Facing My Fears

Independence comes naturally to me. That’s why I stayed in a hostel by myself last month when I traveled to Minneapolis. That’s why I moved several hundred miles away from home multiple times before finally admitting this year that I missed my family. It’s even why being in a long-distance relationship for three years wasn’t so hard for me as it might be for other people.

With all of this, it sounds funny to admit that I’m also terrified of letting myself down. Three years ago when I spent my summer in Colorado, we spent a few days rock climbing a few miles from the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Forest. This was not an exciting event for me. Even though I love of hiking and majestic views, I’ve never been a fan of rock climbing. There’s something about not having my feet on solid ground that is absolutely terrifying. The worst part? Belaying myself down a cliff after climbing up the other side. Knowing that one slip of my wrist could send me crashing down a jagged rock face didn’t sit too well with me, even with the encouraging words of friends below.


Life right now feels a lot like that rock climbing trip. I’m holding on to my life tightly, trying to make sure I don’t fall. I appreciate the cheers of the people watching me as I scramble around looking for the best hold that will leave me with even a momentary sense of stability. I’ve got an amazing safety harness that will protect me from large amounts of harm, and if I pause long enough to consider it, the view from here isn’t so bad.

I just need to take a few deep breaths and trust that everything will be okay. I’ll get my feet on solid ground again sometime and until then there is much for me to learn. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll even get to a point where I can trade some of this fierce independence for some of that interdependence stuff that I keep hearing about. Until then, I’ve got my books and my animals for company. Really, what more could a girl ask for?