Facing Fears and Sharing My Journey…
“The fear of failure is worse than the failure itself.”
“Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.” -Aristotle
“Worse than war is the very fear of war.” -Seneca
It was the evening of my 39th birthday… October 2, 2020… and my boyfriend John and I were out celebrating. Kind of the last thing that I really wanted to do as I headed into the last year of my thirties… celebrate another decade gone. But celebrate we did.
We started this thing, him and I, almost a year ago now when we first started dating where we ask each other a myriad of questions. They started as “get to know you” types of questions that we would basically use as time and awkward silence killers when we would hang out for a while at one of our homes or be on the road for long periods of time. Well, we used them as awkward silence killers. I used them as interview questions to subtly ensure I wasn’t placing myself into the exact situation I had found myself before.
It was the first night of the official countdown of the last 365 days in my thirties and we’d gotten a bar top table outside to drink a few cocktails, chat and relax off the two and a half hour wait at one of my favorite restaurants. The sun was setting and the Fall weather was perfection. I was a few drinks in when he asked me a question. A question we’d actually asked each other quite a few times over this last year… If you could go back in time, back in life and do anything over again, would you and what would it be?
I could swear to you that we’ve asked each other this very question no less than five times yet each of our answers seem to differ each time just enough that we justify having it a part of what seems like every single quiz session.
Of course each and every time it is asked, we feel obligated to start off our answers with the obvious disclaimer… that we wouldn’t REALLY change anything because we wouldn’t be where we are now with each other and each of our precious sets of kids finally enjoying this stage of life. Together. Yet once the disclaimer is done, the truth sets in.
This night I was feeling extra chatty and extra honest and extra giddy. I have this new thing where my newfound happiness combined with a drink or two and a relaxing afternoon/evening leaves me feeling like a motivational speaker. I think when you’ve faced your fears head on and made it through and can finally manage a genuine smile, it just feels like something to write home about. Or in my case, hop up onto a soap box and pretend like I am a wannabe life coach.
Last January… January 5th, 2020 to be exact, I picked up my laptop and quite literally haven’t set it down ever since. Those 3am thoughts finally placed into black and white every single morning of the last 365 days with a fast and sometimes furious stroking of the keys. A seemingly impossible effort to put everything I so desperately wish I had someone whispering into my ear for the last thirty eight years into words. Words that have been the purest form of healing these last 365 days. Words that have been written, deleted, rewritten and reworded no less than a few thousand times. Words that I have done my damndest to say as eloquently, classy and respectable as humanly possible. Sharing my journey in picking up the pieces of a life I once knew. Picking up the pieces of a life I had never asked to be crumbled and my very own path to fearlessly rebuilding into the life I had always dreamed.
So here I am. Your new bestie telling you everything I wish I was told, wish I knew and wish I could’ve envisioned as my life today. A woman broken time and time again who finally had enough and walked away. Facing one of life’s biggest hurdles I had never even known to fear. Taking bits and pieces of my writings over these last 365 days and turning them into blog post after blog post for every single woman that needs to hear it. Every single woman who isn’t even sure anymore what to fear.
FEAR. My simple answer to his question the evening of my 39th birthday celebration that Friday night last October was that if I could go back in time, I wish that I could re-live the last ten to fifteen years of my life without fear. I had lived in fear for years and years turned into a decade or more. I had allowed fear to take hold of my body forcing a stare down a road rushing by in the opposite direction. Either so focused on the past or so focused on everything else around me that my own hopes and dreams and beliefs and aspirations slowly faded out of view.
A dizzying journey faced so far in the opposite direction of life that huge chunks of my life almost feel like a blur. As I spent so much of my life this last year staring into the screen of my MacBook, I asked myself time and time again… what am I writing for? What exactly am I opening up my life and my soul and my innermost feelings and insecurities for? As the days passed so early on in 2020 and my inbox and direct messages started to fill up from women here, there and everywhere relating to my situation and so desperately looking for strength, I had this vision. This vision of being able to grab hold of the hand of any woman stuck in the dizzying tailspin of life and pain and fear. If I write these words for anything at all, it is to take hold of your hand and offer you a ticket to hop aboard a plane and bypass all of those years of unjustifiable, illogical nonsense to live for YOU. To live for the worthy, beautiful, fearless girl that is ENOUGH. To start this new year living life head on. Facing the days ahead and not the years behind. Taking hold of that steering wheel of life and building or rebuilding the life you were always meant to live.
2021. A new year and a new beginning. The same-ish feeling for an entire world that I felt in my very own world on January 1st, 2020. A flipping of calendars and a simple changing of dates that signified everything I mentally needed to take the wheel of my life and single handedly steer it into the direction I needed to start over. To rebuild. To truly find myself for quite possibly the very first time in my entire life.
As we all head into this new year, I wanted to start my 2021 writings with a simple thought. I have a million and one more words to say but at some point each week I have to cap them off. So I will end this post with saying… aside from the logical and much more valid fears in life related to 2020, what do you fear in life? Is it holding you back… changing you… making your days and weeks and months a blur as you focus on the past? Is that fear even justifiable? Or is the fear worse than the possible outcome? And at the risk of asking you all to be just as vulnerable as I am here today… I would love for you all to share as much or as little as you’d like. Right here in the comments. I would LOVE to build a community of supportive women building each other up and sharing your thoughts. I am going to do my absolute best every single week to respond to them all.
If you’d like to follow along with my week to week “journaling”, sign up to follow my blog or check back every Monday. XOXO, Brittany Hayes