When I got on a plane from New York to Spain when I was 16 I was nervous. I was scared of how I would fit in and how I would make my way there on my own. I boarded the plane and left my family behind again, for the second time. I dropped my apple in the bin and tried to sleep on the plane. I did not and thereafter I never really slept on planes. I am still a nervous wreck on flights typing furiously away to keep myself busy and less aware of my fear. Eventually I settled into my seat and manage to escape for a little bit until the next wave of turbulence.
That sense of fear is something I do not feel very often outside of the airplane’s parameters. When I went to New York ten years ago to pitch myself for a certain job, I did not feel any sense of fear just exuberance. Back then, I perhaps, had experienced a little bit of irrational exuberance as I really did not know what the position would entail. Fast forward ten years, I again did not feel any fear when I went for a new position. Silly me. I have come to the point in my life where my confidence overrides my fear which is both a good and bad thing. But that is neither here nor there.
This morning as the sun comes up I am wondering how my fear or lack of fear has brought me to where I am now. I am sipping my coffee in a mug that is not my favorite one as my beautiful big red mug is still back home in New York. I had a flash of memory that brought me back to two years ago when I actually did experience fear. I had buried that instance deep down.
Two years ago, I was invited to give a presentation to a crowd consisting of people who I knew and would like to impress. I got up onto the stage and was nervous. I did not quite understand why I was nervous. I knew what I was talking about. I knew the topic very well. Yet my stomach was all over the place and my smile was not genuine. I was not feeling like the diva that I usually am. I got through the presentation but was not happy with how it went. As I waited for the question and answer period to begin, I sat on the stage reflecting on my performance I looked down at my scrunched up hands and then it hit me. That was my mom’s birthday and I couldn’t call my mom or give her a shout out during my performance. My mom, at that point, had been dead two years. I sat on that stage and realized my fear had come from sadness. As a grown woman on a stage I still missed my mom. I suppose I always will.
Yes, fear can be debilitating at times. At other moments, it can be what grounds us and reminds us from where we came and where we are going. I hope to keep soaring. Sadly, my mom is not physically here but I can surely use her memory to steady me going forward.