My Year of Fear

Okay, so not as morbid as it sounds. This was to be my mantra this year, I guess it still is in a way. A year of fear – living out life doing the things you are afraid of, not allowing the unknown to dictate what you will and not do. I had all these grand plans to do monthly challenges too. Like 30 days of writing or make a list of 12 things to conquer. But that was a bit too ambitious, especially after the past year.

So instead, I’ve taken to acknowledging where my fears lie and not allowing myself to make a big deal out of them anymore. Obviously easier said then done.

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But for the first time in what feels like ever, I have allowed myself to dream. Like ACTUALLY have goals, that don’t revolve around anyone but myself. I’ve started gathering hobbies and my fears are evolving. I’m not ‘afraid’ to start something anymore now I worry how on earth I’ll have the time to do it all.  This solution is a much easier one, though. Pick one, perfect it, then move on. I’m actually excited about this fear. (Weird, right?!)

When people ask me what I want to do or to be I never have a clear answer. I know what I don’t want to do. I know that I don’t want my career to define me. I don’t want people to say something like, “She’s doctor”  and have that be that. A job description may be a good way to describe many people but not me. I feel cheated somehow, like something hundreds or thousands of other people do can’t POSSIBLY be enough to describe me. And I guess it’s not very nice to put anyone else in that small box either.

The reason this bothers me so much is probably because I have never really had my own identity. Growing up I thought it was something you had to earn and I just wasn’t ever going to be worthy of owning myself; I could only be what others told me I was.

Then 3 years ago something changed. I started to see myself through new eyes. Not always my own but I finally felt like I had earned the right to be myself. And wow it was like I finally understood what it mean to live. And love will do that to you, ya know?

Flash forward to this fall and it’s like everything I had ever done had led to this moment. You know how in space sometimes physics does this weird thing where it started pulling (“science doesn’t ‘suck'”) and cramming a galaxy’s worth of matter into a tiny atom sized space? And how eventually it all becomes too much and explodes outward, shooting its particles like hundreds and thousands of light-years away?

Well that’s kind of what happened to my life. And it can be summed up in 5 easy points:

  1. Go on epic roadtrip and find myself.
  2. Get super pumped to come back and have a fresh start, alive with the possibilities only to see that a single one would never come true
  3. Cue heartbreak
  4. Cue misplacing everything I had gained on said trip
  5. Then cue the actually loss of everything on my trip. Literally. Russell (my truck-best-friend) and almost all my belongings are stolen.

So as you can see it was turning into a plot of epic proportions. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. But I won’t go into details. Because you see, I didn’t even care about the truck or my things. Honestly, they were just things. The only irreplaceable thing there was, was the photos and videos from my trip. And I realized that maybe somethings are better experienced only once.

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The past 6 months have been a blur. I have been back in Minnesota for almost 3 months now.  I would rather be in Colorado but it’s hard to put your life back together without a) a home and b) an identity or any proof that you exist. In a lot of ways it sounds exciting. New beginnings. Limitless options. I can really go anywhere and do anything but all I wanted to do was be in the one place I could never be again.

Losing your home. The people you love. Your sense of family and belonging, that is what sets off this chain reaction. Loss is weird that way, it builds but almost in reverse.

First it starts with the big stuff, throwing you into shock and giving you wayyy more than you can handle. Then as you come up for air you start picking your way through the little stuff. The details. A friend of mine calls it ‘the highlight reel’. And this is the vicious loop I have been stuck in.

Reliving the good, the great, and the epic. Over and over again. (I’m talking all-nighters and constant reoccurring dreams that more resemble nightmares of my deepest fears.) The reel itself isn’t so bad it’s pulling yourself out of it. It’s having to remind yourself day in and day out that none of it is yours to keep anymore. That’s the funny thing about stuff you are attached too; when you are so used to missing it you forget that this time he’s not coming back. None of it is.

But low and behold the universe decides you’ve suffered enough and gifts you with something. (Russell was found! And is driveable!) And even though it’s not really the thing you wanted back and it’s actually the thing you first let go you take it anyway because you’ve seen what the world can do to people and you know better than to take these gifts for granted.

I guess what I am trying to say is that life can displace you, replace you, and even erase you (or who you thought you were) but in the end it’s alright because it has to be. There has to be an up to all the downs and there has to be a light to the dark.

I struggled with how or who to share these things with and whether or not it’s meant to be my little secret or if it could somehow better the world, but this is my year of fear right?

So today I choose to swallow my fears. To be honest and bold. To say losing all my stuff and my truck sucks. Still being in love sucks. And being this alone sucks.

But despite all this my life doesn’t suck. It’s still pretty awesome.

 Maybe I’m still in shock. I don’t feel violated like everyone told me I would. I still really don’t care so much. That I got over immediately. I came to terms that I probably would never see my stuff again and that it is ok. I enjoyed it while I had it. Everything had fulfilled their purpose. It’s everything else I still struggle with. The thought of moving on seems like it will happen as quickly as the poles reversing.

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Facing your fears isn’t so bad and maybe I will do some of those ’30 day challenges’. But now I’m no longer afraid of failing or succeeding in them. Because there are so many worse things that could happen. I intend to enjoy what I have, while I have it. And I really hope you do too.

Thanks for listening.
Hugs & Kittens,

Sammi

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