03-01-2015 06:40 am
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway
"The sea is dangerous and its storms terrible, but these obstacles have never been sufficient reason to remain ashore. . . . Unlike the mediocre, intrepid spirits seek victory over those things that seem impossible. . . . It is with an iron will that they embark on the most daring of all endeavors. . . . to meet the shadowy future without fear and conquer the unknown."
— Ferdinand Magellan, c. 1520
I was just talking to my friend, and she was telling me how she lives in constant fear of her husband leaving her. Underneath that is the worse fear, though, the fear that he is just a raging asshole and she'd be better off if he did. That fear is the monster in the closet: what if we made a huge mistake and all of our efforts to make a failing marriage work are just...futile/meaningless/wrong-headed? What if we are better off, and the fear of the unknown is keeping us locked in a stultifying prison of our own making? Years ago, when my children were toddlers, I left my husband and my cushy life, where I didn't have to work, and I hadn't so much as done a load of laundry for three years, my children's tuition was paid, and I had everything most people want. I was scared shitless, and everyone I knew thought I was totally insane to leave my hometown, family, and friends to move toNew York, a "terrible place to raise children". But I felt the fear, and did it anyway (see the excellent self-help book by Susan Jeffers), and YOU CAN TOO. A while later, I have a great job, great friends, and my kids can't imagine living anyplace else. They are growing up to bestrong, independent ass-kicking New Yorkers, and I hope they won't be afraid to change their lives and conquer uncharted territory when and if necessary.