I don't want to be perfect, just better...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fear of the Unknown, the Known and ME

If you've read this blog for some time you may remember my post - There is Whole World Out There in which I spoke about my sister and her fears of leaving our home town. She has let fear stop her from moving on and apparently she isn't the only one.

On Facebook, several people are trying to build momentum for a multiple year class reunion. My immediate reaction when someone asked if I was coming was no. I want to say 80% of my high school classmates live within 35 miles of where we grew up. 

This blows my mind. Even though I know the statistics are that Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. 

For them a multiple year class reunion is a hour drive or less - for me it is either a week long drive or more accurately a week long drive for the Hubbster or four plane tickets from Washington, DC to Dallas and then a rental car to drive into Louisiana for what may only be a daylong slate of activity and not much else. 

Neither option seems great to me.

So I know you are thinking how does a high school reunion relate to fear?

It does and it doesn't but it got me thinking these people and my family who never left home are some of the same ones who tried to discourage me from moving away. 

When I decided that I had had enough of being lied to and stolen from by my family. I started thinking of the places I wanted to go…Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Nashville and a dozen more cities but when my mind said New Orleans, I knew. It was as if I was a guitar string it was like someone had strummed me – my whole body vibrated when I said New Orleans.

Most of my family and friends think I just said one day “I can’t take this shit” threw a dart at the map and got a rental truck.

They don’t remember me questioning them to see who we knew or what family was in New Orleans for months ahead of time. It wasn’t until I announced that I was moving that they paid me any attention. Then it was only to try and talk me out of moving.

The crime. The lack of jobs. The scandals. The blah blah blah…on and on for several months. Every time there was a murder they were like you want to go live here?

It never occurred to me to ask if they had ever been to New Orleans. But I knew that

I couldn’t let their fear of the unknown control me.

I couldn't let their fears become what held me back. 

I couldn't let their fears become my fears. 

I planned for months. I scouted neighborhood crime reports. I applied for jobs online. I knew the neighborhood I preferred before I even stepped foot in New Orleans. The kids and I drove to New Orleans several times to look at apartments.

I conquer fear by seeking information. 

I conquer fear by planning.

I conquer fear by embracing it.

How do you conquer your fears?

1 comment:

  1. I am so JEALOUS of your willingness to take the chance to move!  I said for years if I ever got divorced I would be outta this state so fast!  When the chance came, the timing was so wrong, I just couldn't do it, even though I gave it great consideration.  But S.O. and I have talked about moving out of state when his youngest graduates from high school.  The timing then just seems so much better.  

    My youngest daughter is married to a young man in the Air Force.  They have spent the last few months in Biloxi, MI and are going to be getting their next drop date on Halloween. Many in her dad's family told her to stay here in Utah while her hubby moved off. After all, she had just had a baby.  I felt strongly she would regret it if she didn't go where she was supposed to, with her baby daddy. I tell her regularly how proud I am of her to embrace these opportunities.  She was always my one child I was sure would never leave her hometown!  She has had such wonderful experiences and met such terrific people.  She never would have had these chances if she hadn't been willing to conquer her fears.

    You have to make decisions that are right for you and your family, even if no one else gets it.  That's what counts!