It seems that all my life I’ve been afraid of something. When I graduated from high school, I was petrified at the thought of going to university, of attending classes and of living in a large city. It turned out all right, though, coming out of the experience with a couple degrees that have served me really well. My English/Philosophy degree was fun to earn and helps me in my work as a writer and in my hobby of thinking about things. My Education degree has provided me with the accreditation I needed to do satisfying, meaningful work for many years. Sometimes getting a good education is the best thing you can do.
As an adult in my 20s and early 30s, I found myself frozen with fear at the idea of leaving very difficult relationships, of taking back my name and leaving my stuff and just walking away. But I did it anyway, once with no money and no place to go. Still, I broke free and ran, and I’m still running today: running my own life, making my own decisions and taking the path that I choose. Sometimes running is the best thing you can do.
I was terrified to move from my secure northern city where I was well-employed as a teacher and newspaper columnist. I was terrified to hand in that resignation letter and to rent that U-Haul truck and to take that leap into the unknown. I was terrified to live alone near the downtown core of an unfamiliar city and terrified to get a job there. Of course, everything worked out just fine when I pushed my own boundaries and challenged my preconceived view of what’s possible in this life. Turns out, there are 1000 adventures waiting if we’re willing to go there. Sometimes moving is the best thing you can do.
My next big fear came with the opportunity to buy Grandma’s house in a village far away. It would mean moving (again!) and finding work and fixing up the wreck her house had become. What if the house was beyond repair or I never made the money needed to make the necessary repairs? Challenges came at me all in one, big bunch, like a charging herd of challenges. But I mowed (scythed) the lawn, painted the walls and installed wood flooring. I got a job substitute teaching and another one as a stand-in preacher every second Sunday. Now this is the happiest home I’ve ever had. Sometimes embracing your past is the best thing you can do.
Right now, I’m in the grips of my newest fear. I’ve left my teaching career (for now) to return to school and (hopefully) establish a new career as an editor. A whole bunch of new things to fear came along with this latest change. I’m afraid to let go of my secure job, a vocation I’ve loved for a long time. I’m afraid to fail, afraid that I can’t successfully complete my coursework or set up a business. But sometimes feeling afraid and acting in spite of the fear is the best thing you can do.