Jumping through the Door of Fear
July 17, 2018
Soul wrenching, dream crushing, life crippling, fear. When I think of the word fear I often associate those phrases with that one word. It’s a part of life, we’ve all faced it one time or another. It comes head on attempting to steal every bit of joy we possessed if we let it. It’s the boogieman you read about as a child. It’s the air leaving your lungs after someone says boo. It’s a concept that doesn’t exist but at the same time it does. It’s there – behind every door, at every corner.
“Fear is there in some shape or form, waiting to steal your candy and leave you crying for your mommy or daddy.”
When I think back on some of the most fearful times in my life; there happen to be a few, they often involve situations where things have been completely out of my control or when everything has been in my control – meaning that all feedback would come back on me. I remember one of those times being when I was younger, much younger – this first scenario occurred when I was around twelve or perhaps thirteen years old.
Something happened and I had to go to the hospital, well at the time I was afraid of needles. I mean downright petrified of the little nasty things, unfortunately for me I was hospitalized and required to stay in the hospital overnight. Due to the nature of my visit the phlebotomist needed to draw my blood and check it routinely. Well the way my body is set up; I have these lovely little things called “rolling veins and they happen to be small in size also. What that means for me is that once you stick a needle into my skin my vein rolls away from the needle. Since my veins are also small if you put too big of a needle in my arm it will just blow that portion of the vein and you can no longer access it for the blood to flow out.
I remember that the phlebotomists and the nurses had already stuck me attempting to draw blood several times and I began to become really upset. The had practically utilized every “normal” area and they were still coming back for more blood. To provide a visual; normally when they attempt to collect your blood specimens, they will try in the middle of your arm between the fold of your elbow, on your wrist, and lastly perhaps they will try on the back of your hand. They had literally exhausted all those areas on both of my arms and I was done. I was over all of it.
The first issue being that I hated needles – they scared me due to the pain I felt. The second issue was that whenever an inexperienced phlebotomist would attempt to retrieve my blood they would stick the needle in my arm and when the vein moved they would move the needle inside my arm attempting to puncture it with no clear sight. That part, now that part was what I really despised because if they moved it too much my arm would be in pain for up to a week later. See? I had valid reasons to be afraid and fear the object that was tiny in size but inflicted a large amount of pain.
I remember that it got so bad… they were trying to stick me again that I was just throwing a huge tantrum – a huge tantrum. So they called this guy in. You know on television hospital shows how they have those big buff guys that appear out of nowhere to keep control of the unruly patients? They had those big buff guys at this hospital. They literally had those big buff guys come to my room and attempt to hold me down. There was at least one of those big buff guys in the room, I know it was because I distinctively remember seeing him and being amazed that those guys really existed in the medical field and not just the acting world. He came in my room and attempted to hold me down but me being me I wrestled my way free until he no longer had control of me or my arms. I remember my grandmother glared at me with saddened and angered eyes.
My grandmother was always the person to take me to the doctor or to any appointments, I listened to her so she could get me to do anything. She was one of my parents growing up and she happened to be the only person there with me at the time. She gave me this look that I will never forget – as scared as I was I shuttered at her glance. I was afraid of the needle but I was more so afraid of her being upset with me so I gave in. I looked at her and said, “Grandma what do you want me to do?” She replied “Lexus, I want you to sit there and I want you to let them put that needle in your arm and for you not to move!” I said, “Okay Grandma, you have to hold my hand.” You have to hold my hand while I do that then.”
She held my hand and she calmed those fears that I had inside of me. I sat up, straightened my face, and stared at the pheblotimist as she inserted the needle into my arm. The fear dissipated instantly as I peered on with watchful eyes and it has not returned to this day. I go into the lab ready, willing, and confident… fears completely forgot about. Left at the door.
With the blog – honestly and truthfully… I just want to be open with you guys and gals for a moment. Truthfully, I have had the thoughts of this blog on my heart and on my mind for years now. I’ve always procrastinated and I’ve always said you know “this and that”, and you know therefore I can’t and therefore I won’t. Until one day a few months back I talked with this guy who quite frankly has not always had the easiest life.
From the outside looking in one can assume that it would be quite easy for him to allow his fears and his circumstances to overpower and overshadow any dreams that he has, however; it is the complete opposite. His hardships and circumstances have become motivation and inspiration. Those very things meant to break him, have lifted him to a higher level of knowing that each moment must be lived to the fullest and all fears must be tossed with the wind. He hasn’t always had it easy and he still faces difficulties to this day however his perspective has changed and so the thought of fears, or better yet facing those fears seems to have left his mind.
One day I called him up to talk and pick his brain. I began the conversation by inquiring about one of his many endeavors, hoping to gain insight and knowledge of how he did it and how he did it so well. Did he receive schooling? Was he taught by someone? What did he do to get his endeavors to where they currently are? The conversation continued for well over an hour and after he finished explaining he questioned my motives.
He asked why I was asking these questions? What would I be doing with this information he was providing me, and I quickly replied advised him ,“Oh nothing I was just wondering, I was just picking your mind. I don’t plan on doing anything with it.” After the call ended I had this feeling inside that practically made me sick. The possibility of a blog was heavily on my mind at this time however I still remained hesitant in going further than my thoughts. Everything inside screamed, “But WHY Not?” Why not utilize this information while it’s still fresh on my mind? My mind flooded with countless other questions that all began with why and left me with only one thought. FEAR!
I said to myself, “Well I’ve been afraid for a while now, honestly – I’ve been afraid about a lot of things for a lot of different reasons but right now I just want to conquer some of those things.”
I thought back on when I faced my last fear. Reflected on the last time I stepped out and just went after my fear. Do you know I had to think back on my 21st birthday. I am quickly approaching twenty-five and the last time I faced a fear was when I turned twenty-one? Nevertheless, I reflected on what I did.
My boss at the time was a licensed skydiver and he went skydiving every weekend. He enjoyed the activity so much that he had been talking to my manager and I for months about Skydiving and how much fun it was. Every time he brought the conversation up I would say something like, “Eh, that sounds a bit scary.” And he would always reply, “No, it’s actually a lot of fun.” After he had brought it up to me maybe a hundred times or so, I decided well you know what you’ve talked to me about it so much, I’m going to try it. I figured I would forget those fearful thoughts and just do it. My manager and I both had birthdays coming up so we decided to choose a date in between the two, which meant I would go about a month before my 21st birthday.
The day came much quicker than I expected and before I knew it I was sitting through a training safety class for first time Skydivers. I felt a bit of nerves and fear during the training class but not enough to make me turn around and request a refund. The training class seemed to fly by and we quickly headed to retrieve our gear. While retrieving our gear I thought about how long we would be up in the air and decided it would be best if I asked the guy that would be jumping with me since this was my first time.
In my mind I assumed the experience would last approximately thirty minutes. We were only going about fourteen thousand feet in the air so I assumed it would last a while. Wrong! When you are falling it doesn’t take long at all. In fact the fall can be pretty quick if you don’t get the chance to open your shoot. Luckily for me that was not the case. He advised me that the Skydiving experience roughly lasted about fifteen minutes. I wanted longer so I advised him that I wanted to do everything I could to make the experience last longer, I wanted to sail through the skies.
Funny, eh? Minutes earlier I kept replaying my fears however when it came time to gear up and get ready those fears went completely out the door and now I wanted to sail through the skies with a parachute on my back for longer than what was deemed “normal”? Yeah! That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to face those fears!
I remember that when we initially jumped out of the plane we had about sixty seconds of what they consider free-falling which means when you initially jump out of the plane the parachute isn’t out, you’re just falling in the sky. In those sixty seconds a bit of fear was there, but more than anything a sense of pride. I felt good. I looked every which way my head could turn. I screamed crazy, funny things that no-one could hear other than the guy attached to my back. I let the wind and my slobber hit my face and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed every bit and piece of something that I had previously said I was afraid of doing. Something I said I would never in my life do because I was fearful of a negative outcome. But guess what? No negative outcome ever came.
Four years later and Skydiving still reigns supreme as one of the most beautiful and exhilarating experiences that I have ever felt in my life. Now I recommend everybody do it so they get the chance that I had. The chance to Jump Through the Door of Fear!
In life you will have a lot of situations that can occur or that will occur that add to why you have fears and even add extra fears onto the list you have already accumulated. The thing is that if you go into everything fearful you will often miss out on the beauty and the joys life has to offer you. By living in the confinements of fear you often miss out on things you could have experienced and things that could have provided a new light and perspective for your life. However, when you when you face your fears things change. You begin to feel a level and a sense of accomplishment and not even just that, you began to question yourself as to why you were even afraid to begin with. Like any other situation I went into fearful this experience afforded me the knowledge of knowing that there was nothing for me to fear because there was no reason for me to be afraid.
The reason why I choose fear for the blog post today is due to my own fear. Like I told you all at the start of this blog I procrastinated with this thing for so long and one of those reasons happened to be fear. One of the things I struggled with was being confident in myself and being sure of my decisions however the blog meant that I had to face all of that. I always felt like I needed confirmation or affirmation from someone else about what it was that I was doing but with the blog the only confirmation and affirmation I receive is from myself. I write the post, I edit the post, I say when it’s time to put it out and how I will brand it. Everything down to the last detail is up to me and the thought of that was frightening.
Last Friday made one month since I started the blog. The realization of the fact that it has been one month since I conquered this fear sent me spiraling into a sea of other fears. Things got a bit overwhelming. The blog has exceeded every expectation I had because I had none. It’s been viewed more than I expected. It’s reached more countries than I imagined. Random people during random conversations tell me that they are reading and following the blog. The fact that I exceeded all expectations terrifies me also because before I put it out I questioned myself for years about rather or not anyone would want to read it and that if they did read it what would they think about me? What would that say about me? Because now my thoughts are out there free for you to interpret however you see fit and feel.
Although I still have a ton of fears; new one’s, that I am working through I wanted to encourage you all to knock at the door of fear and attempt to break it down. I was afraid of people getting into my head and that’s just what some people wanted to do. I know it because one of my readers said to me, “I’ve been wanting to get into that big pretty head of yours and see what kind of thoughts you really have and you have amazing thoughts.” It was like everything clicked. I was afraid of nothing. Some people may read my blog and say this isn’t the place for them, but then again someone could read my blog and say it changed their life and if I have one person. One person that says it changed their life I will be happy with that. Me facing my fears is worth one person reading something that I had to say and it inspiring them or motivating them to live a life better than the one they did yesterday.
Furchtlos, Sonneblom Lex