I Was Terrified, But I Went

full frame shot of text on wood
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“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

So today I woke up in a cold sweat. It was still dark, extra early. I had that dream again. You know, that one dream. From the time I was small I have a recurring dream, always vivid, whenever I am insecure about a situation. It took me until nearly thirty to understand that was what it meant. And then it took me longer to realize that the ending was whether or not I was alright with failure.

I’ll explain this dream. Come with me for a moment. It’s always the same, the dark clouds, the rolling darkness of something sinister and evil coming to get me. It is coming and I can see it. That descending tendril from the sky that grows into a monster. You guessed it. In my dreams I am chased by tornadoes. I might mention the irony here that I was a storm chaser. (Oh the irony!)

tornado on body of water during golden hour
Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

This menace finds me no matter where I hide. It is always the same. It hunts me as if it is a conscious being ready to pounce on all my insecurities inside my head.  Now that I am covered in sweat with my heart pounding there are only three outcomes for me.

  1. I will not find shelter at all. Left to the monster bearing down on me, I have to face that without even a shield.
  2. I will find shelter but it isn’t good enough for that EF 5 racing my way with possibly eyes and a growl.
  3. Or I find shelter, deep inside the house I stop at. It blocks out the wind and roaring and yet usually there are still windows even in these shelters.

I wake in a cold sweat. Covered in it. And then I smirk. I figured this dream out and I will either be alright or I won’t. I am still puzzling out the windows and the fact I am always trying to track down one of my two children. But I do know that if I found shelter, everything is going to be OK. I will be OK.

So this morning was my first day at my new job. (I know unemployed for a whole ten days friends!) I desperately wanted them to find me as intriguing as they did when I had a three-hour job interview with them. I want to be that person I hope they see in me. The person I’ve always wished to be.

And sure enough, I woke in a cold sweat an hour or so before my alarm. That tornado was massive. The largest one to date. It pressed down on all of my town and left it in ruins. Yet today? My children were accounted for the first time and my two largest supporters helped me hold them down from the winds. Today, I found the deepest and strongest shelter. There were some windows, but I managed to get to places without any. So today, according to that raging EF 11 (scale of 1-5) I will be alright.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Nelson Mandela
Read more at: here

4 thoughts on “I Was Terrified, But I Went

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