Friday, May 11, 2012

Fear Itself

i was on the radio yesterday. terrified barely covers how the very thought of public speaking makes me feel. the idea that many people -- many, many people -- would be hearing my voice, my opinions, my thoughts? yup. sheer terror.

now, let me rewind for a sec. my daughter, who is seven and finishing up first grade, started off her school career, well, shy. she would sit in the back of the class, coast and often hope that the teacher wouldn't notice her. no spotlight, paaalease. nothing to see here. just mindin' my own business. thank you. she would tell me that she just felt scared. scared of what, i would ask. scared that she would give the wrong answer and sound silly. can you imagine?

i can.

now let me rewind even further. i'm seven and finishing up first grade. i started off my school career quiet. diligent, creative and, you guessed it, shy. unsure. just let me write my words, draw my pictures, add my numbers. but, please, please, please don't make me say anything out loud.

at home, i wasn't shy. in fact, i was quite loud. but in school. in front of other people. friendly, nice, but not a hand-raiser. nope.

thirty-plus years later, i've learned that unless i want to sit on a computer and blog all day (um...), i have to do  things that are uncomfortable. that make me nervous. that have the potential to make me look and feel stupid. sometimes i do great and other times i do look stupid.  but, i always know i grow from it. and now that i have a daughter -- much like her mother in so many ways -- i have an even bigger reason to try.

husband and daughter listened to the show online; i'm still too squeamish to do it. according to husband, daughter beamed the whole time, hearing my voice. i had told her i was nervous. she knew i was scared. but she saw me do it anyway.

afterwards, my husband sent me an email:
i'm very, very proud of you! you did something you were nervous about and you did it fearlessly. marley listened to it too...she was very, very excited. an old proverb -- a boy says, "dad, can you be brave if you're scared of something?" dad says, "son, that's the only time you can be brave." 

you taught our daughter that today.

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