A year or so ago back in Smithers, I recall thinking smugly to myself, "You know, I don't really fear anything."
Proudly, I went through a list of everyday fears that I did not have: I am not frightened by snakes, fire, dark forests, heights, bugs, spiders, you name it! At the time, things were pretty comfortable. I had a house, community and a routine. The days were pretty consistent. I had no fears.
How naive, arrogant and utterly foolish I was!
I am not quite sure how I ever thought this of myself. Surely, it had something to do with being comfortable. I was well cushioned and surround by routines, habits and things that I knew. I had insulated myself from the very things I feared.
Lately I have been overwhelmed by the realizations of my fears.
In act of anti-smugness let me throw them out there: I fear big cities, I fear doing yoga on a beach where people can see, I fear playing my flute in public, I fear asking for help from strangers, I fear my patterns, I fear models, I fear admitting need, I fear running out of money, I fear letting down the people that host me, I fear international customs, I fear foreign currencies, I fear leaving a city for the next one... heck I even fear jumping into the somewhat cold ocean on a summer day.... I fear!!!
Well, there you go, I am a fear ridden wreck! To add to it... these days I can see with disconcerting lucidity how my fears manifest themselves in my daily life and affect people around me.
But, I am coming to a positive conclusion: perhaps my realizations are a good thing-- a good sign that I am facing the fears. The act of facing them is making me more conscious of them. Courage is building. That would be the difference between then and now. Each day feels like I am staring down something new. My journey is taking me from one tumultous fear encounter to the next.
There is some comfort in the lack of comfort: My days are proving to be exponentially more interesting and full of live than those days of comfort. Just for the heck of it let me describe the last 24 hours.
Today I jumped into the cold ocean, talked to a beautiful waitress, let go of my bike and gave it to a stranger, and now I am headed into the heart of NYC.
Tonight I leave for London. For some reason this one I find exponentially daunting. I am now leaving North America and a land that at least I somewhat know and have contacts in. As I spoke of earlier, my journey is taking me further and further into the unknown. The UK customs agents will be unwittingly serving two countries when he greets me: England, and the vast universe of