As a kid, my Fear was the Night.
But… Fears change with time. Still, there is always a fear.
How do you confront fear?
Fear associated with:
- Doing too much.
- Doing nothing.
Dropped off in the middle of a bean field the size of … well … Ohio (because I was in Ohio). And Ohio seemed like one humongous bean field in 1969. (Pretty much I think it was).
First day of college and 500 miles from home. A new world. And endless tunes from Tammy and Bob Wills and Johnny Cash on the radio out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Good lord how I grew to love them.
Scared, and with the confidence Wile E Coyote watching a boulder dropping on him as the Roadrunner screams by (BEEP!BEEP!) … listening to Tammy Wynette on the radio, still in the middle of nowhere…
I confronted my fear by confronting my lack of confidence. Kind of a continuing project on my part for almost 2 years… Yeah… kind of studying for that PhD in life.
I studied martial arts long enough to not hurt myself (actually was pretty good), and then put myself at that college 500 miles from home, surrounded by bean fields (as far as you could see) and country music.
But, I wasn’t prepared for 500 miles from home, bean fields and country music. So I dropped out. Worked a restaurant job, saved $220 and set off on foot hitchhiking around the country…
…To gain confidence and challenge my fears. That was one long strange trip.
How do you cure yourself of the fear of being 500 miles from home at 19? You put yourself 2000 miles farther from home. Seemed logical.
Confidence oozing like dark sap from a Vermont Maple in the late Fall when I reached the left coast several weeks later.
But, that’s a whole nother story…
I tasted and nurtured that Vermont Maple for years. Still do. Damn stuff is sooo good. That’s how I gained confidence and confronted my Fear.
And this happened along the way…
- You learn about people, places and life.
- You get out of the car, put out your thumb, and think to yourself “Oh Shit, I can’t believe I’m doing this.”
- You meet cute girls and fellow hippies and rednecks and Hells Angels.
- You are learning how to survive, how to live life, and
- You learn to confront fear.
Now: Night time, alone, dark, stormy, still scares the hell out of me. Closet door is closed. Check under the bed. Doors locked. Creaks in the floor somewhere…
And I see ghosts. There’s still that fear…