Fear. Dry gasps in the dead of night. Butterflies rioting in your stomach on the way to that meeting. Tiptoeing around weighty discussions to avoid the inevitable. Wishing a fateful day could be deleted from your calendar. Not doing something. Not doing anything. Closing one door before closing all the doors.
We all think of fear as the emotion that makes us hide behind a cushion when we watch the idiot in the scary film climb the creaky stairs in the creaky house without turning the lights on. But what happens when fear can trickles into the everyday?
Before I step on to a plane I have imagined our fireball descent into a Lost-type landscape; in slow motion so I get time to kiss my family, tell them how much I love them and hold all of their hands. This leads to hubby experiencing fear-by-pinching as I wobble onto an aircraft gripping his hand so tight, I leave nail marks in his hand. I have had the science of it all explained, I have been told that air travel is safer than public transport but let me ask you when was the last time you saw a bus falling out of the sky? Exactly. Hunk of metal with people and bags and whatnot in the sky. Nope doesn't compute.
I had a conversation with a good friend, recently, about the possibility of parallel lives - was there another me writing a library's worth of fiction, hob-nobbing with my favourite authors-now-friends? Despite taking the step to start writing, every time I hit send or publish there is a tidal wave of fear about putting myself out there. What if I offend, what if it's ignored. what if it's rubbish? Am I the writing equivalent of the X-factor rejects who snarl that they'll be a star one day when everyone is wondering why their best mate or mum didn't tell the glaring truth about their singing prowess? Sometimes I don't even start a new idea because the negative voices have set up their own gospel choir next to my computer.
You know when you return to your desk after a meeting with your managerial superior and you shake your head in disbelief and think I could do that job with my eyes shut. But then, the right job in the right place at the time with the wind in the right direction just doesn't arrive, does it? Putting one foot in front of the other or indeed clicking to apply for that job never seemed so hard. Maybe someone will discover the hidden truth that you can't actually do the job, any job...just go home, already. It's that negative choir again.
The words spill out with quips and jokes spliced in, to decorate my conversation. Do I laugh too loud, too much? I've been sat in a cabin for nigh on two years with my cats for company until the family come home. Can I remember how to talk to people? Am I still 'with it'? The fact that I've just said 'with it' proves how much I'm so without it. Is this dress professional enough, flattering enough? Why am I sweating? I know, it's 35 degrees outside but maybe I should have worn a trouser suit. There's too much oil in the front of hair but not enough at the back. Should I worn it out full Afro today or should I have tied it back? Is my face right?
I want to be less afraid.
May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.
This post is in response to a #Post40Bloggers writing prompt No59: I want to be less...