I have a confession. I have a weird fear. It doesn’t hold me captive, but it’s a fear nonetheless.
Every time I cross a street, I have a fear that the cars, although stopped by a traffic light, will move on full speed and hit me.
It’s an unreasonable fear- why would anyone willingly commit a traffic violation and murder in one go? Why would they want to kill me, of all the worthy people in the world to kill?
No matter how many times I’ve told myself that it’s a ridiculous fear, it’s always there. Every time I cross. In the back of my head.
I’m an analyzer. There is little in my life that hasn’t been ripped apart by my prying eyes, my desire to know.
Today, it all came together.
My crossing-the-street fear is rooted in something far deeper. A fear I realized is all across my life, a fear that permeates the way I lead my life.
My real fear is that no matter how good I am, no matter how hard I work to follow the rules, or not follow the rules, my life is still in someone else’s hands.
I realized how much this fear controls my life today.
My brain is always on overdrive. I have dreams that I can practically touch. There is so much inside of me.
Yet, no matter how far I go, or how much I accomplish, I look to others for the validation.
I look to others to tell me to keep going. I keep going, but with a fear that at any second, it can all end..because of what someone else says.
I’m having a hard time writing this, because it’s painfully honest.
I don’t know how to make this well written, because it’s my innermost feelings.
I have all kinds of fears, but this one takes the cake, because it sums up all my failings.
My fear of how I am perceived controls my comfort level on the street and at parties.
I will never stop thinking about what you are seeing when you see me, or what you think of the words I say.
Because I have given you all the power in the world.
You have the ability to press the gas pedal and destroy me.
I have put my trust in you, and I am powerless to stop you.
That- that is my fear.
Every time I receive a compliment, or survive a socially awkward moment, it’s crossing a street safely. But there is always the next street.
Crossing the street is not the solution to the problem.
It’s so much deeper. Isn’t it always deeper?
Today, I felt that fear melt away a little. I was told something today that felt a little like a rejection. But I was okay. It was okay. I didn’t give that person the power to hurt me, and I wasn’t hurt.
I looked inside of myself and asked my own heart “Where do we go next?”
You know what?
I had an answer.
I looked into myself and crossed that street without even thinking about those cars.
At that moment, I knew it was possible.
It was possible for me to not be afraid of those cars. It was possible for me to not give power to everyone around me.
Suddenly, the possibilities were endless. I can go somewhere. Little old me, useless without my own power backing me up.
I will do it. I will achieve. It might take me years. It might take me forever. But it’s not going to be put away because of fear. Not anymore.
For now, I need to work on crossing streets without the fear of others controlling my fate.
Then, I can work on letting myself out, being the person I want to be, without fear of what you will say in response.
One day, I’ll be completely proud of who I am.
One day, I won’t hide behind my fears, waiting for your permission for me to go on.
I’ll get there, and it might be a slow and arduous journey, but today I took another step forward.