Why are we so afraid?
That’s a cop-out. Why am I so afraid?
My life has been a collection of mostly unmemorable days that were spent afraid to reach for what I wanted. This isn’t to say that I didn’t take some risks. I did, but how much time have I spent fearful of taking a different step? Fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being judged, fear of succeeding… Good lord, so much time and energy wasted on perception, on bullshit. Why is it that by the time you realize there is nothing to be afraid of and that most people are just as scared as you are, you’ve already wasted most of your youth? It’s fucking depressing.
If I admit my age, some might say, “Oh, you have plenty of time, you don’t know what old is!” I will respectfully disagree. My father died at 58. FIFTY-EIGHT. Sure, it’s longer than some, but when I think about it, it’s nothing. It’s a blink. He didn’t get to buy that boat or even retire. He worked. Then he died. It’s unfair. He had dreams. He wanted to do things. And what infuriates me is that I didn’t even know what those dreams were. I was too busy being a self-involved narcissist to even realize that my father was more than just my father and he was an actual person with thoughts and aspirations. I never really had the chance to speak to him like an adult, to get to know the man. I loved him so much. I thought he was the greatest man on the planet, but I don’t think I ever tried to know him.
My father had said that he wanted to hear me sing a solo someday. I did not achieve this for him. I’ve been told I have a nice/beautiful/great voice. I would awkwardly say thanks and immediately stop singing while dropping my eyes to my feet. Through most of my school years I sang in a choir, but I never had the nerve to sing a solo. This may seem like nothing, but here’s the thing, I love to sing. I do it all the time, at home, in the car, even in public while I’m shopping, working, whatever, but I have always been too scared to pursue it. I want to. I’ve wanted to take voice lessons for 20 years, maybe more. That’s a long time to be scared of something. Especially something that actually makes me happy.
We have to wake up and squeeze a little joy out of the monotony. Maybe you have always been fearless and don’t understand why I am whining. I envy the fearless, but for the rest of us that have researched how to take that first step 100 times without actually putting our foot forward, this is for us. Get out there and do it. It’s almost over, why wouldn’t we spend it doing what we want? I’m scared too, but we just have to take a step. How hard can it be?