And really, since I have such a fear of the unknown and of loss of control, maybe this can be the fear I faced. Did I mention this post is about fears? It is, as per this week’s “Finish the Sentence Friday” prompt: “One of my biggest fears I ever had to face….” Since I looooove to combine old and new stories, with old and new photos, I went back in time in my blog to find references I’d made to fears I’ve faced. I was particularly looking for lion and tornado stories, because they’re juicy, and because I wanted to share my semi-recent photos from the safari at Animal Kingdom in Disney World. Remember we did that?
This won’t be the full story about Animal Kingdom, but it will be a pretty full story about facing fears. I wrote a whole post about ten fears I’ve faced for Tuesday Ten. So here they are, in no particular order. I’m strong like bull. I face fears:
1. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. I watched Wizard of Oz a lot when my father died. I was also a kid. How else can you better explain having a legit tornado phobia at age seven? I lived in New Jersey. Not Tornado Alley. I asked my mom to take down the wind chimes near my bedroom window because they scared the life out of me. She didn’t. I was on my own. And what better place to face your worst phobia, than when you’re not home and visiting your grandparents in Westfield, NJ? I was SO scared. I was shaking. We hid in the basement and heard the umbrella stand blow away. Then the storm passed and we went upstairs to survey the (outdoors) damage. I survived. Not only that, I was never afraid again.
2. Earthquakes. What could possibly be scary about the ground shaking underneath your feet? Umm. Everything. My first earthquake was actually in New Jersey, as surprising as the tornado. It was mild. My first San Francisco earthquake was bigger but I slept through it, because I’m awesome at that. My third earthquake was while I was at work as an Innkeeper – the only one on duty in a crowded Bed & Breakfast of 20 rooms. No big deal there. I was helping myself to quiche and heard what sounded like a freight train passing through the streets. My quiche was shaking. My plate was shaking. My hands were shaking. Everything was! I was petrified but trying to appear strong for my guests. Until my favorite family ran into the kitchen and they looked at me and they knew, and they enveloped me into their family hug. I think of you, Donna, Dan & Colton.
3. Leaving home. Before I went to college, my throat closed up and I could barely eat. Instead of doing the rational thing, and telling someone, I relied on my magical thinking and powers of mind persuasion and sure enough, it went away and never came back. I have never taken leaving lightly. After college, I lived in NJ for several years. It’s when I moved to California that I knew, it was really real. I felt so homeless and parentless and so in-between. I never said I did it well, but I’m still learning how to leave and find home again. I’m still learning that it’s more than a place, but a feeling. That’s life, right?
4. Pregnancy and Childbirth. One of those things is much scarier than the other, and it’s probably not the one you think. Not long after I left home, (above) I went searching for it again. I knew a lot of things were up in the air, but the last thing I KNEW is that I was pregnant. And yet I was. Already six weeks along. Luckily, life gives you nine months (minus six weeks in my case) to prepare for the wonders awaiting you. I had zero morning sickness, I only gained weight in my stomach, and I was still running around like a lunatic at nine months. If all pregnancies were like Scarlet’s, the world would be even more full of babies. As for childbirth, I’d do it again. In fact I did. And I would do it again. That’s not the hardest part for me.
5. Submitting writing. Granted, I definitely do things on my own time and in my own way and sometimes it feels like I still haven’t done IT, but I think IT is probably watching northern lights with whales, moose, chocolate, my kids, Tom Petty, Tim Curry, and others, and then writing a best-selling book about it. Since that hasn’t happened, yet, I should point out that I have four big, fat chapters in four books now. Half are about my most intimate of mental health thoughts. So, take that, fear.
6. Photographing a wedding. Or four. If, at any point two years ago or more, you had told me I would photograph weddings, somewhat comfortably (if you call intense nerves beforehand comfortable) I would never have believed you. And yet, it’s coming together so oddly and magically. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even do three in one year. Someday. Or four. Or more!
7. Vomit. Do I really have to talk about this, boss? Well since I’m the boss of myself, I’ll let it slide. Let’s just say I have Emetophobia and I also have two kids – one with my stomach, and one who barfed all night twice last year. NOT FUN.
8. Traveling, Restaurant, Movie Theater Alone. Not only did I face these three fears in my 20’s, now it’s gotten to a point in which I desire them. I desire to be by myself.
9. Flying after September 11, 2001. Not only that, it was technically an international flight on Cathay Pacific. The plane was going to Hong Kong, but dropped us off in Vancouver so we could get through customs and then go find some otters and glaciers. True story. I was so nervous for the flight that I had plane crash dreams starting three months before my trip. My doctor gave me Klonopin just to get on the plane. I never touched it. And during the flight, I experienced the worst turbulence of my life. I’m talking the plane falling out of the sky a few hundred feet, or so it seemed. And calmly, I looked out the window and ate pretzels. I guess I had already paid my dues during the three months of bad dreams?
10. Letting people in and out of my heart and life. What’s harder than that? And I’ve done it and I’ll do it again, and then again, and then again. And I think I’ll survive each time, even if it feels like I won’t. And there it is. Fears I’ve faced.
Now, how was that? A little long? That’s how I roll. No fears there. Now let’s talk Animal Kingdom. It was our first time. We had FastPassed the safari ride for late morning, but rushed in when the gates opened and got on it right away:
I am just getting back into taking photos of my family adventures, after a year of needing space from it. So it’s rusty but fun. I did go totally crazy after the safari, but that’s a story or two for another day. (probably next week!)
Did I mention lions? I used to have a legit phobia (read: irrational fear) of lions. My brothers were once screaming in the street because they were fighting, and I assumed they were screaming because of lions. In NJ. Hey, it happens.
After our first safari ride (because yes, we still used our late morning FastPass to ride it twice), we went to the “stroller park” and saw a squirrel enjoying the brownies from someone’s strollers. I took pictures, just in case anyone asked.
Linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s ever-timely topic is “One of my biggest fears I ever had to face…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.