Courage isn't an absence of fear. It's doing what you are afraid to do. It's having the power to let go of the familiar and forge ahead into new territory. - John Maxwell
I've had trouble thinking about this post. While I am afraid of many things, I don't want to sound like too much of a complainer. There are lots of things I'm not afraid of too. I think the quote above sums up my fears nicely. Here's a quick list of my fears:
-My Bipolar Disorder scares the poop out of me.
-I am afraid that I won't be a good enough wife.
-New jobs scare me.
-I am deathly afraid of what other people think of me.
-I don't like living by myself.
-I'm so afraid of Thomas's eventual submarine deployments where he won't come back for up to 9 months and during that time, I may never hear his voice. So afraid that I don't even think about it.
-I'm scared of disappointing people.
But this is what I really think. I think that as long as you keep plunging into the deep end, your fears end up teaching you far more than if you had no fears to begin with. Despite being afraid, my mantra is that it's better to try and have failed then never try at all. I'm only 23, but I know this to be true. In my life, failure is an option. It's not desirable, but it's a lesson when it happens.
You could say that I live my life in fear. I'd prefer you to say that I live my life being courageous, with fear sitting in the passenger seat (with a seatbelt on and airbag ready just in case I do actually fail).
As far as that list goes? Well I have Bipolar Disorder, and there's really no getting rid of that one, so I just keep plodding along. Some days I skip, others I run, and this afternoon I hid under the covers for an hour. So it goes. Next up, wife. Almost 6 months in and I'm hanging on pretty well. Commendable results for both me and Thomas. New jobs? They probably scare everyone and all you can do is your best. Living by myself? Well, I have Moby and I'm at the mercy of when the Navy says Thomas can and cannot be here. C'est la vie. Still scared, but still doing it none the less. As far as deployments.... yeah, let's keep that being stuck under the ocean forever as far from my mind as possible. I do fear disappointing people though. It is a true fear.
Being afraid of what other people think is probably the silliest thing I wrote. Partially because, who cares? Partially because oftentimes I really don't care what other people think. For goodness sakes, I skipped down a grocery store aisle at 8 am this morning- where you run along and then jump on the back of the cart/buggy and ride. That thing your mom told you not to do because the cart would fall over backwards and you'd die crushed by cans, covered in eggs, and then if that didn't do you in, the handle would probably cut off your air supply. My mother never explained it so graphically, but it was implied. Little kid's imaginations run wild. But it's far too tempting, even for semi-rational grownups like myself.
I do spend far too much of my time being afraid. I also spend far too much of my time unwillingly conquering my fears. When I say unwillingly, I mean that the Navy or the Good Lord decides that it is time for me to conquer 4 or 5 of the things on my list all at one time. The Navy may not be very helpful in many situations, but God does tend to swoop in behind them and help me to get through whatever fear I have to work through.
Lauren, the courageously afraid