“Your dream is not big enough if it doesn’t scare you”
FEAR. We all experience it, whether it be the everyday fear of spiders or a debilitating fear of the dark. I’m sure we all just as often find our actions paralyzed by our fears. Fear of commitment. Fear of death. Fear of being along. Fear of failure. Fear of Success.
Torre DeRoche wrote a book about her fear, “Love, with a Chance of Drowning”, and is encouraging the rest of us to face our fears by recording them for all to see and even throwing some competitive spirit into it with a contest. Reading some of the other entries, I started to think about what really scares me to my bones. My first immediate thought was losing Jim. I realize the loss of a spouse is a bit of a pat answer to some but we are truly soul mates. We’ve been together more years than we have lived apart. We are nearly inseparable; commuting together, living together, and for our round-the-world spending 24/7 together for 14 months. The mere though of losing him brings me to my knees, breathless, and unable to comprehend how I could go on.
And yet, I know I would go on, if for no other reason than to make him proud. While he is my “fixer” of many things in day to day life, he is also proud of my competency and strength. To crumble would be to let him down, something I could never do.
With that realization, I thought of what else might throw me for a loop and I finally realized that not living life as the ultimate adventure would be the one thing which not only scares me but would also be the biggest disappointment, not just for myself but also for my mom.
“If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you; I came to live out loud” – Mary Oliver
I lost my mother when I was 38 years old and she was 65. Her life is a story of unfulfilled dreams. An unhappy marriage she never managed to break free from, career success followed by great disappointment, an earlier career in nursing that still did not enable her to overcome the denial of having diabetes and cancer, which in turn delayed her treatment. The mere thought of not living my life to the fullest and not following my dream to be a global nomad, a writer, a photographer, a blogger, a traveler, fills me with dismay.
In spite of her own demons and circumstances, she wished for nothing more than for me to follow MY dreams. Even while sick, she eagerly listened to my plans for our round-the-world travels, sending away for brochures of places she longed to visit, while knowing full well she would never be leaving her hospital bed or hospice care. She passed away before we left on our trip, but I felt the strength of her presence every day, knowing she was proud. While struggling with her own challenges, she constantly instilled in me the belief that I was capable, I was smart, I was strong, and I couldn’t let anything get in my way.
And so, my greatest fear is that I won’t live out my dreams. That I will let the fear of failing keep me from going on. That I will let the doubts creep in and make me wonder if I can grow into a good enough writer to make the lifestyle I seek a reality. That it will just get too hard and I will change my dreams rather than work through the obstacles to achieve my goals. I feel a sense of responsibility to life life like I mean it, not just for myself but because mom wasn’t able to. Life is short, more so for some than others, and we only get this one shot at it. Here and now, I vow I will not let the fear keep me from living each moment like the precious gift that it is.
“Be willing to follow that inclination, that desire inside of you. It will rattle your world, but it will forever be for the better.” – Trisha Chang
This post is part of the My Fearful Adventure series, which is celebrating the launch of Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, a true adventure story about one girl’s leap into the deep end of her fears.
“Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow.” Australian Associated Press
“… a story about conquering the fears that keep you from living your dreams.” Nomadicmatt.com
“In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you’ll have to remind yourself it’s not fiction.” Courier Mail