All my life I’ve been afraid. You wouldn’t know it because I cover up my fears with humor and what I hope is grace. Or maybe I don’t cover it up that well and people have always seen right through me. I’ve spent my life being afraid that I’m too loud, too obnoxious, too messy. I’m afraid of not being likeable or being the outsider. I’m afraid of heights, spiders and the dark. I don’t believe in ghosts but I’m afraid of them anyway … because what if they believe in me?
I know we’re all afraid of something, so I’m not alone, here. Some would even call me strong because I’ve lived through an emotionally abusive 22-year marriage and the subsequent divorce without being afraid. I started a new career in my 40’s, met the love of my life and moved to a brand-spanking new state without fear. So yes, we can be capable, confident and strong but still be afraid of things.
One fear I worry I’m never going to conquer is my fear of heights. Just thinking about heights makes my palms sweat. Harley says it’s just mind over matter and that I can THINK my fears away. He has tried coaching me with positive thinking and reassurance over the years. Riding the pig trail on the bike without freaking out? Fail. Driving through a mountain pass in Arizona without crying? Fail. What about climbing the ladder into the attic? Nope. But get this…. he has signed us up for a motorcycle ride through the MOUNTAINS in New Mexico. HAHAHAHAHA. Talk about thinking the glass is half full!
Now. I’ve never fallen and not gotten back up, literally or figuratively. BUT. What if NEXT time was THE time? “You’ll be alright.” Will I, Harley? WILL I? He wants to know what I’m afraid of, exactly. I’m afraid I’m going to get dizzy, pass out and fall to my death. I mean nobody has control over what their body does, right? So it could happen. It probably won’t BUT WHAT IF IT DOES? That’s the fear in a nutshell.
I should probably note that I am working on overcoming the fear of being rejected because of what I write. I’ve had more than one blog I’ve shut down because I worried that I would offend someone I knew. I’ve deleted Facebook accounts and other social media because I was afraid of what people would say to me if they knew it was me. But guess what? I’m not afraid anymore. I don’t have to hide behind Roxie or call my husband or kids other names for fear of being called out. People found me anyway and you know what? It didn’t matter.
If you read back through some of my earlier posts, you’ll see that I didn’t refer to our kids by their real names, and I called my husband Harley. But I’m done hiding, so what you see is what you get. I love calling Ken by his blog name, Harley, so I’ll continue to do it. And I love my writing name, Roxie. Yes, this blog is about new beginnings and second chances. But I’m not going to re-create again and start over with anonymity because I’m okay with who I was then and who I am now. I regret shutting down my other blogs and social media accounts because I’ve lost precious memories by letting them go. So, this is it. The good, the bad and the ugly.
Since moving to Texas where the flyovers are high enough for me to wave at passing planes, I have overcome some fear of heights by forcing myself to drive to and from work on what I call the “high scaries” every day and I’m slowly becoming less scared. Sure, I white-knuckle it and hold my breath the whole time, but I’m still doing it! Although, if desensitization works, then how am I supposed to desensitize myself from riding a motorcycle through the mountains for a week when there are ZERO mountains available? Harley thinks we can ride the Twisted Sisters a couple of times between now and then, but after hearing that there is a big sign stating how many motorcyclists have perished while riding it, I am now scared of THAT!
We’re hoping to try a desensitizing ride before the heat gets too bad, so I’ll let you know if I live to tell about it. And I’ll take pictures.