Tuesday, December 9, 2008

it's okay to be scared

Some people know exactly what they will be doing next year, in three years, even in five. Me, I really don't know. And that can be...well, a lot of things. Scary. Exciting. Adventurous. Scary. Oh yeah, I said that one already.

I know what I would like to be doing, sure; but I have no guarantee.

I am someone who finds comfort in routine, actually. Maybe that surprises you. I love second days of a new job, but I tend to really dislike first days. I don't know the music yet, the choreography, the people. And in that vulnerable state of flying by the seat of my pants in front of a group of talented and total strangers, I can get uncomfortable, even scared.

I guess that is where the acting comes in. Or maybe it's called faith. You know, the evidence of things that aren't seen, aren't even felt sometimes. Like I pretend I am confident, pretend that I know what the heck I am doing. Pretend I am funny, smart, great, blah, blah, blah...When in reality, I am feeling scared and if I had my perfect way in that moment, I might just go home and eat cereal and put on a pair of pants with an elastic waistband.

I'd maybe watch an episode of the Office.

But, that's just the first day of something new-afterwards, it gets much much better; to the point where I am anticipating my work, excited to be there, and not even thinking about how I feel anymore.

And I am really glad that I don't let my feelings of being scared dictate what I do. I am so grateful that my parents didn't let me just stay home because I was scared to take ballet, scared to take piano, scared to go to summer dance intensives. I am glad that they saw the potential that lay within my grasp, if I could just grapple with some fear first to get there.

And so I did.

But don't get me wrong; fear has never completely gone away. It still knows my name intimately. It's always hanging around, checking in, looking for an unlocked door, a crack in the window. But I have learned to fear something greater than just the feeling of fear itself. Not reaching my potential scares me. And that nagging little question, What if? Two tiny words that can drive any sane person to madness, causing many a white nights to create telling purple shadows under the eyes along the way.

The proverb wisely says, Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Beautiful. Truthful. Urgent. This tells me, tells us something, right? I cannot afford to become a shadow of myself, walking around with a sick heart, unable to see the right way, the best way because I had long ceased even looking for it. Or dreaming of it.

So right, I don't honestly know exactly what I will be doing a year from now. But it has to be something fulfilling, something life giving. I have to believe that. And when all of the uncertainty that is a given in this business rushes at me like the ocean's pull at high tide, I have to close my eyes and just know. It. Will. Be. Okay. Somebody a lot smarter that me, with a ton more clairvoyance, as well, planned it that way.


Mom said...

Ah, you ARE my daughter!!! (Not that I ever doubted it). You know fear is something Pop & I have often battled. You are so right; you can't let fear rule the decisions you make or the actions you need to take. Although I'm so familiar with the specter of fear, I don't pay it any attention. It's like an embarrassing & scary relative that may show up at important events but I don't have to invite that relative into my home. You handle fear right and put it into its rightful place.

kathiek said...

In the midst of the not knowing, and the fear that sometimes rises up from that, take comfort in the fact that you are perfectly loved by the One with the master plan...and perfect love casts out fear!

mine said...

Thank you.

semi anonymous said...

One of the hardest battles for me is to know when to step back and let god show me what he wants for me. I don't relax when there's "down time," meaning when I don't have a plan for the future even if it's awhile off yet. I try to wage war against fear with a sense of control, and then I have to remind myself that it's an illusion anyway. If I don't constantly worry about what's next, my heart is more open to what god is trying to tell me. And occasionally he takes his sweet time getting to it. So I just try to remember that I am a work in progress, and that's ok. But I definitely have those moments where I can't convince myself, and the enemy takes advantage of that doubt.

It's so easy to be sure about someone else though. All of the rest of us are so certain that god has great plans for in store for you. I think I feel that way mostly because I know you have the confidence to pursue your dreams already. So much of what I have managed to accomplish was a result of the times when I was willing to step out in faith, and I think you've already shown that you're willing to do that.

Jessica Latshaw said...

yes, that is true that it feels easier sometimes to have confidence for others--which is why we need to listen and be encouraged by our friends. So thank you, S-A; I appreciate that.