anything. I don’t want to let on that under this calm (ha!) exterior that has somehow been attributed to me that actually I’m a big wuss. So if it scares me, I do it.

Tomorrow we’re going on holiday. He and I are going to Marrakech, which along with New York, has always been on my list. I can’t wait to soak up the souks, rock the riads and obviously wear a fez. Only one itty bitty problem. Flying. I don’t like it. I do not like being trapped in a big metal box thousands of feet above the ground. In fact, I hate being trapped in a big metal box thousands of feet above the ground. But some things you just gotta do. My apprehension has started to build over the past few days, I feel the odd flutter now and then, but I’m stubbornly ignoring it. No worry will stop me. Last year we were going to Spain, I hadn’t flown for 8 years so was having some cracking anxiety dreams à la Final Destination. So I bought a book on the fear of flying. I couldn’t read it. It was littered with spelling mistakes. So I went to the doctors for a little help (pill) and off I skipped with some Valium. That I left at home. I figured I scored a greater point against worry that whilst I had a backup, I still kicked it to the curb. And once we landed in Alicante, after kissing the ground (joking. Ish) I punched the air. Worry? Pah! In your face!

Admittedly I spent the flight sweaty, clenched and grinding but I felt the fear and I did it anyway. And when I flew again earlier this year, I was less sweaty, much less clenched and experienced little to no grinding. I can’t say my fear has disappeared, I can’t quite shake that sense that I AM NOT ON THE GROUND but I’m pretty sure there’s not a lot I can’t do. Perhaps as I get older I’m getting braver (possibly) or perhaps I’m growing out of my worrying ways (doubtful) or maybe I’m just becoming more stubborn (likely), whatever the reason, no irrational worries will stop me doing anything. Within reason. I’m not crazy.


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