I’m not sure about you but this is not what I thought I would feel like 6 weeks later. I thought Fear Experiment would make me fearless, a savage fear conquistador, a boldly silent hero of the war on fear…you know…basically cooler than the dos equis guy.
Instead I have felt more fear, more intensely, than any other time in my life. It is the kind of fear that sits high on your chest, balancing in between your collarbones, taunting you to swallow or to sing. And it has been brilliant.
After years of self-diagnosed anxiety (thank you webmd), it is a privilege to actually feel fear instead of just worrying about feeling fear. Anxiety can only be explained as severe constipation of the fearful heart. And Fear Experiment was like the ultimate laxative.
Here is the short list of things I have been afraid of in the past 6 weeks: a trip to the dentist, riding a bike down Ravenswood, a first date, applying to a kick ass job, wearing a skirt without pantyhose, admitting I want to write a book, talking about my emotions and stuff in front of strangers, ordering the spicy tom yum, writing something personal and possibly embarrassing, applying for PhD programs.
The thing I learned the past six weeks is that Fear Experiment is not about conquering your fears. It is about taking a step forward with your fear; it is about recognizing that fear is part of that step; and it a weird way it is about thanking fear for giving you something to fight against.
And while I’m thanking my fear I would also like to thank:
CC for dancing in the air suspended only by ribbon.
Saya for quitting the “day job” so she can scare the shit out of more people.
Pete for proposing to that brave girl instead of farting.
My Jump4Joy team for making me run and not laughing at my blue and yellow snot.
Mama Lew for letting a girl cry into her vodka soda.
Amy and Derek for being the best version of 1+1=2
Everyone who shared a bottle of wine with me in the past 6 weeks, who talked about the ridiculousness of online dating and tiger tattoos, or who just shared, commented or liked a Facebook post.
I hope the world for all of you is still as bright and stingingly sharp as it was on April 29th.
May you never be fear-less but always heart-full!