Jennifer 10/1/2014 – Free to be Scared

HorseFreedomFree to Be Scared


Dear Jennifer,

You’re afraid. Look at you, posting about the upcoming changes in your life as if you would accept them with some kind of grace.

Hell, no. You hate when change is forced on you. You hate authority. You follow every rule but resent, resent, resent.

What do you call this past week? Burying your fears in “looking toward the future,” a.k.a procrastinating. Hiding. Trembling with weak knees and an even quakier writing hand.

What, you feel exposed? Why, because you put your soul out there in public and can’t take it back? I thought this is what you wanted to do for a living: bleed on paper for people to slurp it up and click “like”.

What are you afraid of, anyway? I could swear you were afraid of failing, except failing’s what you’ve done your whole life. Failing before you even started, cutting yourself off at the knees. Face some real truth, Jennifer: you’re scared of succeeding. You’re scared you’re a fraud, that you can put up a great letter to yourself but you can’t actually live it. You can’t actually change your life. You’re afraid you’ll get what you wanted to find out it’s actually work to have it. Like the horses. You begged for them as a child. When your family got them, you had to do all the work.

You’re chicken-shit afraid of success.

Yes, there will be times you resent success. There will be times when the increased responsibility is just too much to bear. There will be times when the to-do list outpaces the can-do list. You’ll let people down. You’ll disappoint people. You’ll fail to show up sometimes.

And then you’ll get your butt back up and try again. And again. And again. And count it a privilege to do so. Yes, dreams are work, too. Why not make them work for you? It’s not like you’ll ever stop writing or exposing yourself. It’s not like you’ll ever stop bleeding. It’s not like you’ve never resented writing before.

So go do it, Jennifer. Go, be successful and hate it. Then go and do it again and love it this time. Pick up both ends of the stick: the good, the bad. And be grateful you have a stick to pick up, regardless of who threw it for you.

Just like the horses. All that work, but what did you get? Miles and miles of freedom. Wind singing through your hair. Power. Friends more dear to you than any human being could be. You’re afraid, dear Jennifer. The only difference between fear and excitement is a little hard work. Do the work, feel the wind in your hair.

To read more letters, click on The Path!

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