Fear (its a furry creature & human thing)

Yesterday I visited my best friend as she is up in the area from Florida. She brought up her two Boston Terrier’s, Bella (4) & Skyler (3), which are a bundle of excitement when you enter the house. In addition, Monica’s mom has Leda, another Boston Terrier that is 6 months old. Yesterday' s plans involved taking the dogs for a walk. Bella likes to pull, Skyler is a pro and then there is Leda. When it is time to go for a walk, she plops down in place or cowers. When we first brought out the leash she kept looking at it like she wanted to pretend she had no idea what it was and kept walking away. Finally it was on her and when we went to walk out the door she sat down. After a little cajoling she walked just outside her fenced area, then took some more steps and stood in place. Finally she got the hang of it but froze and started to shake when she saw two larger dogs coming our way. I picked her up as they passed. She resumed her walk with a few pauses as she probably was gripped with the fear that "OMG why am I so far from home!" and "OMG why am I walking?" (I mean I am assuming that's what she was thinking, I am no Cesar Milan but I can guess). The presence of Bella and Skyler certainly helped. We finally turned around when she saw some people in the distance and she stood shaking in-between my legs.

So if we are talking about the furry one being a scardey-cat I guess I should bring up some of my own fears:

  • I get super nervous going to a new place to meet friends when they are out. I feel awkward and I am afraid it shows. It probably doesn’t. But, I still have to give myself a pep talk that I am confident women who owns her body, mind and the shoes on her feet. 
  • I fear competition. I distinctly remember when my father tricked me into thinking I was practicing at the National Tennis Center on a random weekday in July. I should have gotten the hint that this was no regular practice because I was told to wear a tennis outfit (not my usual sweats and t-shirt). When we were pulling off the exit and I was mid questioning the change of venue I suddenly realized this was the start of the Penn Tournament.  I started to cry hysterically. I couldn’t stand competition because I feared losing (not to be confused with having to be a winner) and not being good enough. But mostly because I never knew when my subconscious was going to sabotage my confidence. Unfortunately it did a lot. I’d like to say I grew out of it, but I know better than to stir the beast.
  • I fear that I am settling. I love my home and the area we live in, but I grew up in the City where the competition is fierce (so not my word of choice but it worked for this). I will always wonder if I could have made it in my line of work in NYC. Or would I be forced to take a different route? Would I be living paycheck to paycheck or would I have enough to be successful and live in something bigger than a shoe box?  Thankfully after a few moments I regroup and realize I have my house, I have my own car, I have my own money, I have a husband and most importantly I am happy. Settling for happiness? Sign me up. 
  • Worms (and all other bugs).  Hate them. I will scream and freak out and give up on my gardening when I see them. As you would suspect, I am a terrible gardener and currently have weeds growing instead of veggies.

Thankfully these bouts of fear are those I get hit with in passing and are not a constant. Unfortunately I still have no way of shaking them off nearly as quickly as they come on. But, being afraid just means we have room to grow. We have room to be better and to challenge ourselves. It should make us grateful. And when we get past the fear, it gives us the opportunity for celebration, preferable in the form of bubbly, dessert or more dessert.