I gasp. I wake up. I hear a car horn from my old Lower East Side apartment. I call it the dungeon. I like living in the dungeon. But tonight, I’m in the belly of the beast.
I’ve crossed the threshold. I’m inside, but I’m not out.
I’m still in the darkness. I’m in the haunted forest. In the depths of the deep blue sea, the unknown, the alien land, the belly of the whale.
This is fear. The fear I feel everyday on my call to adventure. The call to leave my job of 6 years, my industry of 11 years. To write, to travel; without a home, without an income.
I fear the unknown. I fear that I will not make it as a writer. What will happen? Will have to go back to phone sales?
I fear entrepreneurship. I’m afraid to sell something with my name on it. I’ve never done that before. I’ve only sold for someone else’s company. Even when I was a little kid. I never started my own lemonade stand. I just helped other kids with their lemonade stands.
I fear failure. Will squander all my money? Will I squander an opportunity to sustain myself while I travel?
I fear success. I fear moving beyond the threshold of fear, to make money. What will that new land be like? Am I meant to be there?
I fear death. Sometimes, I can’t sleep at night because the brief thought comes, “what if I don’t wake up?” I fear illness. My dad died of heart failure. I’m afraid I’ll have a bad heart too.
I fear criticism. Getting judged and criticized by others still bothers me. I fear rejection. What if no one likes my work?
I fear commitment. What will happen if I go all in?
I fear missing out (FOMO). I don’t want to miss the next best thing. I try to squeeze too much in. That stresses me out.
I fear what’s beyond conformity. Conformity is comfortable. I fear the playing field. Sitting in the stands watching is much easier. When I was a kid I liked playing football, but I loved watching football on TV.
I fear my past. Will my regrets linger? Will they have consequences in the future? Will they be repeated in the future?
This fear hold me back. It cripples me. I freeze. I hesitate. It’s a thief. It robs me. Robs me of my intuition, of my gut. I second guess. I miss out on the moment. I refuse the call to adventure.
Sometimes, I answer that call. I stare back at the beast.
I’ve step into this threshold of fear. I learned the fear doesn’t go away.
I also learned I don’t go away either. I can dance with it. I can live with it. You can too.
What is this godlike power that creates this monster? It’s the same godlike power to slay, dance with, and live with this monster.