Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I was thinking about the end of Squadratomagico's New Year's Meme (to which for some reason Blogger won't let me link), the question that wonders what fears one has overcome during the previous year. I would say that 2011 was the year I learned to stop worrying and learned to love the bomb. I've always been a risk-taking personality, with a serious penchant for adrenaline and altitude and activities that smack of precariousness. But I think 2011, probably not coincidentally the year I turned 40, was when I finally stared down the inner fears that have aided me nothing over the course of my life: what if people don't like me? what if I can't do the task I've set for myself? what if that person says something hurtful to me? what if that person does something other than I would have hoped? what if I have to say something hard and potentially hurtful to someone else? For me, these questions are way scarier than jumping out of an airplane. I don't know whether it's that I've moved chronologically into undeniable adulthood or that I've lived through more of these crises of the secret self and survived. That doesn't mean I don't register these situations in my guts, but that I refuse to valorize that clench as a legitimate response to a challenge of the soul. I've come to feel that fear is, for me, the opposite of integrity, and I no longer wish to give it a platform.