Thursday, September 4, 2014

Facing Fear

Fear is an interesting creature. It's part of our human make-up, it's what allowed us to survive and not get eaten by strange noises from the jungle, well, um, fear combined with running like hell.

Some of us have very little fear in our lives. We get to a place where we're comfortable, a place of predictability, low-drama, and we ride along with the traffic of other people who want to get by and not have their feathers ruffled by other people, tough decisions, stress . . . fear.

Then there are the adrenalin junkies, fear is their drug of choice. They enjoy the rush of being in that brief window with fear, not knowing if they'll come out alive on the other side. I've never understood adrenalin junkies. I never wanted to press my luck. In general, I've preferred to be safe.

That said, even though I don't go out of my way to create fear in my life, and I don't avoid drama, confrontations, difficult decisions like some do, I don't usually bring fear into my world . . . at least not consciously that I'm aware of. 

Currently, I have some fear.  My baby is on the other side of the world.  He's in a strange land where he doesn't know the language or other people, other than his girlfriend.  As a mother, this brings me fear.  I can't simply get in the car and get to him if he gets in trouble.  I'm having to will myself not to dwell on what might happen, and instead focus on this wonderful opportunity he has for growth and experience.

Then, I also wonder about his fear.  He doesn't like to fly, yet he just willingly spent about 17 hours riding in planes to get to Taiwan.  He also knows he's working without his "mom" safety net, yet he chose to do this.  My son has never liked fear.  Fear has held him back in becoming proficient in learning a musical instrument, of trying to master sports, because he feared other people looking at him and judging him.  At least, from my mother perspective, this is my understanding of the choices he's made thus far.

So when he chose to make this trip, to put himself out there, risk so much, face so much fear, I was impressed.  I hope this experience is wonderful for him.  I hope he learns and grows and becomes the man I've always known he could be, if he just overcame some of his fear. 


CyberKitten said...

It's definitely an opportunity to grow as a person. He'll come back stronger and more confident because of it.

On a smaller scale I moved to London some decades ago to a new job not knowing a single person there and lived there for 6 years. Not exactly on the other side of the world but it was one of the bravest things I think I've done so far.

You are right to be impressed and proud of your son for doing this. I don't know him and I'm impressed too.

The very best of luck to him and his girlfriend out there.

Vancouver Voyeur said...

I sometimes regret not backpacking across Europe in the 80s, with my friend Doug. I really wanted to, but knew Doug wanted us to be more than friends, and I didn't want to lead him on. I think it does take a lot of courage to step into the unknown, move to another place where you don't know anyone, and you have to sink or swim on your own. I think you were brave to do that. You really do get to know yourself and what you're capable of. I hope all the best for my boy in this adventure.

Larena said...

so what arethey doing there? It is hard to watch our children go forward, good and hard. hope he takes lots of pictures and writes a journal. they are in my Prayers.

OldLady Of The Hills said...

It sounds like your son has put fear behind him in making this move to parts unknown and far flung. Very Brave Move, in my view. You must be so very proud of him for making this very bold wonderful step! I wish him well....This is a true adventure!

Vancouver Voyeur said...

His girlfriend is doing an internship and he's taking Chinese lessons.