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I love, I laugh; as a mother, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sibling, a friend. I change. I volunteer. I make a difference. I make things happen. I get lazy; then way to high strung. I stay up all night, and pay the next day. I piss people off. I make people love. I believe in fate. and karma. I laugh at myself. I've even been called an "angel"... more than once. I've been rocked to my core by angels among us. I am a journalist for our small town newspapers, including the Muskego Chronicle, the Hales Corners Citizen, and the Franklin Citizen; I love writing for our chicken-soup-for-the-small-town-soul publications! I am right where I want to be. I am 34, and proud of my age (every birthday is another gift); the greatest thing I have done is contribute the beauty that my clone-like daughter Sophia has to offer. She is my legacy. I am a total mama’s girl; always have been, always will be. I have a Black-Irish bond (unbreakable) with my siblings. I am comfortable in my own skin. I have never been insecure, not once. I love people; but prefer kids to adults. I am not the least bit judgmental; but can hold a grudge to my grave. I follow my heart more than my head. Intentionally.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fear... the grey area

Fear… the grey area.

In a world that should be black and white, it seems we all live in a hazy cloud of grey, fumbling around, searching for direction, and clarity, in this crazy and sometimes mind numbing uncertainty we call life. The older I get, the more I see it, I never knew I was not alone, the more I hear others unravel their story, I see that we are all alone at times, but the smart, or the lucky ones, figure out how to it together. I used to think most people were motivated by love, no matter what the love is for. Usually the love for another, weather it be a significant other, or that one shot at great love, or could be family, friends, or the unconditional love for a child. For me it’s all of the above, but we are all different, and that is what makes our race presumably superior to all other beings. Some love other things more, such as money, sex, success, power, music or even substance. The one thing I find most people have in common is we lack love for the one thing that we should never neglect; ourselves. But nevertheless, I think there is something that rules over love, and consequently it creates this grey area I speak of.
It is fear, the kryptonite for happiness and love. I think if you become aware of what you are afraid of and face your fears- head on, they can be conquered, becoming drive to enable love and success. Fear is a necessary ingredient; it is all in how you choose to use it.
Think about the reasons behind most decisions you make daily, good or bad, insignificant or epic, in all of the decisions most likely, fear is a factor, in a big way. Why not drive 100mph when the speed limit is 25mph? We are AFRAID of getting a ticket. Why not skydive, or bullfight, storm chase? We are AFRAID we’ll die. Would you tell your boss where to go and how to get there or would you FEAR losing your job? You get the point, but these are all probably good examples of fear acting as common sense, so when does it paralyze, control, dominate, and destroy us? When the fear of rejection or loss rears its ugly, evil head- that’s when, it holds us back, breaks our hearts and shatters our dreams.
For example, it’s all those “If I only would have done it” moments, which fear is bad. Why didn’t you ask the beautiful girl out? Why did you let him walk away and not scream, “don’t go”? Why not propose to her? Why not ask for a raise, or try out for jeopardy? FEAR of rejection- that’s why.
Even worse is fear in matters of the heart. It becomes your own tragic story if you let it. More often than not, it becomes sabotage and means to an end, which is exact opposite of its emotional origin. For example, you try so hard to please someone, that you actually change who you are, and this is not who this person, you tried so hard to please fell in love with in the first place. And let’s face it, you can only pretend so long, before you are very unhappy. The best thing I ever heard as far as advice in this matter, was from a movie, it was something along the lines of; find someone who loves you for exactly who you are and hope for the best. Another example is, not trusting the person you love, if they love you back that is. It causes resentment, via accusations, and if you tell yourself something enough, you’ll believe it, even if it is the furthest thing from the truth. Consequently, if you love someone so much that the fear of losing them literally, makes your heart hurt, you have a natural suspicion to watch for signs of the love going astray, which can quickly cross the line into delusional, then only to dissolve, and what a tragic irony.
Franklin Roosevelt, once said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”. I couldn’t agree more, I only wish it was a lesson I didn’t have to live in order to learn it. I come off as the bold, fearless, and typical Irish type- A personality, and there is some truth to that. I have done many of the thrill seeking, adrenaline rushing adventures that life has to offer, in terms of things like bull riding and bungi jumping, the list of surreal experiences that most think of as equivalent to Russian roulette, is endless. Nor am I shy, not even a little. Quite frankly, for the most part I lack fear in matters that paralyze most, but my opposite lack of courage cripples me by its own right. I lose the “fear as the voice common sense” factor and follow my heart, with my cerebral thing if you will. I may be a walking, talking oxymoron, or flat out moron at times, but I am learning … finally.
I have let the wrong fear sabotage all the right things in my life. To quote another forward thinker, Hank Aaron, who said “Keep Swinging”, which is exactly what I intend to do, only this time around its all about strategic timing and awareness for me. I bet that even the legendary Aaron would have struggled if he put a blindfold on before he stepped to the plate, and I think that hypothetically many of us stumble around in this grey world, blindfolded and scared, myself included. So I am going to be afraid when I need be, yet fearless when I face situations that I have previously been a coward. It all seems so obvious, but they say it’s hard to see the forest through the trees.
With that said, don’t be afraid to get older, celebrate your birthday, and be afraid to get old alone. Don’t be afraid she’s unfaithful; be afraid she will be driven away by false accusations. Don’t be afraid he is trying to change you, be afraid that he won’t love you if you change who you are. After all, it was a president of the United States of America who said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself”. And I think he may have been on to something.

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