I thought I’d make 2012 all about “facing my fears.” But, then I realized I had to move that up two months to November, 2011. So many personal things happened to me in that month that I never thought would happen, and as a result, I could put those in my “facing my fears category.”
One of the most important ones was getting FLYING TO THE LIGHT published. While getting a book published is an arduous task and always a dream of mine, it’s the scrutiny of your friends, families and people you respect who are going to read your book. There’s this sense of “not wanting to appear a fool or disappoint” or simply to “write a good book that people will enjoy.” We all have self consciousnesses and for me, getting something out there that was good would prove to me and others that all this time, these past twenty years trying to get published, was not tom-foolery. It was a real dream and something that I think I could really do and hold my head up high doing it.
The next conquering fear was taking my 1st Dan Black belt test in tae kwon do. You’re excited and nervous and the idea of simply remembering all those forms and techniques and performing them in front of your instructors and fellow students is daunting. Again, you don’t want your fears to overtake you. You want to do well, to impress, to accomplish. I used to tell my fellow peer that “what is the worst thing that happens? I fall to the floor in a puddle of shame?” Seriously, if I messed up, well, then I would simply stand back up and try again.
I’m luckily mature enough to know it’s ok for me to try and fail at things, but it’s not ok for me to hide behind my fears because I’m scared. I don’t want to live my life with a “coulda, woulda, shoulda” scenario. How sad that there are people who won’t even do something as easy as eating sushi, or petting a dog or riding a horse – anything out of their norm, because they’re scared. My own little guy won’t eat icecream because he’s scared of how cold it is. Icecream? One of life’s greatest inventions and he’s scared. I don’t want to live like that, ever and I don’t want him to either. So we work on our fears, every day, a little bit at a time.
So, I’ve decided (well, still deciding, but we know I’ll most likely do it), to actually sign up and compete in my first tae kwon do tournement at the end of January. I’m going to do this super cool form and spar. (yes, I said spar). Let me tell you, sparring is not my forte. The thirteen year olds can kick me right in the head and there’s not a darn thing I’ve yet been able to do to stop them. And now, I’ll be competing with other black belts who are all older than me and higher belts! But, I’m going to try. What’s the worst thing that happens? A few bruises? A broken nose? I come in dead last? But at least I did it, I showed my children, and myself, that no matter how old you are, you can accomplish anything… and maybe I’ll even surprise myself and place in something.
Some other things on my possible docket? Skydiving? Ziplining? Chocolate covered grasshoppers? Target practic? (it’s the gun itself that is supremely scary to me). How about riding a horse without fear? Jumping off a high diving board in the pool? Learning to do a back flip? Maybe running the marathon.
So, I implore everyone to try to pick something that they’ve never done, something that maybe they even feared a little and give it a go. Life is too short. We run around this world once, so don’t let things pass you by.
Let me know what you decide to do and just maybe I’ll jump along and try it out with you!