I have been fighting a whole range of fears, big and small, significant and not that important, my whole life, but really, 2012 is the year the fighting stepped up a notch, and yes, it's been a fierce battle. But May, oh May was a huge taste of freedom.
I could talk about the wonder of CBT with The Greatest and the greatest and my new "friend" Eva; I could mention California and flights and Skyfari and dinner at Pink's and real life exposure; I could mention conversations held with friends and family and The Husband; I could mention opportunities at work and being bold. And perhaps I will tell some of those stories here, though maybe not, and certainly not all.
But for today, I want to talk about a smaller victory.
My nose. For many many years I have wanted to pierce my nose. And, for many many years I've held back, convinced that it would spell the end to a variety of opportunities and strike a blow to a couple of important relationships. On returning from Cali, still buzzing from all that new freedom, I decided that I needed to make a statement, an Ebenezer of sorts, proclaiming this new freedom, my boldness, the excitement of starting to find out all the things I'm capable when fear isn't holding me by the throat.
|My "Ebe-nose-r". Oh, I crack myself up.|
I struggle to stand on my own two feet, I struggle to trust my own opinion, thought processes, instinct when it comes to choosing things, because I desperately want to please those around me. "Fearofman" could be my middle name - which leads me to make decisions not based on what I think, but based around how I think those I care about will react. Of course, it's important to consider those around you in all things in life, but I'm not talking about being unselfish, I'm talking about terror of disapproval.
And since opinion of others had been a big reason for not piercing my nose, and that it only occurred to me recently that piercing my nose isn't going to cause actual injury or harm to anyone else, I thought it a good place to begin. To make a decision either way based on what I thought, not what I imagined others would think.
So, I stepped back and I prayed and I thought and I asked myself and I asked God - is this a good thing for me to do?
Do you want to do it?
Yes, yes I do.
Then go for it!
So I did.
And I am so glad! I love how it looks. I love that it means something pretty big to me - when I see it in the mirror I remember what statement I am making to myself with it. I love that the experience itself was pretty pain-free, with the loveliest piercing studio in Camden.
But the best was to come. You know those fears about how people might react?
Blown out of the water. Completely!
Goodness me I felt stupid - why on earth had I been so worried? But I am rejoicing in my stupidity, and the boldness it took to take a step in spite of all that fear. Because if I hadn't, I would never have found out how mundane those responses turned out to be. I love that this mountain has turned out to be a teeny molehill - because even if I look ridiculous, even if people think I'm silly for worrying so much, I don't care - that is nothing compared to the joy and defiance I feel now I know that fear cannot hold me in that particular place ever again.
So I celebrate this little victory, and I welcome more to come.