This idea of paralytic fear.
What brings us here?
How do we end up frozen, unable to move?
How do we allow fear to overcome us?
Do you find yourself asking these very questions when something momentous is about to happen?
A new job, a decision in a relationship, seeing an idea to fruition, subway tiles or hexagon marble…
all these moments can sometimes allow you to feel like you can’t actually move.
Paralytic fear is something I didn’t think I possessed. Since the day I moved out, I did so without fear. Every choice I felt like I had made was out of this passion to pursue — in pursuit of experience, knowledge, growth. I’m not sure at the time I would think this was acting out of fear but lately, it has my mind scrambling. Maybe all this courage and bravery it took to do something, was really me acting out of fear to what was happening at the time. Bad relationships, running out of money, losing a job, feeling depressed. And I think in my mind, I thought, well maybe this is fear acting like courage. Everything I had done, every place I had lived, every experience I ran myself through, was really me running. Running like hell to get through it and hopefully make it out okay. And then yesterday, it hit me.
“Courage is the willingness to act in spite of your fear.”
It took courage to move across the US without a safety net.
It took courage to go after each business opportunity I’ve ever had; buying a clothing boutique, starting a blog, moving my way up the internal ranks of agency life, starting JIG+SAW.
It took courage to fully submit myself to falling in love and allowing someone in.
It took courage to leave an addiction-riddled partner.
It took courage to dive back into my faith even though I had so many questions.
It took courage to wake up day after day, despite my depression.
It took courage to put myself out there first, even when not reciprocated.
It took courage to apologize when I knew was wrong.
It took courage to explore what I really need in a partner and deny anyone that doesn’t come close.
My life has been moved in courage. There was always fear there. But I moved through it, fluidly. And because I’ve built the habit of speaking negatively about myself, I talked myself into living in fear, to the point of inaction. And maybe I’m in that state now because I’m questioning my purpose (an entry for another day), but I can’t possibly think that I’m a “runner”, that I’m without courage, that I’m living only through fear. I’ve moved through life with this idea that anything is possible for me, only I set the limits. And there just weren’t any for me.
And so maybe this has something to do with getting older and feeling like the life I wanted with a partner and a house and a cute little baby, with a cute little coffee shop where both he and I make sandwiches and close up at 3pm and walk our kids home from school. It’s a vision I’ve had for a very long time. I was asked once why then am I not in pursuit of that. And I guess it’s because I want more for my life before I have THAT life. THAT life is for my post-hustle, for when I’ve built a life sustainable for my partner and I to have that flexibility and I get to be that present mom. But when you zoom out of this little world, it’s a world that does not exist. I do not have a partner, nor kids, nor a coffee shop. So planning for these things while they don’t exist, seems counterproductive. It does not serve me. I need to be in action for today and the things I’m after today.
Which brings me to the biggest question of the moment….
What do I want?
I have no idea. I’m questioning my purpose and value. And whether or not, this is actually meant for me to pursue.
But I know that if I remain in action around the idea that I’m meant to have a voice, and create an impact in people’s lives and share stories and build community and raise people up, then I have a guiding light. And maybe somewhere in there, I’ll find my purpose and discover how I can accomplish those things. Until then, I just need to be moving.