For as long as I could remember, I grew up a very fearful kid. Fearful, yet, always curious of the things no one else seemed to even question. Fear is something that has been one of the prominent forces in my life and it’s one of the biggest reasons I am on a continuous journey of growth.
I am a product of a home where gender roles, and lowering your voice because you are a girl were more important than finding and having an opinion because you are an actual human being. I began to retreat into a world of passiveness all because I feared being my outspoken and creative self. This fear followed me into my late teens and first year of college where I was convinced by my great-aunt to attend law school. Dreading the idea of disappointing her, I went forward with law school, knowing in my heart that law was not my niche.
My first year of college at a big university was both a fearful moment of embarking on a journey not meant for me, as well as my very first epiphany about who I was bound to become. Sitting in an elective Journalism course, my professor let me know she needed to speak with me after class. She didn’t seem angry, but I panicked internally thinking how I was already not doing well in law or business law, so what else could go wrong?
“I just want to tell you that your essay was one of my favorites, and ask if I could keep it as an example for my students next semester?” she said.
I was flattered but scared to share this news with anyone, especially my family, and that’s when the epiphany happened. Why was I fearful to share in my success for something that I loved to do — writing?
“You should really think of picking up a minor or maybe changing your major, if you’re interested,” she suggested.
I sat there for at least two minutes before responding, “I actually plan on changing my major to journalism next semester.” I responded with a secure smile on my face and I left her classroom a more confident, fearless woman.
I went home for winter break and let my family know who I was, and why I wasn’t going to continue in the profession of law. Though slightly disappointed, they had no other option but to accept what was, and even if they hadn’t accepted my decision, I did, and that’s all that mattered.
For as long as I can remember, I allowed fear to hold me in a place that I knew to be uncomfortable. There was a fear of disappointing my family, as well as a fear of truly becoming the woman who I am today.
Fear is normal, it is a very common inevitable concept, but if you are not careful it consumes you. Don’t get me wrong, fear is nothing to be livid at. If anything, it’s to be welcomed and accepted for what it is presenting itself as to you. You must look fear in its eye as you would any person who made you feel caged or strained in any way, and tell fear NO.
NO, I will not let you enter my life and take any ounce of joy I have or have yet to encounter. NO, you are not scary in the least to me. In fact, what is scary is how liberating I feel expressing this to you without a single morsel of regret.
Being a writer gives me an edge to an extent because I get to personify things as if they were people. As if fear was a toxic person you had to both face and let go. Once you face fear, letting go will be easy, especially once you see how much of your power you’ve taken back, you’ll let go instantly.
I know you read those spooky stories as a kid, and even saw some scary movies as a teen or young adult, but the real fear is when you are afraid to arrive at who you are meant to be in this world. And though it seems like it will never end, it will end and it will be conquered by you, fearlessly. So, no matter how rigid the road seems to be, or how tall fear is compared to you, you must never fall in fear; Face Everything And Rise instead. Trust me, your future self will thank you.