I recently was on a lovely family vacation. We traveled to the Adirondacks for some mountain air and togetherness. All of these things happened and more. It was just what we needed. One of the days started out beautifully. We hiked and hiked and hiked. My husband had seen online there was a covered bridge near by that he wanted to check out, so we drove a short distance to find this restored wooden bridge.
Everything was picture perfect. We decided to climb down to the water. It was a day full of nature and adventure. We took some fun pictures and were just about ready to head back to town, when I decided I was going to push myself out of my comfort zone and be brave.
Back story- I am not the biggest animal or bug lover. I appreciate, I respect, I even think are cute, but from a distance. I have tried over the years to get over these fears- even therapy. Some situations have improved with age and effort, but then I have moments when irrational fear puts me into a full panic attack.
So, with being in all of this glorious nature, I felt like I could do something that would test my fears and hopefully help me get over them or at least one. I decide to take off my shoes and socks and stand in running, fresh water. This was shocking to my husband, but I was feeling good. Feeling like I can do this. He took a few pictures. I look happy. He warned me it could slippery, which I was fully aware of and accepting.
What’s the worst thing that could happen?
I would get wet…oh well. Wet pants is no big deal. As I am about to step to dry land…I slip.
I fall into the water.
I am laughing.
I get up and look down at my self. Everything seems ok. I wipe my back side and then see my hands covered in this small, rice sized black stuff. At first I think it must be river dirt, or plant debris.
I panic….of course. I rinse my hands in the water…struggling to get it off. Then all I can think of is what is all over my ass.
I start to hyperventilate. Not for dramatic effect-pure horror.
I run and climb back up into the parking lot, to the car, opening the back and procede to rip off my creepy, crawly, yoga pants.
Yep! Pantsless in a parking lot. Thank goodness I had cute, black underwear on. I also had this foresight to take a beach towel that morning and pop it into the car. I was thinking this might be needed for our daughter-never imaging I would be driving back to our hotel wrapped in a Hello Kitty beach towel.
On the drive back I calmed down, caught my breath and started to do what I always do when I recover from a freak out.
I apologize. I want everyone I upset to be fine. I don’t want my irrational fear ruining the day. I am proud of myself for not crying.
We get back to our hotel quickly and I parade through the lobby in my pink, kitty, towel sarong. No worries. A quick shower to wash away the panic attack and let’s go on with our family fun. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who can stand at the sink and rinse the crawlies off your favorite pants and not make one comment to make you feel incredibly stupid. Not even “I told you it was slippery”.
The day was not done. Our plan was to get in some mini golf and that is just what we did. It was perfect. While we were there we ended up talking to a man working the counter. He was a ray of sunshine and positivity. We had the polite, small chit chat you do when on vacation, but then an extra layer was added. He shared a bit about himself and how he landed in the Adirondacks. My take away was his soul needed whatever the mountains could give him. He was choosing happy. This got me thinking about my earlier experience.
What was the universe trying to teach me?
Why do I have to get over these fears?
Do you have to be brave and push yourself?
Who are you doing it for? You? Or others?
On our drive to Whiteface Mountain, the next day, I was still thinking about these questions. Why? Why couldn’t I have just gotten wet? What is the take away ?
We parked and I was ready to enjoy the day. I climbed that mountain. Fearless. Not a worry. I loved it. I can do it without a second of hesitation. When I got to the top I looked out on everything- green and magnificent and was happy. There are people that can not and will not climb ragged rocks and stand on top of a mountain, but I CAN.
I have decided that it is okay to be scared. Fear can stop you from doing stupid things. I know it can hold you back too. So many quotes out there, but I think sometimes it is ok. I am not going to shut myself up in a bubble and never try to stretch myself outside my comfort zone, but I am not going to force myself to do things that are too much or ignore my inner voice.
I am not going to apologize for my perceived short comings.
I do many things everyday that scare other people.
- I drive over bridges
- I can see a spider in my house
- I can tend to an injury
- I can climb a mountain
I can do a lot of things!
I think my universal take away is it is OK to have fears. It is okay to say no. It is okay to find your happy and embrace what you can-for right now.
My fear of many living things will have a downside, but I am okay with that. I am probably never going to a petting zoo, snorkeling or letting a hawk land on my hand. I am good with all of that. As long as my people enjoy life and they do what makes them happy I am good sitting out. I keep trying and every time something puts me into a panic. And I think the biggest thing I realized is I am not trying for me, I am pushing myself to make others happy. I have zero desire (not stemming from fear) to swim with the fishes!
I am accepting these limitations. I have hope I might not always have them and I will still think about trying because I believe in personal growth, but only if I want to. If not-no apologizes needed. I accept that this is me.
Accept yourself….all of the things
Find yourself….enjoy the journey
Listen to yourself….your inner voice is probably right
Love yourself….let your quirky light shine
Think of all of your “CAN DOs”!!!
Drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.