Long ago, as a rebellious 19-year-old, I lived in Ireland simply because I desperately wanted to. People told me I was brave but I’ve never seen it that way. I just did something I was compelled to do. Obviously it’s more complicated than that, but in the end I came away feeling like I’d submitted myself to my own personal boot camp. When I got back to the States at age 20, I was all, “Hell yeah! I know exactly who I am now!” I was the unadulterated me!
And then some time passed and I changed, like we all do, and the me I was then didn’t match the me I’d suddenly become.
A number of times I’ve needed to get my act together. I’ve spent a lot of time on things like education, climbing ladders, and trying not to take my eyes off my kids and my family. The struggle, the reinvention, the thin air… there are entire years that felt like Everest. There was a lot of “just do it” because there were times when I had nothing left to lose.
I think life can be a game of catching up with yourself and then tripping over your own shadow because things can get scary.
Isn’t that how it happens? Get fearless, climb a figurative mountain and accomplish things you never thought possible, get complacent with the view, fall down the mountain. More accidents happen on the way down a mountain than on the way up. For real.
Somehow the fear sets in again if you’re not vigilant.
Listening to a Tony Robbins podcast yesterday I was struck with how fearless he is. Maybe he knows fear, but he doesn’t pay much attention to it. I think he sees it come in the room, tells it to get lost, and then goes and conquers something. My husband is like that. He simply refuses fear. He’s just an all-in kind of guy.
I don’t know about your but I’m tired of fear. Whenever I’m all in, and the same goes for when my friends are all in, miracles happen. Sometimes it seems pretty easy. It’s not easy in the sense that it didn’t require effort, but in the sense that it just had to happen that way.
I’m going to be 50 soon and frankly, I’m tired of being afraid. I’ve forged a lot of emotional tools with the help of so many others, and I know the various versions of “me” that repeatedly show up, a subtle Sybil if you will. Sometimes, however, I surprise myself and a better version of me shows up. I really like her, but I only get to meet her when I’m being fearless.
I want to hang out with with her a lot more over these next few decades, maybe make up for lost time.
Think what you want about him, but nobody looked at Tony Robbins’ life thirty or forty years ago and said Yeah, dude, I totally see you running a world empire someday.
I want an empire like I want a root canal, but nobody created even an empire, however you define it, by being afraid to try.
That voice in my head, it can STFU.
Ireland’s empire is back on its feet now, so I’m going to try for my own private Idaho since it’s more my speed.